Did you know there are many different forms of interior lighting?
For instance, there is task lighting, which is used to throw ambient light for completing “tasks.” Desk lights, many LED corner floor lamps, and most overhead lights are categorized as task lighting.
Then there is accent lighting, which is used to “accent” specific features of home decor. Most strong lights, rope lights, and display lights are accent lights. They’re typically dim and low-wattage.
We also have mood lighting, which is used to imbue the atmosphere with mood.
Mood lighting is used to create a spirit of place, and there are different moods. Some settings are bright and well-lit, while others are sultry, warm, and intimate.
Interestingly, depending on how you intend to set the mood, both task lights and accent lights can be co-opted into filling more than one role.
Here are some knockout tips for how to create effective, warming, welcoming mood lighting in your home.
1. Use more than one light source
Multiple light sources are the heart of mood lighting. Once light source is too direct; many smaller, dimmer light sources are much better than one.
For instance, you can use several table lamps, an LED corner floor lamp, and a set of string lights to create a diffuse but overall perfused effect.
If possible, set the lights at different heights and angles, and try to coordinate the color temperature so there is less conflict.
2. Avoid overhead lighting (in general)
One thing you’ll also want to do is avoid overhead lighting. The reason for this is that mood lighting is all about the contrast between light and dark areas, so shadows are key.
Overhead lighting tends to minimize or entirely eliminate shadows, which is not beneficial when you’re trying to create mood lighting.
Floor lighting and table lighting, such as LED corner floor lamps or table lamps, or even wall lights, will help you accomplish this effect.
Another way to create diffused lighting is to take advantage of lampshades. While not entirely necessary, lamp shades over table lamps and wall lights will prevent these sources from feeling too harsh and direct.
3. Warmer color temperatures are key
One of the most important aspects of setting the proper mood lighting is to use color temperatures that agree with the setting.
In almost all instances, this will equate to using lights that throw a warmer color temperature, such as warm white, yellow, or even amber.
Warmer color temperatures feel more inviting and intimate. They’re also not as harsh on the eyes as cool white lights that can make a setting feel clinical.
One trick is to use Edison lamps, also known as vintage or filament bulbs. This doesn’t require you to switch out any fixtures; just get some of these lights and upgrade your existing lamps and sconces.
4. Swap out the bulb for a lower-wattage version
Another trick that’s easy to implement is simply to switch out your existing lights for lower-wattage bulbs.
Generally speaking, the higher the wattage of the bulb, the higher the light output will be. Mood lighting isn’t about ambient light for accomplishing tasks, so this extra power is hardly ever warranted.
Following this tip also won’t require you to get any new lights. Just swap out the bulb in your LED corner floor lamp for a lower-wattage light with a lower lumen rating.
5. Dim it down
Modern LEDs are mostly dimmable. This is a big bonus for those that want to create more effective mood lighting in their home’s living rooms, bedrooms, and other spaces.
Many of our LED corner floor lamps are already conveniently dimmable, so you don’t need to do any extra work. Just tone down the brightness to match the setting.
Even if you don’t have one of our dimmable floor lamps, you can buy a dimmer switch for your existing lighting for (generally) a few dollars online.
Just plug the lamp into one of these switches for an immediate upgrade.
6 Take advantage of candles
One more expert trick: you don’t need to use electric lighting to set the mood effectively. There are other ways to go about it.
Light some candles for a nice effect. Candles are naturally dim - about 10 lumens - and burn with a very warm color temperature.
Also, candles, specifically jar candles, tend to burn with flames that flicker and dance, producing their own shadows.
If the home has a fireplace, you can light a fire when you have company over. The fire, which will add pleasant mood lighting, will also warm the space, and add auditory stimulation and a pleasant scent, which will also contribute to the mood.
Mood Lighting Is Your Oyster: Crack It
Creating effective mood lighting is easier than you think, and you can probably make it happen with what you already have.
Put some of these tips into practice today and see if they improve your home’s aesthetic and atmosphere.