DAY 24 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Light It Up

If you think I’m going say for you to go buy all new light fixtures, well you are only a smidgen correct. Maybe 5% on point because there is so much more to be done with lighting than just switching out a light fixture. Today we will work on lighting as a complete package.

DAY 24 Lighting.png

There’s a lot to be done in the lighting department. Below are the many ways you can make an impact in your home by adjusting your lighting needs.

Replace Your Bulbs With The Right Bulb, Even If It’s Not Burnt Out

Edison Bulbs

Early on in the Edison bulb craze, I realized it wasn’t for me. That’s right. No. Here’s why: many of the light fixtures that feature Edison bulbs look great in the fixture, but work horribly in the room. I once put a light fixture in a bathroom with Edison bulbs and my newly renovated bathroom felt like a haunted house. Edison bulbs are horrible for actually seeing anything as they don’t put off enough light, especially in a lighting situation where you want to see what you are doing. They also tend to be a little too orange-y/amber in color for my taste. Maybe this has changed over the years, but still, I haven’t gotten over the let down of a cool looking bulb not working the way I wished it would. I have a hard time going back to things after I have already shunned them, like capri pants and Costco.

Bright White and Blue Hued Bulbs

On the flip side, nothing feels more clinical than a bulb that shines just as annoyingly as fluorescent bulbs. The ones that come to mind are new LED can lights. I tend to stay away from LED lights in general because of this. They typically are so blue in hue that they feel like you’re getting prepped for surgery. If your room feels horrible, try switching out the bulbs for something a little warmer. It seems counter intuitive, yet you’ll thank me later.

Globe Bulbs

Instead of using Edison bulbs I like to grab round incandescent bulbs. They put out great light and have a nice shape as well. They work well in those situations where an Edison bulb would look good, but won’t work well for lighting purposes. They also work well in situations where you’ll be looking up at the bulb from below, such as in the bathroom where you don’t want look up and see the swirly CFL bulbs hanging down.

Appliance Bulbs

How annoying is it to open your freezer or dryer and not be able to see inside? Fix that shit already.

Update Your Light Fixture

Paint It

We’ve hit this in several challenges already so you know full well by now that you can paint a light fixture. Shut off the power to that fixture, flip the switch on and off to test that it is in fact off, then take that puppy down for it’s spray paint treatment. Put it back up the same way you took it down.

Decorate or Un-decorate It

If your bathroom vanity light or dining room chandelier are dumb AF, you have a few options.

  1. Replace the shades with something different. Home Depot sells shades by themselves.

  2. Remove the shades completely. Do you even need shades? Maybe, maybe not.

  3. Replace the bulbs for something a little more shapely and call it a day. Sometimes it’s just that flame bulb that is bringing the wrong vibe. Try a globe bulb to modernize it.

  4. Add something to your light fixture like beads, crystals, what have you.

Replace Your Fixture

Sometimes you just have to jump ship and try something new. I like to buy light fixtures from Amazon, Etsy, Shades of Light , West Elm, World Market, CB2 and Pottery Barn. There is always a sale going on at those box stores so keep an eye out. Here are some of my favorite fixtures I’ve used over the years.

Remove A Light Fixture

This is something I’m doing regularly now, as in I’m not putting fixtures where I would have normally. I may even remove some. For instance, for a long while pendant lights were the norm in any kitchen I would design. Now, I decide if that kitchen would benefit from them or if it would detract. My newest remodel, The Rattan Ranch, was one such case. I have rattan basket style pendants hanging above the table in the adjoining dining room. I couldn’t think of a light fixture that would compliment those lights and not compete with them. I also didn’t like the idea of more lights hanging down in my face. So, I just did without. I do still have can lights, but no pendant lights over the peninsula.

Dim It

Maybe you’re not suffering from a light fixture problem at all. Maybe you just need to be able to tone it down a little. Add some dimmers to some lights, especially the can lights. This will make your nights and early mornings much more enjoyable. See the DAY 22 pleasure post about other ways to make your home feel more pleasurable.

If you shop for a new light fixture or light bulb and if you put this plan into action, we want to see! It’s so motivating to see things getting done! Use #updatedontrenovatechallenge!