Challenge Day 19: Light Up the Living Room

living room lighting

New Year Cleaning Challenge Day 19

Floors and furniture, walls and decor all work together to create an inviting living room, but without light, they're cardboard actors on a darkened stage.

What's the state of lighting in your living room? Can the family converse, read, craft or watch television in comfort?

Today in the New Year Cleaning Challenge, we'll let the light shine in the living room, and consider options to bring the right light where it's needed in your organized home.

Today's Assignment:
Light Up the Living Room

Overhead light fixtures are fine for bedrooms, and indispensable in work areas like kitchens--but check many modern homes, and you'll find living room lighting is left to the homeowner.

That's fine! Because living rooms present unique lighting challenges, and the best solutions are the ones that reflect your family's use of the room.

For instance, a formal living room devoted to conversation will glow in the soft light of table lamps and corner torchieres, but if family members try to read there, it'll be an invitation to eyestrain!

To bring light where it's needed--and banish it when it's not wanted--you'll want to consider appropriate lighting for each activity center in the room.

Today, go back to Tuesday's list of living room activity centers, and evaluate the lighting required by each one.

How does your current lighting measure up, center by center?

Some activities do best with little or no light, such as watching television or playing video games. Other activities like reading, knitting or doing homework require proper task lighting--which, in turn, may be too bright for group activities like playing board games.

Look for flexible solutions to light up the living room where and when you need it. For example, equipping a table lamp with a three-way bulb will provide a soft glow when viewing television, moderate lighting for conversation, and shine brightly on the family's knitter when required.

If the room includes an overhead fixture, installing a dimmer switch allows easy, custom lighting levels for any activity.

Swinging floor lamps can do double duty. Folded straight, they act as room lamps, but swung over a reading chair, they provide proper task light for paperwork or reading.

Color temperature can make a big difference between a harsh, cold room and one that is warm and inviting. If the room looks cold and bright, check out options to warm and soften living room light.

Light bulbs with a softer tint cut harsh light, as do lampshades in softer colors than stark white.

For task lighting, natural spectrum bulbs can be a big help for the family's readers and crafters; they give off a clear, vision-friendly light that's perfect for close work and color matching.

Ready? Today, let the light shine in the living room!