How you choose to light your rooms affects mood, color, and tasks. Use these simple yet effective swaps to easily improve your home's lighting.


Add a light source in the kitchen. Many kitchens rely almost exclusively on one primary fixture. Make sure to look at undercabinet lighting and toe-kick lighting to illuminate your prep, cooking, and eating zones.

In the Bathroom

It's important to supplement recessed fixtures in the bathroom. Otherwise you'll get kooky shadows -- which is the opposite of what you want when applying makeup and getting ready!

In the Bedroom

Keep it simple: Install a bedside sconce. "People don't always want bedside tables, so they'll just rely on recessed lights and a fan," says Lucy Dearborn, owner of Lucia Lighting Design in Lynn, Massachusetts. Wall-mount fixtures provide task lighting for reading in bed without adding clutter.

In the Living Room

Install accent lighting. Often considered a luxury, accent lights can give a boost to a room most of us use daily for multitasking. Try a sconce or a table lamp to brighten your space.

In the Dining Room

Look at task light or a decorative buffet lamp to brighten serving areas or corners of the room. Recessed fixtures can help for task-focused work.

In Family Spaces

Try portable lamps in shared environments. "People forget about table and floor lamps as a source of lighting," Dearborn says. "I'm a huge fan. I put them on timers, and then they come on when I get home. There's a sense of warmth in the space."

In a Corner

To brigten a dark corner, uplight a plant. "It adds just the perfect bit of glow," Dearborn says.

How to Install Undercabinet Lighting


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