Ways To Brighten Up Your Space When The Sun Goes Down Early

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX

Daylight savings time... that glorious day when early risers get an additional hour of sunlight as they greet the merry morning. That horrifying day when commuters find they are cloaked in darkness on their nightly drive home. However you feel about it, one thing is for certain: daylight savings time is here. We're falling back, so what are we going to do about it?

Well, for starters, we're going to make sure it's light and bright in our homes. After all, our health may depend on it.

"Over time, that increase in darkness can lead to feeling blue and even experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder," said Huffington Post. "According to the NIH, symptoms of SAD typically start in late autumn and winter and include increased appetite, increased daytime sleepiness, decreased energy in the afternoon, loss of interest in work, unhappiness and lethargy."

Even if you're not personally affected by the time change, your house is. It's dark in there! Here are some ways to lighten it up.


1. Lose the solar shades

If you have solar shades on your windows to keep the bright sun out and lower your electric bills in summer, consider removing them until spring. You'll get more light streaming into the house, which could also help with your heating bills.


2. Lose the dark drapes

See No. 1. Plus, sheer fabrics and/or lighter colors could re-energize your décor.

"Some window treatments, such as Roman shades, block sunlight even when they're open. But sheer draperies hung on rings are easy to open fully to let in light," said Reader's Digest. "Venetian blinds are also a good choice: They allow you to control the amount of light that comes in, and you can angle them to direct the light into a particular area.


3. Bump up your task lighting

Scour the living areas for dark corners or areas that need a boost. Placing a desk lamp or floor lamp strategically could make your place feel brighter and more inviting.


4. Increase your wattage to the maximum allowed on your lamps

You may have opted for softer light when you purchased your light bulbs, or you may not even know what you have—or what's allowed. Check the lamps for the max wattage and pump up the light accordingly. You'll see a real difference in the amount of brightness in your room.


5. Cut through your roof

Installing a skylight can bring light into your house year-round. An option like Solatube is easy to install and surprising affordable and effective.


6. Make it fun

Who says lighting has to be traditional? Use this as an opportunity to show your creativity. And that goes for placement too. If you don't have the perfect spot to put a desk or floor lamp, wall mount it.

Don't have an electrical outlet in a place where you want lighting? Go solar.

You can see some more examples of wall lighting on Houzz.


7. Lighten up

"Dark walls absorb light while brighter walls tend to reflect it," said Build Direct. "On this note, painting your walls white is a great way to get more use out of the natural light that filters through your home's windows."


8. Use mirrors

Mirrors reflect light, so you can actually create the illusion of a lighter space. "Hanging or propping a large mirror on a wall opposite a window doubles the light streaming in," said Reader's Digest. "You can use smaller mirrors to line the backs of bookshelves, or arrange several of them on one wall. Another idea is to buy furniture with glass, chrome, or mirrored accents."

The bonus: mirrors can also make a small space look larger.


9. Clean it up

Don't want to get new mirrors? Clean the ones you have.

"It's amazing just how much sunlight is lost through a window pane covered with dirt, grime and soot. Thoroughly clean one or two windows or mirrors in your home," said The Order Expert. "There's no need to go on a cleaning binge if you don't want to; cleaning just one carefully selected window can work lighting wonders. When you're finished, take a step back and enjoy the fresh, bright light!" 



Written by Jaymi Naciri



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