Green Interiors: Bright Ideas

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Bright Ideas

Getting the lighting right in your home isn’t always easy. A lot of times, people complain that it’s too dark in the mornings, too bright in the afternoon, and too glaring in the evenings. Here’s how to get the perfect fit!

Set The Tone

Try to focus on creating lighting scenarios, not just lighting solutions. This might mean overhead dimmable recessed can lighting for the morning with under cabinet dimmable LED strip lighting in the kitchen and bathroom, a nice table lamp with adjustable modes in the living room, and sheers on any windows that need help filtering too much early morning sun. The key is thinking your way through the way you use your rooms throughout the day and pinpointing the most effective use of your time and money. There is no need to outfit every room with 24/7 perfect lighting conditions if you only use the area in the morning or only use the room after it is dark in the evening!

Master The Overheads

One of the biggest pet peeves many people have is overhead lighting. As a whole, the problem is twofold. One, many homes are equipped with bare bone/generic fixtures that don’t enhance the aesthetic value of the home. Second, the fixtures aren’t on dimmers and the bulbs themselves aren’t suitable for the job at hand. Even if your ceiling can’t handle more than a flush mount fixture, try to find a piece that adds style— something that looks intentional. Don’t be afraid to use different finishes through the home. There is no rule that says you can’t mix and match.

Choose Wisely

When it comes to selecting bulbs, look for energy efficient LED dimmable bulbs with a Kelvin range between 2500 – 3500. This will provide the warm and moderately bright white light most people prefer; not too yellow, not too blue. Choosing LED bulbs can be tricky. Sometimes the bulbs aren’t perfectly comparable with the ballasts and can result in slight (but annoying) buzz. Don’t be perturbed! Ask in the store for recommendations for specific brands You can also try CFLs. They typically aren’t as energy efficient as LED and have a shorter lifespan but they have a cheaper upfront cost. Many people find they look the closest to traditional incandescent bulbs, though it is important to note LEDs have come a long way! Keep these tips in your mind as you go about your day. Notice what works, what needs tweaking, and what could be better. Before you know it, the small adjustments will add up to create a major shift in the enjoyment of your home!u —By Kate Gray Fudim

Editor’s Note: Kate Gray Fudim is an interior designer with Beth Haley Design. Kate has a master’s degree in Interior Architecture and Design with an emphasis in sustainable design. Beth Haley Design, an urban interior design firm, focuses on remodeling and revitalizing established homes, as well as creating stimulating, functional, sustainable spaces in new homes.. E-mail your questions to her at or visit

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