Lighting For Every Occasion

We turn on the lights in the morning and we turn them off at night. We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them otherwise, unless, of course, something goes wrong, like a bulb burning out at the worst possible moment. But lighting can make a big difference. If you’re trying to set a certain mood, the lighting you choose can be one of your biggest allies or one of your worst enemies. Think of your house like a movie theater. Before the movie, the lights are up. When the trailers start, the lights dim a bit, and when the movie stars, the lights go down completely. If the bright, glaring lights stayed on during the entire movie, everyone would be confused and a little irritated. You may not be running a movie theater, but for special occasions, lights matter a lot.

For a holiday party

If you’re having friends over for a party to celebrate Christmas, New Year’s, or even a birthday, then you’re likely preoccupied with things like what kind of food to serve (you like taco bars, but maybe they’d prefer something more traditional) and what kind of music to play (there’s holiday music, but maybe everyone is sick of that by mid-December). Don’t forget to pay attention to the lighting. If possible, serve the food in one room with plenty of bright lights. If you kitchen island, that would work great. You want people to be able to see their choices for dining, after all. No one likes to turn on their smartphone flashlight because it’s hard to see if the dip in the bowl is a hummus dip or a guacamole dip. Then, once people have a plate full of food, send them to a more dimly lit room to socialize. A living room or dining room with a few good quality, natural candles works great, but if you’re scared of fire, you can use other, less conventional, types of lighting to achieve a similar effect. There will probably be a few people who congregate in the kitchen area to chat over the food, and that’s fine, but most people will drift into the more dimly lit area to socialize and chill out. You can even put on an old Christmas movie on the TV if you want, although you should probably keep it either on low volume or muted, since most people will want to talk to each other.

For a romantic night

A romantic night in is much more intimate than a holiday party, and so the lighting should be intimate as well. If you want a dinner by candlelight, it’s probably best to just use one or two candles rather than one or two dozen candles. A room full of candles may be dramatic, but it’s also really hot (as well as a potential fire hazard). You and your significant other should be the ones generating the most heat here. That said, if it’s a chilly winter night and you have a fireplace, light it and sit together. Sit by the fireplace and look out the window at the snow falling. The soft light coming through the window at night should perfectly complement the warm glow of the fireplace, giving you all you need for cozy, romantic night.

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