With shorter days and more hours of darkness in autumn and winter, turn to the power of indoor lighting as a solution – never underestimate its brilliance. Clever lighting can transform the look and feel of your home with the flip of a switch. While natural sunlight streaming inside is ideal, sometimes the clouds rain on our sunshine parade. When that happens, rely on a variety of lighting sources to brighten things up. You’ll notice, it’s not a one-bulb-fits-all sort of situation.

General lighting is the workhorse of illumination. For the most part, it’s utilitarian in nature but an essential and practical starting point. It brings uniformity and functionality to a room. This is a direct form of light, typically found from a ceiling pendant or chandelier and increases in versatility with the addition of a dimmer control.

Ambient lighting works alongside general lighting but is more indirect, more intriguing and fools the eye with magical illusion. It helps soften harsh shadows and brings major impact through light sources such as wall sconces, voluminous upturned torchieres and hidden coffered ceiling lights.

Mood lighting comes on soft, but its subtle effects make a bold statement. Never glaring or harsh, it brightens otherwise shadowy corners and makes unexpected appearances in ways like hanging, amber-lit Moravian stars. It lends high-style and a certain je ne sais quoi. For an exceptional interior ambience, you must include mood lighting.

Task lighting puts a lot of voltage into getting the job done and doesn’t need to look like its hard at work. Whether it’s a sleek chrome arm lamp over a desk, hidden under-counter kitchen lights or spot-on overhead pendants, task lights should always be offset by companion lighting to soften the contrast of their high-intensity brightness.

Accent lighting is the drama queen of the bunch. It takes center stage and spotlights key artwork or decorative elements and draws the eye in. It works harder to steal the show than mood lighting, so it requires brighter light at the point of interest.

Treat lighting as an art element. Let it conjure atmosphere and breathe life into an otherwise uninspired room. Try up-lighting and low-lighting, spotlighting and strategic lighting. Whichever way you turn up the wattage on the illuminating possibilities in your home, enjoy basking in the power of beautiful light.

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