Good lighting is not only functional, it can affect how a room feels to everyone in it. Have you ever been inside a house that’s been lit up as if you’re on a stage? That level of brightness can make people feel uncomfortable. Too much light can make a room feel cold and sterile.
The right lighting can add character to a space while providing enough light for tasks like working at a desk or preparing dinner in the kitchen. There are countless lighting options on the market, from ceiling fixtures to crystal chandeliers. If you’re looking to update your home’s lighting and potentially save some money, here are three common mistakes to avoid.
Not considering warm vs. cool tones
Another common mistake is not paying attention to what type of light is cast when buying a new pack of bulbs. With lighting, there are several temperature options, from something that’s yellowish and warmer to cool white light that’s toward the bluish end of the spectrum that resembles sunny outdoor light.
Some areas of a house might lean toward using different lighting temperatures. While hallways and bathrooms might benefit from cooler tones, living rooms and bedrooms might call for warmer light. Replacing all the bulbs at once could get costly. Start with one area at a time.
When purchasing, look for the color temperature noted on the box. It’s the number in the 1000s with the “k” after it. Once you find the temperature you like, make sure your future sets match by buying the same number so you can easily swap out burnt-out bulbs.
Forgetting to use dimmers
Dimmers allow you to maximize your lighting by giving you the ability to adjust the amount of light to set the vibe. Control the amount of light depending on how much natural light is — or isn’t — flowing in, or change it simply depending on your mood. However, dimmers won’t work unless you’re using dimmable light bulbs; standard bulbs won’t allow you to adjust the light.
Because light-emitting diodes (LEDs) provide a comfortable light using a fraction of the energy conventional bulbs require, they save you money on your electric bill. They also last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. The best dimmable LED light bulbs are available in various light shades, such as soft white, cool white, warm white and daylight, and will last for years.
Even vintage-looking farmhouse lightbulbs are available in dimmable LED versions. If you’re in the market for new bulbs, check out our selection of the best dimmable LED light bulbs that’s been vetted by a team of experts.
Sizing up or down incorrectly
A common mistake homeowners make is buying a fixture that is too small for their space. The same goes for the oversized lamp on an end table that makes a room look disproportionate. Always bring measurements along with you when shopping for light fixtures. Don’t rely on your memory.
For example, a quick way to determine the proper chandelier size is to figure out the length of the room plus the width. The total should equal the width of a chandelier in inches.
If you’re not sure where to begin improving your lighting, start with the room you’re in the most. Think about what type of color you’d like (warm or cool) and if LEDs are a good option and go from there.
This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for product reviews and other great ideas to save and make money.