So, you're thinking about upgrading your lighting around the house. The first thing you can do is upgrade your light fixtures to something nicer — more fitting in with the tone of your decor, or even just upgrading to make them less obtrusive and more modern. You've got a light fixture that came with the house and it looks like it was born in the 80s, for example. But have you thought beyond just simply upgrading a few lights?
Like what? Well, larger spaces can be difficult for a single source to light. You can have multiple sources around the room, but unless you've got a timer or have them set to a socket that is disabled by a wall switch, lighting the room consistently may be a pain. Does your bedtime routine contain a trip through your living room to turn off several lamps? It may not even have occurred to you that there's another solution.
One possible solution is recessed lighting. These are sometimes called 'can lights', and you've almost certainly seen them at a friends house. Sometimes they're even used in clothing stores or changing rooms. This involves installing a 'can' — it's a can-shaped piece of metal that helps focus the light downward — with a light inside of it into the ceiling. You can wire them to separate switches for more control, and many can lights can be controlled via a dimmer switch, so you can decide how much light you want. It can help brighten up the dark corners, highlight artwork, you can center a can over your favorite chair to read in if you want. There's lots of ways to use it. Some even come multicolored, if you want to have access to moodier lighting.
For places like the kitchen, your dark spots are most often going to be under overhanging countertops. But you can't install a big chunky can in your cabinet without compromising your shelf space. They do make canless lights, as well as other under cabinet solutions. Not only do they help with countertop visibility, but because they're directed downward instead of all directions (like many ceiling fixtures) they can serve as a gentler light for evening and night hours. This still allows your night owls to use the kitchen without waking the whole household, or even just lets you get a glass of water in the middle of the night without stubbing your toes.
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