Interior Decorating: Choosing The Best Light Design And Bulbs

Choosing the right lighting is important to your home's decor. Here's some tips on lighting, fixtures and bulbs.

Having just the right lighting to accent your home decor is very important, and thank goodness, lighting has made major improvements in the past 10 years. No more white bulbs that cast yellow auras around the room, now you can purchase mood lights which give a soft glow of pink, blue or violet. The new bulbs are a lovely addition to bedrooms or living areas. They can be used in small bedside lamps or overhead light fixtures for the full effect. Kids rooms are cheerier when using mood lights, and teens love them.

Standard soft white bulbs now take a back seat to new improved compact fluorescent bulbs, which are designed to last approximately 5 years. That's a vast improvement over the soft whites, which are less expensive per bulb, but burn out in a fraction of the time that a compact fluorescent bulb will. The old fashioned fluorescent lighting - huge and long - provided good light but was impractical for most living areas. Now you can have the great lighting provided by fluorescent lights, in the convenience of a small bulb. The fluorescent bulbs are available in a size that will fit most lamps and fixtures. Some of the designs are floods, globes, rings, circular bulbs and tubular. Some compact fluorescent bulbs even have added special features now, such as odor eliminators, which break down odors while continuing to shine bright. These bulbs are perfect for small, smelly areas, like laundry rooms and bathrooms, and even add a pleasant aroma to normally musty basements.

To eliminate odors and leave a fragrance throughout the home, scented light bulbs are a break-through in modern technology. What could be better than flipping on the lights and having your home come to life with the smell of wild flowers or home cooking. The bulbs tend to outlast the scent, though, but can be moved to a less important location and new scented bulbs put back in.

Pole lighting is great because you can move the various lights to point in different directions. This is perfect for the area where you most like to sit and read, or just to brighten up a dark corner. Pole lights have a pole that holds the light fixtures, and the pole runs from the floor to the ceiling. An alternative is a corner lamp which is tall, but has a base rather than a ceiling pole. Some of the designs of the corner lamp are less than perfect, since they shoot light straight up, rather than out.

Track lighting can give you just the right amount of light in just the right location. Track lights can be well-hidden or mounted on the ceiling or even the wall. Point each light towards the desired location. Use them to illuminate paintings, dark areas in the room, or just to have a well-lit living area. Since there are occasions when you want the room to be bright, and some occasions where you'd prefer it to be dim, have a couple of table lamps beside the sofa for when you turn off the track lighting.

Under-the-counter lighting is a good choice for kitchens, if your cabinets will accommodate them. Fluorescent tubal lighting is good or use track lighting to light up the stove area, refrigerator area and dining area.

Let's don't forget one light source that has been around for centuries - the candle. Romantic and aromatic, candles are perfect for certain rooms, yet totally inappropriate for other rooms. Candles have no business in a child's room, and little in a kitchen. Living rooms, dining rooms, dens and bedrooms are fine, and don't forget to put a group of candles in the bathroom for luxurious, candlelit baths.

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