The shorter days of winter offer plenty of dazzling light, and the bracing temperatures this time of year often create a feeling of excitement in the air. But, honestly, most of us would prefer a few more hours of sunlight at the end of each day.
December 21 marks the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. So what can you do to maximize the fading light and make your home more “light friendly” and comfortable?
You could jaunt off to a country where it’s summer right now and make a hotel your home. By flying off to Chile, for example, you could even get the added bonus of getting your Chilean fruit directly from the source. But a trip to the southern hemisphere to chase the summer season is not realistic for most of us. So what are the staying-put options for offsetting these shorter winter days?
I would first suggest looking at the string of holiday lights in your home and consider rethinking their purpose. Some can be used to brighten up an otherwise dark corner of a room—strung around a mantel and layered with existing lights in a room. Holiday lights can be placed vertically along a wall, positioned diagonally or even framed around a door way.
Layering is a concept that certainly applies to winter lighting. Layering is about relying on multiple types of lights to illuminate a room. It typically starts with an ambient (general) lighting, which may include recessed lights, chandeliers, track lights, outside lights, and torchieres (lights with a tall stand). Wall-mounted lights can do wonders for casting warm light into an otherwise darkened room, and accent lighting can also highlight a dimly-lit area. For a subtle effect you can even add lights under a kitchen cabinet.
That unpleasant feeling of entering your home from the pitch-black night can be mitigated by installing an automated lighting system. Set it up, figure out which lights you want to turn on before it gets dark– the kitchen, a hallway, the living room or even a bathroom—and you’re good to go.
Exterior lighting is also a wise choice for those who want to avoid singing the winter blues. The fading winter light can be balanced out by installing attractive landscape lighting. Landscape lighting will increase your home’s curb appeal, add to its financial value—and provide a measure of security; motion-sensor lights can illuminate a garage, walkway or entry way. For promoting winter light, our Edison Outdoor Lighting package is a good place to start. It offers:
- A complementary design consultation to discuss the lighting affects you want to achieve
- A custom-lighting plan with the technical know-how to meet your aesthetic preferences
- A professionally installed, low-voltage LED lighting system for energy savings
Whatever solution you choose for offsetting the shorter winter days, remember there are a wide variety of lighting options to extend that comforting feeling of a well-lit home environment—even as the days get shorter and the seasons change.