You’re heading home after a long day at work and can’t wait to lie back and relax on your couch.  As you switch your lights on, the harsh glare of your home lighting floods the living room and stings your eyes. Not exactly the best way to start a relaxing evening, right?

Lighting goes a long way to setting a desirable atmosphere in your Scottsdale home, helping it look and feel more relaxing. But when it comes to lighting, most homeowners typically choose the cheapest set of light bulbs they can find, giving little thought to lighting quality. Other times people look at a sample bulb and think, “This one emits a bright glow, so it must be good.”

But lighting quality is a lot more than just brightness. It also includes:

  • Color temperature: how red or blue a light source appears
  • Color rendering index (CRI): how accurate colors appear under a light source
  • Dimmability: a light bulb’s ability to dim and brighten using a dimming controller

The quality of light generated by your home lighting system can have a powerful effect on your mood. For example, if you want your living room to feel cozy and comfortable, you need to install soft lighting. Below are a few ideas to help you accomplish such a feat in your Scottsdale home.

  1. Use Warm LED Bulbs

When choosing LED bulbs, you have a choice of cool or warm lights. Cool LEDs generate a bluish-white light, making it ideal for places like the kitchen, study, cupboards, office or anywhere else you’d want to have lights that make you feel awake and active.

In contrast, warm LED light bulbs emit a soft yellowish-red light. It’s the kind of lighting color you want to have to create a relaxing atmosphere in areas like the living room, bedroom, and dining area among others.

  1. Choose LEDs with a High CRI

The color rendering index is a measure of how accurate colors look under a light source when compared to sunlight. The higher the CRI, the better colors appear. It makes skin appear more natural and food appear more appetizing—little touches that increase your level of comfort at home.

Lights with a CRI of at least 80 are generally acceptable for home lighting applications. For the most part, CRI isn’t a problem with LED lighting, as most LED bulbs on the market already come with a high CRI rating.

  1. Buy Dimmable LED Lights

Another way to create personalized lighting effects in your home is to choose dimmable LED light bulbs. This means that you can control the brightness of the LED bulb using a dimming switch/controller. Dimmers make your home lighting systems more flexible, allowing you to turn up your lights to full brightness if you want to entertain guests in the living room and turn them down when you simply want to lounge around and watch the TV.

Dimming controllers are available in most hardware stores and are relatively inexpensive, perfect for recessed lighting, floor lamps, and table lamps. Just make sure your LEDs are dimming compatible—not all of them are.

  1. Switch to Smart LED Lighting

Imagine being able to control your LED light bulbs through your mobile device. Smart LEDs like the Philips Hue and GE Link can connect to a proprietary app through your home’s wireless network, allowing you to switch on and dim your lights, change their colors, and even create schedules to make them automatically switch on and off at specific times of the day. These features give your home lights incredible, letting you create custom lighting effects for any ambiance you want.

Bottom line? Lighting is one of the most important elements of any home’s décor, not just in terms of functionality, but also when it comes to creating your desired ambiance.

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