Beyond bulbs: 8 creative lighting options to illuminate your life
Your choice of lighting can make or break the vibe of your home.
Get it right and you’ll be rewarded with warm, flattering light that creates an inviting atmosphere.
Get it wrong, and you’ll find yourself in a vampire’s lair full of dark, shadowy recesses. Or, even worse, you might end up with uncomfortably bright, lab-like lighting - perfect for a dental clinic but not so great in a cosy home environment.
Lighting can also have a big impact on your power bill. About 13 percent of your household’s power bill is spent on lighting, according to figures from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.
Ready to get creative with your home’s lighting this summer? We’ve rounded up 10 alternative lighting ideas you can use to light up your home.
1. Solar garden lights
Cheap, cheerful and surprisingly effective, solar garden lights are a great way to light up the backyard and accentuate your property’s outdoor features. Best of all, solar lights are powered by the sun and cost absolutely nothing to run - just remember to install them in unshaded areas where they can receive a lot of direct sunlight.
Solar garden lights are available at your local hardware store and range in price from about $5 to $40 per light, with more expensive options providing greater illumination.
2. Smart lights
Designed with comfort, convenience and efficiency in mind, smart lights are LED bulbs that can be controlled via an app or smart home assistant. Smart lighting allows you to do all sorts of nifty things such as dim the lights remotely from your phone, change the colour and ambience of your lighting with the tap of a button or schedule your lights to automatically turn on and off at specified times.
The technology does come with a pretty hefty price tag. Smart LED bulbs start at around $30 and go up to more than $100 for smart lights with infrared night vision. If you want to really dive into home automation, you’ll also need a lighting hub or smart home assistant such as Amazon Alexa or Google Nest.
Of course, lighting doesn’t always have to be high-tech. Whether you’re having an intimate dinner or a summer barbie, candles are the perfect way to create a beautiful ambience while keeping the mozzies at bay. Use scented candles to add to the mood, but keep them away from the food as the fragrance can interfere with the taste.
4. Natural sunlight
Mother Nature’s serving up an endless supply of light. Admittedly, getting more natural light into your home is often easier said than done, but there are a few things you can do to brighten up your interior spaces.
For example, dark surfaces absorb natural light, so think about painting your walls a lighter colour to reflect the natural light that enters the room. Similarly, hanging up a mirror and investing in some shiny fittings are a great way to make the most of the available light and give your home a more spacious feel.
Okay, you’re probably not going to want to replace all your light fittings with a bunch of torches. Nevertheless, torches are always useful to have and can be used as a reliable source of light in a pinch. Keep a torch in your emergency kit, chuck one in the car in case you break down and make sure you’ve got one in your backpack when you go camping.
6. Security lights
LED floodlights and sensor lights are an energy-efficient way of illuminating the perimeter of your home.
While you might be tempted to go for the brightest options available, remember that a few not-so-bright lights usually do a much better job at lighting up your outdoor spaces than one super bright light.
There are many different types of bulbs you can use. Coloured lights look fantastic, while white or clear bulbs are better for security purposes. Maximise light coverage by installing your lights up high, and boost energy efficiency by using motion sensors or timers.
Check out this blog post for more tips on how to get the most out of your security lighting.
7. LED strips
For the uninitiated, an LED strip light is a flexible circuit board fitted with dozens or even hundreds of tiny LEDs. Typically used as accent lighting, LED strips are an easy and cost-effective way to up the ambience and add a sense of dynamic lighting to your home.
Not sure where to start? Think about which elements of your home you’d like to highlight. For instance, you could consider installing LED strips on the underside of a staircase railing, backlighting a mirror, adding a colourful glow to your favourite armchair or using the light to draw attention to your artwork or collectibles.
8. More lamps
Overhead lighting is your bread and butter for illuminating your home, but it doesn’t add much warmth or character to your space. For that, you’re going to need some lamps.
Floor lamps should be your go-to for creating a cosy atmosphere in your larger areas, table lamps are the perfect addition to the bedroom or study, and mounted lamps can be a nice touch in the bathroom or kitchen. Using a variety of light sources gives you more flexibility and allows you to create cosy, layered lighting that simply isn’t possible with basic overhead bulbs.
Cheap electricity starts here
As you can see, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to creative lighting solutions. Best of all, the energy efficiency of LED lighting means that you can light up your home in all sorts of fun ways without worrying too much about the power bill.
Looking for even more ways to reduce power costs? We’ve got you covered. With competitive prices and an exceptional customer support team, Grey Power Electricity is the number one choice when it comes to cheap power in New Zealand.