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Upgrade your lighting with these simple tips

March 14, 2009|By NewsUSA

When it comes to home decorating, lighting proves just as important as paint color. Quality lighting allows residents to perform tasks without eyestrain and creates a warm, comfortable feel. When lighting a room, remember that you will need more than one type of light. You will need to use general lighting, or overall illumination, and task lighting, which helps you perform tasks like reading or cooking without eyestrain. Many homeowners also use accent lighting to spotlight paintings, shelves or other areas of visual interest. Using all three types of light will help homes look more attractive.

The American Lighting Association offers these tips for Americans looking to update their lighting in the different areas of their home:

o Use light to create an attractive living room. To make a focal point, consider using recessed downlight above the fireplace mantel. The light will make stone and brick surfaces look more intricate. Place floorlamps behind arm chairs to provide light for reading or other activities. Highlight paintings with low-voltage, tungsten-halogen picture lights, which shine white light directly on the painting.

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o Brighten up your kitchen. A large ceiling light will provide adequate general lighting but might not let you see into cabinets or on your stove range. Add supplemental lighting where you need to perform specific tasks. Track lights over the stove and the sink, for example, will help you see when your onions are browned and when your pots look clean.

o Create an elegant feel in the dining room. Use a chandelier above the dining room table to provide functional light and to highlight any centerpieces.

o Use light to create a calming bedroom. Use wall sconces, chandeliers, fanlights or downlights to create enough light for you to get dressed, then add additional lights near your vanity and in your closet. Consider installing swing-arm wall lamps on either side of your bed. The lights will provide enough illumination for reading but won't take up space on your nightstand.

For more information, visit www.americanlightingassoc.com.

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