We are nearing the Fall Equinox, which means nights will officially become longer than days. If you’re a night owl, this is great news. If you pine for more daylight, you’ll have to get creative with your lighting.

Rather than fight the dimmer hours, work with the dark by turning your home into a cozy, functional, and welcoming space at any time of day.

Before you start placing lamps and fixtures haphazardly around your home, make a plan for what you want to achieve and what kinds of lights will be the best fit for your space.


Ambiance is important – especially during the colder seasons, when the dark can dismantle our moods. Cool white and blue lights trigger the release of serotonin and dopamine, our body’s natural mood enhancers. These brighter lights are great for the kitchen or home office, but are best to avoid in the bedroom. Use warmer bulbs in the bedroom that won’t block melatonin release or your sleeping patterns.


Set a warm scene in your home with floor or table lamps, which aren’t as harsh as overhead lighting. Create focused lighting in a reading nook with lamps that feature adjustable arms or shades. Use up-lighting for a softer atmosphere and to make a room feel larger, or hang pendants low to produce an illusion of height. Consider a wall sconce for the bedroom, which will cast a soft glow and free up space on your nightstand. Arrange lights that will highlight key design or decor features – like a favourite piece of art, the fireplace, or a bookshelf.


Take into consideration your ceiling heights, especially when hanging fixtures. Typically, a light should hang 12 to 20 inches below an 8-foot ceiling, and for each additional foot of ceiling height, you can add 3 inches. When hanging a light above a dining table, it’s recommended that the distance between the bottom of the light and the surface of the table is somewhere between 28 and 34 inches. But the size of the light makes a difference here – a smaller light can be lower and a larger light can be higher.


LED and halogen lights use less energy and last longer, which will save you money and are better for the environment than traditional incandescent bulbs. For a guide to selecting bulbs, check out this article by Lifehacker. You may be surprised by the variety in bulbs and light.

Image: Our StreetSide display home at Orchard Park, now selling 2 & 3 bedroom townhomes in South Surrey.