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Lighting to Sell

Correctly lighting your house is essential to a great sell. Besides setting the mood and accentuating your house's best features, lighting can brighten rooms so they appear larger. Get some bright ideas with the following lighting options.

Accent, Table and Floor Lamps

Lamps are essential home decorating accessories. The style and finish of a lamp is as important as the wallpaper, carpet or paint used in a room.

Accent lamps can be used in bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways and any spot that may need extra lighting. They provide just the right amount of additional lighting.

Table lamps are usually for general-purpose lighting in living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and family rooms.

Floor lamps, an excellent source of illumination, are especially useful in dark corners or areas that regular lighting may not reach.

Lamp Shades

A lamp shade should be at least as wide as the widest point of the lamp body. Shade sizes are expressed in three dimensions. The first represents the top diameter, the second represents the bottom diameter, and the third represents the shade's height. At eye level, the bottom of the shade should cover the bottom of the socket.

Ceiling Fixtures

All types of ceiling fixtures provide excellent room illumination, which helps your room look more spacious. Pendants light specific areas such as a kitchen table. Chandeliers and ceiling mounts can be installed to increase lighting in foyers or dining rooms. Be sure to allow ample headroom when installing a chandelier.

Ceiling fixtures also add safety to your home. To prevent accidents, stairs should be lit top to bottom with ceiling fixtures or recessed lighting. For safety in hallways, use fixtures every 8 to 10 feet.

Wall-Mounted Lights

Wall fixtures provide lighting for specific areas such as a hallway or a bathroom vanity.

Wall lighting can also offer safety lighting like ceiling fixtures. Use wall-mounts when an overhead ceiling fixture is not feasible.

Bathroom Lighting

In bathrooms, adequately light the vanity and mirror. A light above the mirror is recommended. Your bath should also have a ceiling fixture for generous overall illumination.

Track Lighting

Track lighting can be used to create many different types of lighting effects: accent, task, wall washing, etc. With track lighting, you don't even have to add, remove, or relocate fixtures on the track to achieve various lighting effects. And installing track lighting can be done in a single afternoon.

Decorative Accent Lighting

The most common applications of decorative accent lighting are undercabinet lighting for kitchens, accent lighting in entertainment and curio cabinets, picture highlighting, backlighting on the top of cabinets and "toe" lighting around the bottom of cabinets.

Recessed Lighting

Use recessed light fixtures for accent lighting, especially down lighting. Living areas look attractive and inviting with down lighting. Incorporate recessed lighting with other lighting for the best effect.

Make a room appear larger with recessed light fixtures by washing a wall in light. This technique – perfect for small living areas – adds visual depth by creating shadows and contrasts.

Outdoor Lights

Outdoor lighting makes your home safer by providing necessary illumination for walkways, steps and entrances. It can also deter potential thieves from breaking into your home. Most houses have a light mounted to one side of every exterior door. Try including a post light near driveways and walkways.

Enhance the ambiance of your property at night with low-voltage landscape lighting. Flood lighting, silhouetting and up lighting are versatile techniques for illuminating your home's best exterior features.

For added visibility and safety, use wall lighting around pools and dark walkways. Motion-activated lights are also great for increased security.

For more tips and ideas, including painting and home improvement projects, read other articles in our Preparing Your House section.

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