Lighting Tips To Help Sell Your Home

When it comes to selling your home, staging can make all the difference. But while we carefully consider things like furniture, décor, paint colours and even scent, there’s another important feature that can help brighten up a sale — light.

Light should be considered very carefully during the staging process, as the right lighting can make a room look bigger, create ambience and draw attention to focal points.

Here are a few illuminating tips to consider.

Types of lighting

a joint living and dining roomPhoto by Paintzen on Flickr

There are different kinds of lighting to think about when assessing your home’s overall lighting scheme. General lighting refers to the kind of light that makes your home functional. Natural lighting — that is, any light that comes from the sun outside or is reflected from mirrors — is of particular interest to potential home buyers. Is your house typically dark or bright most of the day? Do your windows face north, south, east or west? This will help you determine which parts of the house get the most sun and therefore, the most natural light.

Accent lights — for example, in the form of a well-placed standing lamp or wall sconce — can help bring focus to an area such a reading nook or an art wall, while task lighting can help prospective buyers visualize how a space can be utilized; for example, with vanity lighting in the bathroom or a bright desk lamp in the home office.

Lastly, ambient lighting — which can include anything from dimmer switches to the right chandelier — can help set the tone of a room. A string of bright fluorescent lights won’t have the same tonal effect as a soft, incandescent bulb, so make sure each room’s lighting scheme fits with the mood.

Lighting options

There are plenty of lighting options out there and they all come in an array of styles — and price ranges. These include:

illustrative collage of different types of lighting options


a chandelier over a dining areaPhoto by Douglas Sheppard on Unsplash

For general lighting, you can’t go wrong with well-placed overhead fixtures in the form of mounted ceiling lights, recessed lights, chandeliers or pendants. Pendants have been traditionally used for task lighting, especially in an entryway or over a kitchen island. They’re also quickly replacing chandeliers as statement pieces, illuminating dining rooms and bathroom vanities, too.

However, few things can give a dining room or bedroom that grand, glamorous quality as a traditional chandelier. Chandeliers make a statement, so be sure to choose one that matches the home’s overall aesthetic.

Standing lamps, table lamps and wall sconces do triple-duty, functioning as room décor while providing task lighting and ambience, too.


a pendant light over a dining tablePhoto by Reinaldo Kevin on Unsplash

A tall room will require different lighting than a shorter room to show off its size. Keep in mind that any lighting placed low in a room won’t reach the ceiling, which can make a room with high ceilings look smaller.
Rather than relying on small lamps, a room with very tall ceilings should have plenty of overhead fixtures, and perhaps recessed lighting installed, to show off its height.

Fixtures and bulbs

a light fixture with multiple light bulbsPhoto by Mike Marquez on Unsplash

Many homes lack overhead fixtures in essential areas, such as the entryway or living room. The first thing to decide is whether you have room in the budget to add more overhead lights. Otherwise, make use of creative lighting options, like floor lamps and wall lamps, which can help light the way without busting your budget.

Another inexpensive way to freshen up your lighting scheme? Switch out old fixtures for modern ones with eye-catching finishes and incandescent bulbs with brighter (and more efficient) fluorescent bulbs.

“Non-lighting” light issues

a bright playroomPhoto by Liliane Limpens on Unsplash

“Light and bright” should be the motto of any home, but this doesn’t exclusively apply to your bulbs. Dark furnishings, gloomy paint colours and dingy décor can make a home seem darker than it really is. Re-paint using light, neutral colours and choose light-coloured bedding, pillows, area rugs and throws to help brighten up any space.

Place mirrors strategically in rooms with inadequate windows to better reflect and refract the light. Also, things like new window treatments can make a big difference in letting light in. Swap out heavy fabrics for sheer or linen curtains that hang on either side of a window and be sure to have all the curtains wide open during any showing or open house.

Don’t forget the exteriors!

an exterior light on the wall of a buildingPhoto by Bartosz Kwitkowski on Unsplash

Remember, potential buyers may stop by at any hour, so curb appeal is just as important at night as it is during the day. A dark, spooky facade isn’t going to make home buyers feel welcome. Be sure to add well-placed outdoor lights and path lighting to light the way and prevent tripping.


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