(Family Features) As decorations are hung this holiday season in preparation for entertaining family and friends, consider creating ambiance using lighting in the main social rooms of the home, including the kitchen, dining and living rooms. Beyond the trimmings, presents and other jolly adornments, it is essential to have the proper lighting to enhance the glow of the holidays and adjust the mood of a room.
Here are some tips to make sure the lighting in every room in your home is properly outfitted to create an inviting and comfortable atmosphere for the holidays and beyond:
Use higher quality light
Lighting helps set a mood in a room. When choosing the type of light needed for a room, consider whether you want a soft light or crisp bright light. GE reveal® light bulbs, for example, filter out dull yellow rays and provide clean, beautiful light that brings out the vibrant colors of the holiday season - making reds appear redder and whites whiter - to make the colors in your holiday wreaths and decorations pop. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com/reveal.
"So often we just take the color of light for granted - you flip the switch, and you get light. But GE reveal® transforms any room and dramatically unveils finishes and furnishings to make your holiday decorations the focal point of a room," said Mary Beth Gotti, GE's residential lighting design expert and manager of the GE Lighting Institute. "When budgets are tight around the holiday season, GE reveal® lighting is a quick and easy makeover, providing energy savings and vibrant colors by filtering out the yellowish haze that some don't even realize is there with standard incandescent bulbs until it's gone."
Layer the lighting
Instead of relying on one type of light source, layer your lighting by using a mix of light sources at different levels, to create a flattering ambiance. The effect of layered lighting in the living room highlights architectural details, like the festively decorated fireplace and mantel with evergreens and holly berries. Ambient lighting from recessed fixtures with dimming control in the kitchen allows flexibility to adjust as needed for cooking and baking during the day to entertaining guests in the evening, or for spending late nights wrapping presents.
Additionally, the holidays would not be complete without cozy, intimate gatherings around the dining room table with family and friends. Layered lighting applied around the dining room table can set the mood so you and your guests can comfortably enjoy the turkey dinner with all the dressings.
Keep energy efficiency in mind
Select energy-efficient lighting - such as CFLs and LEDs - for optimal energy savings. This is especially important in rooms where the most time is spent with the lights on in order to see the biggest energy savings impact. Many energy-efficient alternatives of today mirror the light quality of the traditional incandescent bulb, providing the warm glow and dimming capabilities.
Do your homework
Savvy homeowners should do a little research before purchasing light bulbs to ensure compatibility with their fixtures. Be sure to match up the bulb shape and application, choose the appropriate lumen, or brightness level, and review the light bulb packaging for dimmable options.
Make this holiday season a cheerful occasion, and don't rely on overhead lighting alone to deck your halls and walls. With a layered approach and a little lighting know-how, you'll create the welcoming and warm atmosphere perfect for family, friends and good cheer.Photo courtesy of Thinkstock