The difference between a house and a home is how much you love living there. LaunchPad explores the innovative technologies that help you care for your space more effectively.
A well lit home has plenty of advantages: It’s nice not to be fumbling around in a too-dim room, or straining your eyes trying to read a hardcover (or the directions on a package of frozen pizza — whatever, we don’t judge). Plus, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably got a pretty nicely kept place. You don’t want it to look like you’ve set your dimmer to “dusky” in order to hide dirt when the brightest fluorescent wouldn’t find so much as a crumb on your floors.
But there are moments when bright light doesn’t totally suit the mood, and you want to have a variety of options for cozy conversation, home movie screenings, or even a more… intimate moment or two. Here are some strategies that will ensure that no matter where you are and what you’re doing, you can always find your light.
They don’t have to be scented. In fact, unless you’re committed to a single scent profile for your space (so that your candles don’t clash with your room sprays or cleaners or even the heavenly scent of dinner cooking), we’d recommend going the unscented route. There are plenty of candles that can give your place a witchy vibe if that’s what you’re into, and Diptyque makes holders so beautiful you’ll want to keep them around after everything is burned out.
But if you’re just getting into the whole “indoor fire” thing, it’s okay to go basic: Pretty much any Target, Walgreens, or even a decent $.99 cent store will have plain white candles and jars to put them in, so that the wax doesn’t go anywhere it shouldn’t.
Sometimes candles aren’t enough, but the overhead lighting is too much, and you don’t want to install a dimmer switch for the overheads in your rental. What’s a tenant to do? Get yourself standing and table-side lamps. Again, these can be purchased on the cheap, but if you end up installing crappy bulbs you’ll just have the same bad light coming from new angles.
Instead, consider investing in lamps that are built for specific jobs, which can help you engineer your house so that it’s maximally functional and beautiful. Dyson’s CSYS Task Lights are perfect for living spaces: They’re LEDs, so they’re environmentally friendly, but they’ve been specifically engineered to cast a warm, white light that will fit into relaxing spots like a living room or den. Then you can stock your home office or a reading nook with the CSYS 4K, which has a cooler light that will keep you alert, focused, and on-task until you’re ready to turn it down a notch.
Once you have those basics covered, you can add a little personality to your setup with an alternative option or two. A custom neon sign won’t do much to illuminate your space, but it will add color and fun to the room. A Himalayan salt lamp is supposed to have all kinds of health benefits, but even if those are bunk, they’ll still cast you and your space in a very flattering pink glow.
Plus, be sure to check out Gizmodo’s suggestions for keeping your house well-lit during a blackout. They may not be the most aesthetically pleasing options around, but when the power goes down and there’s no internet, trust us, you’re going to want to have something to read (and find your way to the bathroom) by.
Zan Romanoff is a freelance writer and the author of the novels A SONG TO TAKE THE WORLD APART and GRACE AND THE FEVER. She lives and works in Los Angeles.