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Six easy ways to improve your kitchen, bathroom and bedroom

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Updated: 1/17/2013 10:13 am

(BPT) - Good lighting is not something most people think much about until they don't have it. Living in a well-lit room is a much more pleasurable experience than trying to cook, read, entertain or do just about anything in a dark, shadowy space.

The American Lighting Association offers these tips for improving the lighting in your kitchen, bathroom and bedroom:

* Add to your task lighting. Many bathrooms and kitchens have plenty of overhead light, but are often lacking when it comes to task lighting, says David Martin, designer with lighting manufacturer Hubbardton Forge. “At the kitchen sink, for example, you can eliminate shadows by including two sources of light.” The result is a workstation with easier-to-see spaces that alleviate eyestrain.

* Include mood-enhancing lights and dimmers. “Places such as bathrooms and bedrooms - once mostly functional - now serve as an extension of our living spaces,” says Todd Phillips, owner and senior designer with Quoizel Lighting. The lights in those rooms should be both hardworking and mood enhancing. For example, inexpensive, easy-to-install cove lights in the kitchen can provide soft illumination after mealtime and cleanup. Additional lights placed at a bathroom vanity and aimed out toward the face can help brighten grooming tasks and offer awakening morning light. A bonus: Those controls can help accommodate varying levels of natural daylight, too.

* Increase the size of your bedside task light. One of the bigger mistakes Phillips sees in bedrooms is the size of bedside lamps - they're either too small or not adjustable. “The lamp needs to provide light where you need it, and if it's too small it can't do that,” says Phillips. Go for a larger size with increased lumen capacity.

* Install track lighting for flexibility. Stationary overhead lights are fine when you need to flood a space with light, but too often kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms lack flexible sources of light. A good solution is track lighting. “You can direct one or two of the lights on the track and point them to a wall to add accent light for artwork, and use other lights on the track to create different focal points,” Phillips says.

* Add a light fixture for drama. A side benefit of beautiful, light-providing chandeliers and pendants is that they provide focal points. “New light sources give homeowners some great options,” says Phillips. “You can drop in a chandelier over a bathtub to create drama and get mood and ambience too.”

As a bonus, those fixtures help provide the finishing touch for different colors and accents. “People sometimes put quite a lot of money and effort into their rooms and lighting can help to show them to their best effect,” says Martin.

* Add a ceiling fan with a light source. With the flip of a switch, a ceiling fan with a light kit can improve a room's livability with both comfort and light. It is just one more example of how light works wonders in the home. “Having more lighting options creates a better lifestyle and it enriches our lives in terms of the time we spend in our homes,” says Phillips.

To see the latest lighting products and to talk to an expert about how to improve lighting in your kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, visit your local ALA-member retail showroom or go online to www.americanlightingassoc.com.

Photo courtesy of Tech Lighting

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