Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

6 lighting ideas to brighten up your room and day

A room’s light can greatly impact the way you feel when you enter it. Brighter areas make us feel more awake, productive, vibrant, and happy, so naturally most of us prefer those spaces.

If you’ve got dreary, dark rooms that drain your energy and make you tired, don’t be discouraged. It’s very possible to brighten up those dingy corners and shed some light on the subject.

Here are a few of our favorite lighting ideas to brighten up your room and day:

Getty Images

Keep looking up

One way to brighten up a dim space is to install lighting that draws the eye upward. Ceiling fixtures like chandeliers can do this quite well.

To build a contemporary look, go for round, white opaque bulbs instead of the flame-shaped, yellowish bulbs normally found on traditional chandeliers. While both types have their place, the modern kind will most definitely bring more light into a dreary space.

Get a room-brightening ceiling fixture from Cedar & Moss. The Alto Compass 6” Opal chandelier is $600, available in several sizes and other customizations. We recommend the bronze finish for the boldest brightening purposes.

Getty Images

Banish dark corners

Torchiere lamps, club lamps, and similar types of lighting can rid your room of dark corners — but nothing does the job like the Minimal Lamp. The uber-minimalist Minimal Lamp stands directly in the corner to light it up, while taking up the least amount of space possible in the process.

Get a Minimal Lamp for $193. Its measurements are 55″ H x 16″ L, it comes with a floor switch, and is fully dimmable. It’s constructed of aluminum and is available in black or white. Note: The Minimal Lamp comes in a “3-pin U.K. plug,” according to the website, however, “universal worldwide adaptors are included in ALL orders and can be used worldwide.” It’s shipped free via FedEx universal economy within five to seven days.

Bring out the brightening decor

End tables, book shelves, and other decor can make or break the brightness in the room, as well, so stick with light-colored or even mirrored furnishings in your dark rooms in order to brighten them up.

This mirrored Butler Garbo Console Table from Macy’s should help things out at $759. It’s sleek and silver with a solid poplar frame and has dimensions of 40″ W x 32″ H x 14″ D. Its mirrored finish should reflect light all around it, while highlighting the beauty of anything placed nearby. In addition, it weighs 41 pounds.

For a slightly smaller, more-affordable option, check out the Matty Cube Mirrored Side Table from Zin Home for $282. Each side of this cube is covered in a solid antiqued mirror, culminating in full dimensions of 16” W x 18” H x 16” D. This would make a stunning conversation piece grouped with a modern living room set. Free shipping is offered on orders over $100.

Getty Images

Layer the lights in the room

Use a mixture of task, ambient, and accent lighting to brighten up your room in the most pleasant and thorough way possible, says HGTV.

Task lighting

For an excellent task light, give All Modern’s Freemont 5-Light Kitchen Island Linear Pendant fixture a glance. Available in a Vintage Gold, Vintage White, Rubbed Bronze, or Antique Silver finish, this fixture works well above a kitchen island to highlight your meal prep, or over the dining table at dinnertime. Dimensions are 20” H x 40” W x 12” D, and it weighs 18 pounds. It’s $290 with free shipping.

Ambient lighting

If you’re looking for ambient lighting, this Swere 3-light 16-inch Wood Bead Globe Chandelier from Overstock is the perfect piece to bring a warm glow to nearly any room. At $210, it measures 15.75” x H 15.75”, and it includes three light bulbs. Standard shipping is free.

Getty Images

Accent lighting

To accent the books, objet d’art, or other conversation pieces you may have positioned throughout the room, grab a Set of 2 Morning Dew Mercury Glass Accent Table Lamps from Target. Perfectly modern and minimalist, the shades are a gentle white linen, while the glass base of each is a soft, neutral green. The set is $45, and the dimensions of each lamp are 14.75” H x 4.75” W x 4.75” D.

Use blinds or roman shades

When sprucing up a room, take any heavy drapes and curtains out of the picture and replace them with blinds or shades that can be securely tucked away in the morning, allowing natural light to flow in abundantly.

Getty Images

Roman shades

Try out West Elm’s Crossweave Cordless Roman Shades in cool Natural Canvas for a room-lightening window covering without the heavy curtain feel. Depending upon the size of your windows, these cost between $199-219. The cordless design makes these safe for households with pets and children about, and the order arrives with all the hardware you’ll need to easily assemble your shades.

Getty Images


If you haven’t seen Bed Bath & Beyond’s Top-Down Bottom-Up Cellular Shades from Real Simple yet, you’re in for a treat. Lower the highest blinds to let bright, natural light in from the top when you need more privacy, or lift traditionally from the bottom up when you don’t. Available in several sizes, these beauties come in lustrous Alabaster and Polar. They’re $90, with free shipping offered for orders over $39.

Getty Images

String up some sparkly lights

They aren’t just for the holidays anymore, says Decoist. Turns out, hanging delicate, twinkly strands of light is popular in any season and countless locales from hotels to restaurants to even your shabby-chic foyer or living room. Get a 10-foot LED spool of Glimmer Strings from Pier 1 for $15 to weave around your drabbest room and enjoy the flickering of their lightning-bug effect. Three AAA batteries will have these in action, a timer shuts them off automatically, and a remote function allows them to be turned on or off from afar.

Editors' Recommendations

Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
Get a stylish design: 4 key factors when choosing kitchen island lighting
What to look for when lighting for your kitchen island, the busiest spot in your home
White modern kitchen with black pendant lights and black stools

The kitchen is the heart of your home, and at the center of all the action is your kitchen island. It’s where you’ll prep and enjoy delicious meals as well as entertain friends and family. When necessary, it can transform into a home office or homework station for the kids, no matter the time of the day! This multipurpose space deserves its own lighting to not only illuminate your work but also to show off your personal style.

Unlike other rooms in your home where a single ceiling light may suffice, your kitchen island needs its own designated lighting display. The right lights over your kitchen island can create ambiance and style, and pull together the overall design of your kitchen. However, with so many lighting options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine which will work best in your space. So, if you're looking to renovate your kitchen island lighting, here are some bright ideas for an instant upgrade.

Read more
6 amazing homemade Christmas gift ideas that cost less than $50 to make
DIY Christmas gifts that are heartfelt and won't break the bank
Christmas gift wrapped in brown paper with cranberries

Though holidays aren’t all about gifts, your long shopping lists may imply otherwise. Americans will spend over $900 on gifts this year, even amid the pandemic and its associated economic and health concerns.
However, breaking the bank isn't a prerequisite to having a fun holiday. Whether you have a lower budget or are hoping to give a loved one something truly unique, homemade Christmas gifts are a great option. They offer the perfect way to give something personalized, and maybe even delicious, at a fraction of the cost.
It may seem intimidating, but some gifts are a cinch to make, whether you consider yourself crafty or a skilled home chef. These six homemade holiday gifts will wow your friends and family who have everything.

Social media recipe “book”
Total price: Free
The holidays are often full of traditional dishes best enjoyed once per year, like dad’s favorite green bean casserole or mom’s delicious Christmas cookies. A virtual recipe book can be a great way to store them, so your loved ones don’t have to dig through their drawers to find them every year. Get the free book started using a Pinterest or Instagram account and add all of your family’s favorite holiday recipes. Ultimately, this gift can keep on giving. Give your loved ones the password so they can add their favorite recipes throughout the year, resulting in a gift you all can cherish every year.

Read more
9 small apartment storage ideas that will make your home feel super expansive
Get creative with these storage space ideas
Underbed storage drawers

Apartment living has plenty of advantages, but when it comes to storage, your small space can lack in that department. When you’ve decorated every corner and you have limited square footage, where do you stash all of your clutter? You need strategic small apartment storage ideas that work for you, not against you; luckily, that's what we're here for.

If you’re looking for ways to maximize storage in a small apartment, you’ll need to get creative in each room. From taking your storage vertical to choosing pieces of furniture that multitask and adding shelving that can transform the room, here are nine genius ways to make the most of your storage solutions.
1. Transform your entryway

Read more