Keeping your sunroom optimally lit is never a problem during the daylight hours, when the sun’s rays come pouring in, creating a beautiful warmth all day long. However, it’s a different ball game when the sun goes down, as the height of your sunroom combined with a lack of wall space makes it hard to light well.
Keep the Candles Burning
Too often people underestimate the amount of lights they need, or only provide one level of light. All good home improvement shows have lighting on different levels to create more atmosphere and to highlight different features. The same theories hold true when thinking about lighting your sunroom in the evening. Here are some sunroom lighting tricks to keep your room looking amazing all night long:
- Ceiling mounted fans – for a big, bold lighting effect, install a ceiling fan to light your sunroom. Not only will you be able to illuminate the whole room in one go, you can also help circulate the air; a big plus if you have a tall A-framed roof and you want to keep the heating to a minimum.
- Wall sconces – a lot of sunroom owners favour wall sconces, which look effectively like upside down lamps on the walls. The tall ceilings of most sunrooms means that up lighting give a much softer effect than in flat ceiling rooms, and the external coverings of the sconces can be easily matched to your rooms’ theme or décor.
- Table lamps – placing lamps on the end tables near sofas and arm chairs pushes a lot of light down to the floor. This is a great plus if you have particularly nice flooring, such as an oriental rug or hardwood inlays. The contrast of the downward light of a table lamp and the upward light of a sconce will give your room a beautiful atmosphere.
- Accent lighting – accent lights are spot lamps that are designed to pick out specific sections of the room. For example, a simple light underneath a favourite piece of artwork will immediately draw your guests’ attention to it, while track lighting near a book shelf allows to pick individual volumes or shelves.
- A large mirror – the final sunroom lighting trick is to place a large mirror on what used to be the external wall of your home. This has the double effect of acting as a piece of art, especially if you have an ornate frame for it, as well as reflecting light back into the room, making your sunroom look and feel bigger than it actually is.
You will need to make sure that you plan out these changes ahead of time as many of them will require specialist help. However, they will all transform your sunroom for the better and make it much more user friendly once the sun has gone down.
Simple Lighting Tricks
All of these sunroom lighting tricks are geared towards a drastic overall of your lighting system; adding a ceiling mounted lights or track lighting will involve an electrician digging into walls and rewiring your current set up. Fortunately, there are some simple sunroom lighting tricks that don’t require a massive amount of time, money and effort, but that will give your sunroom a brand new lighting look:
- Change the shades – many sunroom owners prefer to light their rooms with lamps as they create interesting shadows and create a cosy and intimate atmosphere at night. You can use this to your advantage as simply changing the lampshades will create an entirely new feel to your room. For example, changing to a lighter colour shade will increase the ambient light in the room, while changing to a narrower shape will cause the lamp to glow more, giving off more colour from the shade.
- Change the bulbs – it’s amazing how used we get to different light levels. It’s not until someone turns on a light in a room that we notice how dark it has become, or vice versa. Examine the wattage of the bulbs in each of your lamps and light fittings and see if you can increase it by 20 watts or more. This will give you a much brighter space, and you can then use shades and drapes to control the overall effect of this additional light.
- Add candles – if you’re looking to completely revamp your sunroom into a more relaxing or romantic space, then consider replacing some of the light fixings with candles. To save yourself hours of cleaning candle wax, make sure you buy candles that sit inside glass containers as these are easily cleaned. Your best bet is to buy big thick church style candles as these will last for a long time and will give off plenty of light.
The big thing to remember with any of these sunroom lighting tricks is that the walls of your room will predominantly be made of glass. This means that they will be reflective, and even more so when the sun is down and you notice the reflections more. Therefore, all of your lights should be installed with either low wattage bulbs or dimmer switches. These will allow you to control the light levels, and adjust them for different events.
One final sunroom lighting trick that is both dramatic and intensive in terms of time and money is to install a fireplace of some sort. Not only will the flames provide a generous source of light, but they’ll also introduce a new focal point to your room as well as a welcome heat source for any sort of sunroom. Many people who are new to fireplaces prefer a pellet stove as it doesn’t require chopping or lighting, and the stoves are relatively small. However, nothing says cozy on a winter’s night than a log burner, and the time you’ll put in to chopping up firewood and learning how to build a long lasting fire will be more than compensated by a homely feel all night long.