Bright Ideas For Making Successful Lighting Choices

By: Thomas Cook

Bright Ideas For Making Successful Lighting Choices

Unfortunately many condo builders simply install the cheapest ceiling fixtures possible when they construct and sell suites so it’s up to the owner to make some lighting changes that will enhance the buyer’s experience.

Remember, if the buyer can’t see it, they’re not going to like it.

The first step is to enhance any natural light that’s available.  Heavy window coverings should be pulled back all the way, shutters should be opened and vertical/horizontal blinds set for maximum light.

In most cases you should do this day and night if there’s a view out your windows.  In an ideal world, you’d have blinds that adjust from the bottom up AND from the top down.  With those you can manipulate the view so there’s privacy but still allow light to come in.

Of course if your windows are dirty, that doesn’t help.  Get out on that balcony and clean the windows inside and out, including any balcony railing glass, so the view is crisp and clear.  If there’s no balcony, at least get the interior side washed.

If there’s any furniture blocking the outside view, this is the time to move it away or into storage.

So now that we’ve got that figured out, let’s move on to your electric lighting.  First, walk around with pen and paper in hand all the light switches on and make a list of any burnt-out bulbs that need replacing when you go to Home Depot.  Sometimes those compact fluorescent high efficiency light bulbs don’t throw off much light and may need to be replaced with more conventional ones.  You can always put them back in place after the sale is firm.

Do ceiling fixtures have a collection of dust or dead bugs that need a cleanup?

It might be time to consider replacing some ceiling fixtures, especially in the kitchen, bathroom and living room to update them for today’s buyers.  Good lighting can enhance a room’s size and liveability and show off specific highlights.  Under-cabinet lighting is perfect for enhancing your counter-tops and Ikea offers some inexpensive choices.

Some sort of track lighting is excellent for illuminating various work areas in the kitchen and in hallways.  Ideally the fixture would have 3-4 swivel heads with halogen spots which could be focused where you need them.  Pendant lighting is terrific to highlight island counters.

I’m definitely not a fan of overhead lighting for the living room or bedroom - it’s usually too harsh and makes it hard to read a newspaper or book.  Light that flows down from either stand-alone or table lamps is perfect to accentuate seating configurations.  

Shop at Ikea or other home supply stores to get fixtures that would be appropriate for your condo suite AND the likely condo buyer demographic that you’re aiming for.  The expense of new fixtures where needed is very minor compared to today’s home values.

Lastly, turn those lights on!  Even in the daytime, lights should be on everywhere to accentuate your home’s features.