What makes an office feel like an office? What makes a room feel cozy or cold? Believe it or not, it’s more than the color of the walls or the decor. Different lighting in the same room can change the feeling of the room entirely.
In general, overhead “can” lights tend to make a room feel industrial. Modern homes usually rely on cans for the primary light source in the room.
In an effort to save money, home owners sometimes put compact fluorescent bulbs in the cans. The light from compact fluorescent bulbs is cold and can make even the warmest room feel like a warehouse. This is mainly because the light from CFL is blue in color. Compact fluorescent bulbs generally don’t work with dimmer switches either, making it impossible to temper the harshness of the light. Additionally, many people can hear the hum of CFL bulbs, and notice the flickering.
Halogen bulbs provide high-output high temperature light, but the light can be very harsh, and many fixtures are not designed to handle the heat.
LED bulbs are becoming more affordable, work with dimmers, and can make the general lighting in the room feel more like sunlight, but incandescent bulbs are still the most widely available warm lighting.
Incandescent bulbs are still the most widely available and least expensive warm lighting. They do not flicker, and they power up immediately.
Bulb-choice aside, the real problem with “can” lights is that they glare down on you from overhead like baleful monster eyes. As much as they try to provide general lighting, they are still spotlights. The best way to make a room feel cozy is to use lamps. The lamps themselves influence the decor since they can be included with the overall design of the room.
For a warm, comfortable, well-lit room, select lamp light for your primary source. Have your outlets wired so that one of the pair of plugs is controlled by a light switch and trade in those “cans” for a decorative chandelier or two.