(NewsUSA) - Everyone is starting to spruce up their homes for holiday entertaining. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), it's easy to make your home warm and inviting by updating your ambient lighting.
Start with the exterior.
The holidays typically involve gatherings, which means your outside lighting is an important element for giving your home a welcoming feel.
"Landscape lighting can solve a lot of different problems," says Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for the ALA and associate professor at the University of Kentucky's School of Interior Design.
Rey-Barreau says this can include path lighting to direct guests to your home, and suggests you consider LED lighting, which is energy efficient and has a long lifespan.
Brent Protzman, manager of energy information and analytics at Lutron Electronics, also offers some exterior lighting tips.
"To create a magnetic, inviting exterior, first provide general facade illumination to highlight the form of your home's exterior and avoid dark areas near the main entrance," Protzman says. "Adding landscape lighting to trees, shrubs and walkways is also welcoming."
Welcome guests as they enter.
Given the colder temperatures and snow, your guests will spend some time in your entryway to peel off winter coats and boots. With this in mind, you do not want them fumbling around in the dark. Rick Wiedemer, president of Hinkley Lighting, says your foyer should always have a central fixture.
"For a two-story foyer, use a large hanging fixture," Wiedemer says. "A one-story foyer is going to have a nice flush or semi-flush decorative piece."
Protzman and Rey-Barreau both suggest installing dimmers as well.
"Having the entry lighting too intense can be uncomfortable after coming in from a dark exterior," Protzman says. "Consider using a dimmer in an entryway to cut the intensity at night and reduce potential glare and discomfort."
Create a warm ambience.
Your home heating system and a fireplace are not the only ways you can chase away the freezing temperatures outside. The color temperature of your lighting can lend to a warm atmosphere.
"We believe 2700 Kelvin is the most used and most pleasant," Wiedemer explains. "It is most like normal outside lighting without looking into the sun."
LED light bulbs can also enhance your ambient lighting. Some LEDs are tunable so you can adjust the color temperature with a built-in dial or a smartphone app. Additionally, you can find color-changing LED products if you want to alter the theme to match the holiday.
Visit a local ALA showroom or americanlightingassoc.com to learn more.