Light bulbs… this one simple change can make a difference in staging your home

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If you are planning on putting your home on the market, you are no stranger to the ever increasing list of minor repairs and touch-ups.  It can be overwhelming because it there is always something to be done to make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

What if I told you that there is one simple change that will make a dramatic difference in the staging of your home – strategic lighting.

The right light can make any room look more spacious and therefore more desirable. It can create a dramatic mood and draw attention to focal points in your décor and architecture.  Also, it’s a pretty inexpensive staging boost compared to re-tiling your bathroom.

Real estate sales expert and author Robert Irwin says a dark house turns off potential buyers.

“Not only will they keep you from getting a quick sale, but they will also cut down on the amount of money you’ll get in offers.  On the other hand, if you lighten up these dark spots, you can very quickly improve the value of your property.” – Robert Irwin

The simple solution is to replace older model fixtures and bulbs. But before you get lost in the lighting department of your local hardware store, understand that not all light bulbs are created equal.  We have come a long way from Edison’s incandescent lightbulb designed in 1878.

There are several light bulb options available to you.  There are advantages and drawbacks to many of the light bulbs available in today’s market.  It is best to decide which bulb with be most effective with the space you are trying to illuminate.

Check out this basic guide from HGTV of the 5 types of bulbs available today:


The Incandescent bulb: 

Incandescent%20Bulb_ID-10082776This is the traditional light bulb that we are all familiar with.  It is the most common and the least expensive bulb on the market.  You get what you pay for with this bulb. Incandescent bulbs typically have a lifespan of 700 to 1,000 hours.  These bulbs produce a light that has a warm, inviting quality and is very complimentary to skin tones and psychologically appealing.  Incandescent bulbs can be used with a dimmer but it should be noted that they are not nearly as energy efficient as other bulbs.

The Halogen bulb:

imagesThe halogen bulb operates on a similar principal to the incandescent light bulb.  They light they give is closer to natural daylight or “white light”.   Colors appear sharper under halogen light and the bulbs can be dimmed. They’re a little more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, but are more expensive and burn at a higher temperature. Most often halogen bulbs are used in under-cabinet lighting, pendant lights and recessed cans.

The Fluorescent bulb:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the bulb that you associate with office buildings or schools.  These long skinny tubes give a flat, cold light, often bluish and harsh. It is a daylight-equivalent and cannot be put on a dimmer. There are many types of fluorescents on the market: warm ones, cool ones and special-colored ones, and they typically produce more light and last longer than incandescent and are slightly more expensive.  Fluorescent bulbs work well to light large areas like basements or attics where you are less concerned about ascetics and more concerned about practicality.

The CFL bulb: 

hand and  lampCompact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) consume a quarter of the energy that incandescent bulbs do and last 10 times longer. Unlike the old fluorescent lights, CFLs are quiet, instant-on and have warmer, color-corrected tones. They can be used anywhere you would use a typical incandescent light bulb. CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury, a harmful substance. Although the bulbs contain far less mercury than other household items, care needs to be taken to prevent breakage. Also, when CFLs burn out, they should be recycled.  Be very caref

The LED bulb:

Generic-LED-light-bulbThe light-emitting diode bulb (LED) is a lighting technology that is long-lasting and extremely energy-efficient, but they’re not ready to supplant all other bulbs yet. For one, they provide only directional light, not diffused light, making them ideal for under-counter task lighting, but not general room illumination. To overcome this, new models consist of large arrays of LEDs clustered together, but at prices from five to six times higher than CFLs, the bulbs are not for everybody.


You may not be ready to commit to the cost of a LED bulb especially if you are planning on selling your home.  The LED bulbs may cost more up front, but they do save a lot of money in the long run.  Incandescent light bulbs are very inexpensive but they cannot go the distance like LED’s and CFL’s.  That’s probably why incandescent light bulbs are being phased out: An almost complete ban on their sale started in 2014 and will take full effect in 2020. Simply put, they waste a lot of energy and don’t last very long.

Consider switching out traditional light bulbs for LED’s in a hard-to-reach spot, like a cathedral ceiling fixture, since you won’t have to replace it for many, many years.


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3 thoughts on “Light bulbs… this one simple change can make a difference in staging your home

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