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Light Up Your Life

Do you live in a home without overhead lights? It wasn't until we built our house in 2005 that I realized why so many homes are built without them. They are a costly upgrade! Our lighting budge was blown out of the water in a nano-second. We did take the hit and put in recessed and overhead lights throughout and have never regretted it for a moment.

I go into lots of homes that are dark, even with the lights turned on. I am not a trained lighting expert, nor do I play one on TV. Yes, lack of direct sunlight, heavy window treatments, dark décor and low ceilings are all factors. Some of these things we can change, and some we just can't. Overhead lights can be added, but it is costly and not high on the budget list for most people. Here are some simple tips on how to light up your life. Thank you, Debby Boone. Your cue to start singing her 1977 hit song,"You Light Up My Life." If you are too young, look up the original on YouTube.

Ok, so now we are left with table lamps and floor lamps to do the work for us. Lamps should be both ambient and task oriented. Light should be balanced throughout the room - four corners should have light in at least three corners. Task lighting, a.k.a. table lamp, should cast light down onto your task from above your shoulder. It is common for me to see side tables with lamps that are just too short. You will be amazed how mush easier it is to read, knit or do the crossword puzzle when the lighting is right. The general rule of thumb is the top of the light should be 58-62" from the floor. So in general, a 30" lamp from the bottom of base to top of shade, plus the average end and bedside table height of 28" gets you in the range. Check out this online article, Lighting tips from Real Simple.

Next problem, The wall switch near the door never turns on the lamp from the right outlet! Murphy's law on this one. Or, the house doesn't even have a wall switch! This is very common in older homes. I have a solution and it's easy, tool-free and much cheaper than calling an electrician. Buy yourself some wireless remote wall switches for about $16 each and can be found at Amazon and most home improvement stores.

My experience is that it is just easier to order them online. Believe me, you will want at least one for every room in your house after you see the light. You simply plug the transmitter into the outlet closest to your lamp, plug the lamp into the transmitter, mount the remote wall switch in a convenient location using the mounting tape included anywhere within 80 feet of the transmitter.

Bam! The light is on. The light is off. No clapping involved.

Helpful Holiday Hint: I use them to turn on the Christmas tree lights. No more crawling behind the tree and listening to all of the needles fall off as I brush against it. Also works great for those hard to reach window candle lights.

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