Lighting As We Age Or At Any Age!


The type and amount of lighting will make a difference

We see color differently depending upon our age. Older people tend to see the colors in their environment very yellowed. In the past, the yellowish tinge may have been partly the bulb, but it doesn’t have to be today. In addition, most people, no matter what their age, do not use enough light to make their home comfortable.


Let’s start with a picture

Young or old, the best thing you could do is take a picture of one room at a time. I was shocked when I looked at my living room. The pictures showed a golden glow in the corner. Not the clean and clear light I thought I was seeing.



Advantages in changing to the new LED (Light emitting diode) bulbs

As I started to study the new light bulbs — I found more and more information to like about using them. I love LED and here are the reasons why:

The bulb

  • No flickering
  • Last tens of thousands of hours
  • Non-breakable bulbs
  • Can be waterproof


The lighting

  • LED lighting is pure color (monochromatic light) which requires no filtering
  • Won’t fade merchandise and artwork
  • Won’t prematurely age building finishes
  • Helps offer superior color point consistency


Sustainability, health, and your environment

  • LED bulbs don’t emit heat — the internal electronics can, but it is far less than halogen or incandescent bulbs
  • Energy efficient, sustainable design (75% more efficient than incandescent)
  • Bulbs look like the old ones
  • They produce zero UV and no mercury
  • LED has been called the “Harmless Light” because it has no UV or IR ray


Adaptable to any interior design

They are dimmable and are offered in both warm and cool white.




What’s this warm and cool white and how do I choose?

Light bulbs are measure by Kelvins or K. Warm and cool are actually two ends of a scale and they will give you a different appearance in your home.

  • Traditional incandescent bulbs give off a yellowish light and have a temperature of 2,700 to 3,000K — similar to most halogen lighting.
  • LED bulbs start from 3,300K (Warm) to 5,000K (Cool) — tend to be white or bluer in appearance.


What colored bulb to use with what colors?

Bulbs emitting light close to red, orange and yellow are warm. Bulbs that give off light closest to blue, green and violet are considered cool. Warm colored bulbs enhance warm colored objects. Cool colored lights make cool colored objects appear cooler.

A few guidelines to follow:

  • Warm color lights over cool colored objects or vice versa, the objects will appear darker than their natural color.
  • Warm lights stimulate and cool lights are soothing.


Let’s use my black living room for an example:

I used cool lighting in a dark room to create a calm, relaxing effect with a bit of dramatic effect.




My red dining room was trickier to light.

This photo was the old incandescent bulbs — very dark and dingy.




Red is warm so my first thought was warm light bulbs. Here is the room using LED warm bulbs — Still not bright enough.




Due to the shade being gold and warm in color, I put in a cool light and what a difference. Even if your eye can’t immediately see it, the camera tells the story. You really have to play with your lighting to get the correct effect.



The amount of light needed in each room of your home

Every room needs 3 levels of lighting

    1. Task
    2. Overhead
    3. Mood

You don’t have to turn them all on at once

But when you need an overhead light and don’t have one, it could be serious. Your lamps don’t all have to match. Mix up the styles and remember the carrier is not as important as the bulb.


Tips for working with your decor

The darker the walls the more lights you need.

The higher the sheen level of your paint, the less lighting you need.


Remember — Light changes 4 times a day

Early AM — Warm light. Noon is Cool. Early Evening is warm and then you go to artificial. Play with it and keep yourself safe with enough lighting in each room. In my living room I have 12 sources of lighting. They’re never on all at once but they’re there if I need them.



Photo courtesy of Deborah Young Studio

For over 45 years, Margi Kyle, “The Color Doctor”, has built an astounding portfolio from the ever-important ‘Designer’s perspective’. Never idle, this professional interior designer has contributed to this industry as an interior designer, television host, mentor, keynote speaker, educator, and writer. Margi has taught interior design for over 45 years and is the executive director for We Make Color Easy, The Dewey Color System. You can book a seminar or color course with her by emailing her at


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