hygge smiles candles

5 ways to “hygge” lighting

It is said that the main aspect to achieving hygge in your home is lighting. Light can make or break a space. It can invite or deter. How many times have you passed by a restaurant and based your primary selection on the lighting and atmosphere inside? Right. Me too.

Scandinavians have a distinctive way of working with light in their interiors. The emphasis will always be on achieving the utmost level of hygge. The goal is to create a pleasant, cosy atmosphere by working with different kinds of light fixtures, brightness settings, shadows and candles. I’ve taken the liberty of collecting 10 ways to help you achieve your hygge @ home.

1: Invest in dimmable lights

This is probably the most important tip since playing around with dimmable lighting is the easiest way to create a relaxed and inviting ambiance in your home. In my home for example, all lights are dimmable. Ceiling lights, night stand lamps, movable fixtures, reading lights, … all dimmable! You can create the right mood by increasing or decreasing the light levels when watching TV, reading a book, having company over, etc. All these events ask for a different lighting situation and if all your fixtures are dimmable, it’s fun to play around with them until you’ve found the right setting. Now, do make sure that the dimmable lights you invest in are programmable (home automation, HueLights, whatever) so you don’t have to manually reset the whole lighting scheme every time you want to switch to another activity.

2: Fairy lights are always a good idea

What is your favourite part of Christmas time? It’s the fairy lights right? Alright, alright… I know it’s about being with your loved ones and sharing love and joy and presents around the Christmas table. But other than that, you step outside and go to a Christmas market and you can’t help but smile. A million twinkly lights around you and it makes you feel great, doesn’t it? What if I told you that you do not have to wait for that time of the year but that you can easily add them to your decor – inside and outside? Well, you can! They are a major source of hygge and should therefore earn a place in your home. You can place them on a dining table or around any article of furniture in your living room. I have added a string of them around my kid’s bed board as a night light, you don’t really notice them in the daylight but at night, they do the trick!

3: There aren’t enough candles in the world

Another really important factor of hygge is candles. A natural warm light source that always manages to increase the ambiance level of a room by 400%. Scented candles have the added benefit of appealing to two of the human senses but be careful not to use too many of them or to mix too many different kinds of smells. Another useful tip is to add some candles with holes in the candle holders, they make for quite the romantic little spectacles around the room. You can also use LED candles for areas that are not frequent in use or have little children and/or pets in them.

4: Overhead lighting is overrated

When attempting to achieve a hygge atmosphere, limit the overhead lighting. The wanted level of ambiance is much more easily achieved by movable dimmable fixtures mixed with floor lamps, reading lamps and table lamps. Play around with them, increase and decrease the lumen and move them around until you’ve reached the desired effect.

5: Be creative

There is nothing more hygge than some original or even home made light fixtures. Whether it’s lighting made out of glass bottles, industrial lamps with soft lights or even natural material such as flower pots and branches repurposed as a lamp, the options are limitless and the effect is awe-inspiring!


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