7 Proven Tips & Tricks to Brighten a Dark Room In 2023

A dark room can often suppress our moods. Knowing that how can we add natural light to them? Here are the tips to brighten a dark room.

Brighten a dark room

The central problem most people face while decorating their spaces is the extraction and utilisation of natural light. Having lived in my current apartment for more than a year, I have experienced it first-hand. One of the rooms in my apartment doesn’t get enough natural light, or it is so dark that it seems like night has already fallen by the time you pull the curtain. And let me tell you that it’s not only the decor blunder but a leading cause of mood swings in your personality. According to Tom Wehr, a psychiatrist at the National Institute of Health, there is an elevation in mood during summers and springs because of the amount of sunlight one is exposed to. It is because, in turn, natural light increases the production of serotonin, elevating mood and keeping depression at bay. Hence, daylight affects not only how we feel but also how we feel about our homes in general. For instance, spend a morning without going out till evening and working in a darker atmosphere. During the evening, you will all be running from your homes. And somehow, I accept the fact that spaces which have no sunlight or natural light cause more depression and frequent mood disorders, as they are uninviting and have a lack of energy. Here are a few tips I used to brighten a dark room and to increase the sense of natural light in it to indemnify this problem which affects both our decor and mental health. Now, you might be wondering that there are hundreds of copies of this question on the internet, so how does this one stand out? Let me tell you that I have applied these tips in my real life, and they have worked wonders. If you are convinced, shall we start?

How to Brighten a Dark Room?

1. Enhance Your Windows.

I know you all have beautiful windows that make your space feel better, but I am sure in our wrong rooms, they are highly at inappropriate positions, hindering the natural light to enter our spaces. Now the first thing to do is that if your windows have opaque glasses or any nets, remove all of them and keep a clear glassed window, which gives you maximum light in a day. The best windows that provide enough ventilation and light are sliding ones, skylights and even single-hung or double-hung. Next, remove all the heavy curtains, drapes, and blinds because they will make things worse for lights. Now use light fabric curtains, or the best one is sheer white curtains, which would give a subtle look to your room and fill it with light. These are the most elementary steps which you can do to brighten a dark room. But as I promised, there are more as you scroll down.

Glass Window to brighten a dark room

2. Create Your Light.

Now this is the most crucial tip from my personal experience. You might see a professional photographer who uses a shiny surface as a reflector to bring out the natural light onto the subject to click a perfect shot. It similarly works in the window light and might be the best tip on the internet. What you have to do is add a shelf above a window to create a reflecting surface, and you will see the change. Further, remember that you have to paint it light so that it reflects best. The second thing you have to add here to enhance light from a window is building a bookcase near it with glass doors and lighter colours to gain the most out of the reflection. If you do so, you will see that suddenly the light is even more in your room.

Shelf over bedroom window to brighten up a dark room
By Magnolia

One more additional tip is that you can add a skylight with a proper window landscaping technique, but the skylights often cause heat loss and increased energy bills. Hence to brighten up a dark room instantly, you can give thought to constructing a skylight, but always remember to use a proper window treatment or shading from landscaping to prevent heat loss.

Skylight with tree shade
By equipo de arquitectura

3. Give Your Home a Better Look With Switch Bulbs.

The best part of your decor is through picking a proper switch bulb. Now, how you can select an appropriate one for your space is a big dilemma. So, to cope with it, I am giving you two crucial factors to choose a proper lightbulb. Firstly, you need to check the Kelvin degrees of the bulb. If it is 5500 degrees kelvin with a colour index of 100, it is pure natural light. And the best among the market which produces such is Reveal bulbs, which eliminate the yellow light and give you a better space. For energy-conscious people, there is an option to choose CFLs with a 15-watt power, producing similar brightness as a 60-watt incandescent light bulb.

4. Highlight the Space Wisely.

Among all the tips, this one remains a crucial one. Now all of us know that light either gets reflected, absorbed or transmitted, and it all depends on the objects surrounding our space. The trick to creating an illusion of more natural light is to plan how light will react to the largest and most significant pieces in your room. If you have an enormous collection of antiques or objects in your dark room, arrange them in a manner with more shiny items and fewer black items. For a dramatic appeal, you can choose a few specific artefacts of metallic surface or mirror that can reflect your light.

Glass shelf with shiny decor to brighten up a dark room
By Decoholic

5. The Three Layers of Light.

Whenever we decorate our space, we tend to overlook the type of lighting we choose. There are three basic types of lighting required to adore the aspect of appropriate brightness- ambient, accent and task. Now the ambient lights are the background lights which can establish an overall illumination of the space with a soft glow. You can go for ceiling mount fixtures with a dimmer to create a variety of moods for your room. Always remember that you need to use the wall as a reflector to help create a natural light effect and brighten a dark room. For instance, you could have a fixture 20 inches away from the wall in an 8-foot ceiling so you can see better without causing eye strain! When you get confused with all the different options, you can opt for the no-thinking option, which allows the beam of light to overlap by placing more fixtures closer together.

As for accent lights, you must direct them toward specific objects or areas that you wish to highlight. Their primary purpose is to highlight the things you find fascinating in a room. The most effective ones are track lights, spotlights or table lamps. However, many people create a blunder by mixing every single light in an ugly way. To prevent such a mistake, think that your accent light does not spot more than one object or surface. Many people choose pendants or chandeliers for accent lighting as they draw good attention. To select a right-sized chandelier use this formula, room height in inches x 0.25= height of chandelier in inches. One thing you can’t neglect is to make sure that they are not putting sensory overload on your eyes. For this tip, you have to use the accent lights sparingly.

How to brighten a dark room
By Lyns Design Style

The last ones are task lights which make your life and purpose clear. For instance, the table lamp in your study is an example. You can always create good fixtures in either wall cabinets or your book library, which you created near your windows.

6. Let Your Walls Speak.

In dark rooms, you should always paint the walls lighter so they reflect light in the best way – and use artwork in a post-impressionist style to create an illusion of brilliant landscapes. Also, try to use plain walls and minimalist decor with no darker wallpapers to get a regulated natural light. Always remember that your floor, ceiling and wall must harmonically reflect the light, so make a lighter colour scheme for them and hence help to add natural light to a dark room.

Brighten up a dark room with art and white walls
By Wildflower Home Blog

7. Finish up with a Light decor.

Last but not least, use space decor items that are effective, uncluttered and evenly spaced. Additionally, make sure you have a good command of light-coloured soft fabrics as they would give you instant results of an airy atmosphere in your room.

Neutral decor to brighten a dark room
By Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen / Alium

Final Words.

Now that I have given you a brief account or tips to brighten a dark room and get the best out of your space, you have to experiment with it and show me the best possible creativity from your side. Also, for me, it is quite difficult to adapt to a darker space as it affects the brain and thoughts, so you should act today!

Frequently Asked Questions.

What colour makes a dark room brighter?

Neutral colours or pure white are the most suitable options to brighten a dark room.

How to make a dark room brighter?

A brighter room is scientifically proven to elevate mood during the summer and spring. To achieve similar conditions without making efforts for construction, follow this guide with actionable tips.

How do you fake natural light in a dark room?

The best way to fake natural light in a dark room is using a light with 5500 degrees Kelvin and a colour index of 100. Further, to enhance the results, you can use different articles such as mirrors or shiny objects.


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