7 Ways to Use ‘Lighting’ When Selling Your House!

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Setting the Mood with Lighting

Have you ever considered how the lighting in your home  affects your buyer when selling? No?! Well to be honest, i’m not surprised, most people get the call to show their property and hustle about trying to scrub everything clean and they forget to ‘light it up’! I can’t say I blame you, most often your trusted Real Estate Professional will get there ahead of time and will turn on all of the lights anyway. 

But, it’s not only about having lights on, it’s about having the right choice of lighting that can really set the mood!

Let’s take a look at the many ways you can light up your home ‘effectively’ when selling your house. After all, you want your buyer to have a positive experience in each and every space they enter, right!

1. The Story of the Candle in the Window

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That warm fuzzy feeling

Do you know of the story behind placing a candle in the window? It dates back to the mid 1900’s so perhaps some of you are too young to know of this time old tradition. The idea of the candle in the window has a few meanings, but one that stands out the most, is one of ‘welcome’! Travellers would see the glow from a distance and know that this home was open for visitors. 

Nothing reads ‘inviting’ like the soft glow of a light in the window so if your house is for sale, consider keeping a light on in the evening during the high traffic times in your neighbourhood while your house in on the market. This light would be best received by a single table lamp or floor lamp by a window that is facing the street that people see when walking by, it is not necessary to have the entire room lit up.  This will evoke a warm and easy feeling to passerby’s. 


2. Outdoor Lighting

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Safe, Pretty, and Inviting!

Since we are on the topic of evening lighting, lets talk about lighting your outdoor areas. I cannot stress enough how important having a well lit entrance area is, especially since it gets dark here in Ottawa Ontario around 4:30 pm in the winter months. It would not be uncommon to have an evening viewing, so be sure that your outdoor entrance lights have no burnt bulbs and have the maximum wattage allowance for the fixture. Safety is key when considering outdoor lighting, but creating a glowing atmosphere is equally necessary when featuring your home for sale. 

Also consider, if you have spent valuable time and money on landscaping, it wouldn’t hurt to add some uplighting to your outdoor areas. This will enhance your garden and add value to your property. Not to mention that it looks absolutely beautiful!! During the Christmas season, colourful lights are an added bonus!

3. Light Your Fire!

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Make it cozy!

Several years ago, I was on the market to buy a house. I must have seen at least ten properties (you know how the house hunt goes, on and on you go until you find the one) and we finally came to ‘the one’ when I walked up onto the porch and I could smell the wood fire burning, and from the window I could see the flames flicker from the lit fire…. I was SOLD! My husband (at the time, oopsy) was sold on the garage, but for me, it was the glow and warmth the fire represented. It felt like HOME.

During the colder weather, whether it be a gas, electric or wood burning fire, I say ‘light your fire’ it sets the mood for sure! I would take advantage of this beautiful selling feature of your home! Not only does it create a warm and flickering glow that will cast beautiful shadows around the room, but it immediately says ‘come, sit down and relax by the fire’! Since buying a house if an emotional experience, I feel that this will make all the difference. 

4. Task Areas

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Let it shine

Setting the ambience aside for a minute, let’s talk about having ample lighting for task areas such as your; kitchen, laundry room, workshop and bathrooms and as well as your home gym or study. In these rooms you want to be sure that your task areas have sufficient lighting to ‘do the task’. There is nothing worse than trying to read the recipe, in your cookbook with poor lighting. 

When I refer to ample lighting I am not referring to bright white lights, but rather lighting that brightens the area indirectly, without casting shadows. There is a plethora of information on the internet on lighting that will work best for each area in your home, so do some homework and make sure that your house is well lit!


5. Ohh, that Sunset Glow!

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Captivating Sunsets

If you happen to be fortunate enough to have a jaw dropping sunset that sets the scene for your outdoor backdrop, then by all means book your viewings right before sunset!

Do you remember that house that I saw with the beautiful roaring fire that sold me on my first impression?! Well, when we walked about the house, it just so happened to be the perfect timing as the sun was setting right off of the family room. This was the ‘hook line and sinker’ for me. It sealed the deal! I could not take my eyes off of its beauty. I could see myself sitting there by the fire (there was yet another fireplace in this house, could it be more inviting) and watching the breathtaking beauty of ambre glow settling for the evening. 


6. Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is a great way to accentuate certain details within your home and it can truly bring to the space a sense of romance, dazzle and character!   There are so many ways that you can add accent lighting. If you have any of the features below in your house or are considering doing some upgrades, applying some of the following ideas will be sure to delight and perhaps surprise your buyer. Be sure that these features are turned on for viewings as well as your online photos!

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Nice way to light up a corner and create charm and whimsy!


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This is a great feature that will add a soft glow to the room.


  • Spot lights that light up your floor plants or artwork
  • Wall Sconces to illuminate a hallway 
  • Under cabinet lighting to act as a night light or add additional task lighting to your workspace or simply to add a fun spin on lighting your room such as neon lights under a bar or counter, this works great in bathrooms under the cabinetry, it’s a fun detail that is ‘thinking outside the box’.
  • Interior closet lighting that lights up when you open the door
  • Shower niche lights – love this effect!

7. Ceiling Fixtures

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Why not make your lighting fun! This looks like a piece of art in your room.

Since ceiling fixtures come with the house, I feel that you could really do yourself a profitable favor and add a better quality light fixture to each space in your home. Bare minimum make sure that it is up to date!! This is an important detail, since the perception from your buyer when; your light fixtures are out of date, is that there has been no upgrading done to the electrical. This will add value to your listing as your house will be perceived as well maintained. 

Lighting can to some people, be much like a piece of artwork or take on the sculptural effect when designing your space. 






Lighting with all of it’s importance, really can make a substantial impact on the decision your buyer makes when viewing your property! Remember that you MUST always take advantage of all of the features your house brings, which will impact the success of the sale of your property!

Light up your buyers life with a beautifully lit property!

Happy selling!

As always, helping you in caring for your Total Home!

Cindy Lutes
Professional Property Stylist
Transforming Interiors to a space you will be proud of!


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