You are obviously not going to increase your square footage using lights but the proper lighting can, in fact, make your home look a lot bigger than it does now.
This can be done in a couple of different ways.
- If you have a smaller room, reduce the number of accent lights you put in. The reason fewer accent lights make the room feel large is because highlighted areas are “pulled” to the forefront making them look closer. Turn off or remove that accent light and the same wall recedes making the room feel larger. Test it out! Shine two or three spotlights on a couple of walls in the room you are working on and see how it feels (or ask someone else to give you their feel about the room). Then, turn off these lights and get the new feel for the room. Use ambient lighting instead of accent lighting will make a smaller room look larger.
- Raise you ceilings with uplights rather than ceiling lights shining down. Lights that shine from below essentially push the walls up making them seem taller than they actually are. Again, the same principle as we previously talked about applies. Light the lower part of the wall and as the light lessens as it climbs the wall, it causes the eye to feel like the higher portion of the wall is receding as compared to the lower part thus making the wall look higher than it is.
One final point on this topic, make sure that you conceal the lights or at least place them high enough that they won’t interfere with the line of sight. Hidden or defused lighting won’t draw the eye to the light itself which can negate what you are trying to do with lights.
Have fun, experiment and get feedback from family and friends. Proper lighting in a room can make a world of difference.