Using Smart Lighting to Stage a Home

November 28, 2016

This post comes to us from Erin Vaughan, a blogger, gardener, and aspiring homeowner.  She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for Modernize, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.

When you’re trying to sell a home, it’s often the smallest things that make all the difference—a table with a bowl of fresh hydrangeas, or a charming entryway rug that really sells the space. In fact, even the way you light your interiors can turn a “meh” into a “how much?” While we tend to think of ourselves as invulnerable to such things, lighting can have an intense effect on our mood, changing our overall perception of a space.
Homebuyers are most amenable when they’re feeling bright and happy, so generally, flooding your interiors with warm, yellow light really gets them in the mood to sign. However, with a smart lighting system, you can use programing to cycle through various scenes that a buyer might go through in their day-to-day lives, helping them project themselves into your home’s spaces.
Here are several ways to do it.

Set Two Different Speeds for Kitchen Lighting

More often than not, modern kitchens serve several purposes at once. They’re not only the place for focused culinary endeavors, they’re the place we gather with loved ones to enjoy that hard work, too. That means you need to show off two different types of kitchen lighting—ample, bright light for cooking and subtle, gentler light for mealtimes. Get the first with brilliant overhead lights and under-the-counter task lighting. Then, when you’re ready to switch modes, use a “Dining” scene to opt for lowlights over the dining area.

Highlight the Versatility of Living Areas

Living rooms also have to play different roles. A stunning hearth space, hand-carved bookshelf, or unique and alluring portrait deserves some directed up-lighting to draw attention to such a statement piece. However, if this room is also used for watching TV, reading, or entertaining, intense accent lights can really detract from the mood. Here again, cycle through two automated scenes to display your interiors’ dual functionality. Let potential home buyers envision themselves living in these four walls, giving visitors their own tour down the line, or snuggling up for their next Netflix binge.

Use Accent Lights to Add Drama to Hallways

You can achieve a very dramatic effect in a hallway using two-way lighting with wall sconces, which is perfect for an after-work tour. Just have your realtor utter the magic words, and let homebuyers enjoy the dazzling light show on the walls. Or use an action—like motion detection—to switch on hallway lights for you, ensuring that your tours go as smoothly as possible.

Switch Between Eye-level and Overhead Lights for Bedrooms

A workspace, a sleep area, a place for romance—bedrooms probably do some of the heaviest lifting in our homes. When you’re showing your master bedroom, allow potential homebuyers to witness the flexibility of an automated lighting schedule in their homes. Create a scene with low overhead light and directed task lighting using recessed can lights installed over the bed, perfect for reading. Program another with gentle, dim light from bedside lamps for more mellow times. And lastly, plot a new scene with bright overhead light for more general work. Then, when it’s time for bed, show them how easy it is to switch off every light in the house, right from bed with a “Goodnight” button—of which also locks the doors, turns down the thermostat, and arms the alarm.

Automate Outdoor Lights to Prepare for Drive-bys

As soon as you list your home for sale, the eyes of the world are upon you. Your home could be subject at any time to buyer drive-bys—so it needs to look just as cheerful at night as it does throughout the day. Use timed settings to switch on lights on porches, walkways, and over doors, offering a visual welcome to anyone scoping you out.

I hope you’re ready to start packing your things—with a few deftly-programmed scenarios, it won’t be long before the offers start rolling in.
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