When we think of remodeling, we think about the things we see and use every day. There are floor coverings, paint colors, furniture types, and wall decor on our minds. When the remodel involves a kitchen, we consider appliances, countertops, cabinets, and sinks. And certainly, those are the most exciting parts. They’re what we touch and use every day. They’re the features that we look at, and if we ever sell the home, they’re the things that grab a buyer’s attention.

But with all that attention paid to the beautiful upgrades we make in our homes, the one thing that never seems to find its way into the conversation is the tool that allows us to see those beautiful results of our efforts: Lighting.

Lighting can be all the difference in a room after redecorating. It’s so important that the replacement of lights alone can constitute a significant remodel just by the impact it has on the house. Lighting influences the outcomes of remodeling in several different ways.

Bringing Out Colors

Colors are only as good as the lighting where you view them. The next time you shop for paint, look at the display. Most paint companies set up in-store systems for displaying all their different families of color, and most of those systems include bright lights. That is because the company wants to make sure you see the truest possible representation of their products.

So it stands to reason that the only way to see those colors translated into your home is to present them in the correct type of light. That’s true even if brightness isn’t maximized. At any point on the dimmer switch, colors will look better bathed in quality light. This goes for paints, floor coverings, upholstery, artwork, and everything else in the home.

Ensuring Functionality

Some rooms have very specific lighting needs. The shape, height, and windows of a room dictate just what type of lighting it needs. Older homes going through a remodel often have a desperate need for new lighting, because technology at the time of construction presented far fewer options. The older your home, the more likely you’ll have a striking moment of revelation when you turn on the new lights. Carefully designed lighting can add extra emphasis to design elements that might otherwise be too subtle to notice.

This includes safety as well. The new things in your home might prove a little challenging to navigate if they aren’t properly illuminated. Getting good lighting in to highlight stairs, step-down rooms, and protruding wall decor will help avoid falls by your family and your guests.

Saving Energy

Renovations aren’t always entirely about aesthetics. They can also be geared toward money-saving upgrades. That’s why we buy refrigerators, stoves, and microwaves that use less electricity and gas. It’s why we install efficient faucets and low-volume commodes.

Lighting should get the same attention. Fixtures that can light things better with fewer watts should be a primary goal of your renovation, not a secondary consideration. Not only will you make changes that will save you money for the lifetime of the house, you’ll feel better about reducing your carbon footprint.

Renovation is about trying to make a complete overhaul of a space, about giving it new life that reinvigorates the look of the entire home. If your renovation leaves out an upgrade to the lighting, it has left out a major step. Like listening to a symphony on a cheap set of speakers, a home that’s been renovated without a lighting upgrade just isn’t showing its full beauty.