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Why Are My Lights Too Bright?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

Learn the Reasons Why Your Lights Are Too Bright

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like you were in a spotlight? Or maybe you’ve noticed that your home’s lights seem excessively harsh and bright. Good lighting is essential for a comfortable and well-lit space, but it can be incredibly annoying when the lights are too bright. But don’t worry, this blog will explore why your lights are too bright and uncomfortable.

We will also discuss possible solutions to help you achieve the ideal lighting balance in your home. Knowing how bright lights can be annoying and detrimental to your health, let’s find out how to dim and soften them with the tips below.

Reasons Your Lights Are Too Bright
Check out John’s list of reasons below for the most common causes your lights are too bright.

Reasons Why Your Lights Are Too Bright and How to Soften Them

Having properly illuminated spaces is essential for our daily activities. But sometimes, you might find your light bulb is too bright, causing discomfort and strain on your eyes. What can you do when this is your problem right now? How can you make the light bulb less bright? Read on to learn about the common causes of  lights that are too bright and how to achieve your desired lighting levels.

Incorrect Bulb Wattage

Using bulbs with a higher wattage than recommended for your fixtures can produce excessively bright lights. Manufacturers have a recommended wattage rating for fixtures, which you must follow. If you exceed the recommended wattage, it will result in intense heat. Higher wattage means higher lumens, which represents the bulb’s brightness.

Addressing this issue involves checking the maximum wattage allowed for your fixtures. You will usually find this information on the fixture or in the manufacturer’s guidelines. Once you know the maximum wattage, replace the bulbs with lower-wattage options that fall within the recommended range.

High Voltage Supply

If your home’s electrical system has a higher voltage supply than the standard, it can cause the lights to be brighter than desired. In such cases, it’s recommended to consult a licensed electrician to assess and adjust the voltage to ensure it meets the appropriate specifications. This adjustment will help regulate the electrical supply.

As a result, the brightness of your lights is brought down to a more comfortable level. This task is a bit tricky, so it’s best to let a qualified electrician handle it. A professional electrician will have the knowledge and expertise to make the necessary adjustments safely and efficiently.

Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, discusses why your lighting is too bright as well as some useful solutions and DIY tips to fix them.

Direct Glare

Sometimes, lights may appear too bright due to direct glare. It occurs when the light source is directly in your line of sight. This causes discomfort and strain on your eyes. One way to alleviate this issue is by repositioning the light fixtures so they aren’t directly facing areas where you spend a significant amount of time.

Additionally, using shades, diffusers, or frosted bulbs can help soften the intensity of the light and reduce glare. These accessories are great at diffusing and spreading light evenly, creating a more pleasant and gentle lighting effect.

Reflective Surfaces

Light bouncing off highly reflective surfaces can make lights appear too bright. If you have glossy or highly reflective surfaces such as glass, mirrors, or polished furniture, they can contribute to the overall brightness of the room.

Good thing it’s easy enough to fix by using matte or less reflective materials for walls, ceilings, and furniture. Opting for surfaces with a less glossy finish can help reduce the intensity of reflected light. It will create a more comfortable and visually pleasing environment.

Lack of Dimmer Switches

Installing dimmer switches gives you the flexibility to adjust the brightness of your lights according to your preferences. With dimmers, you can easily control the intensity of the light and create a more customized and comfortable lighting environment. Adding dimmers to your existing switches is an excellent way to be in control of how bright your lights are.

Even better, adding dimmers to existing switches is a relatively straightforward process. You can do it simply by following the manufacturer’s instructions or with the help of a qualified electrician.

Improper Lighting Design

An inadequate lighting design can result in uneven light distribution and overly bright spots. If you’re wondering, “Why are my LED lights too bright?” the answer could be that your lighting fixtures are poorly designed. Consider redesigning your lighting scheme for a more balanced and visually appealing illumination.

You can start by incorporating light layers like ambient, task, and accent lighting. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, while task lighting focuses on specific activities. On the other hand, accent lighting adds visual interest to particular objects or areas. By combining them strategically, you can reduce the perception of overly bright areas.

Electricians Are Best At Lighting Installations
Professionals help ensure your homes lighting is just right.

Light Color Temperature

The color temperature of the light bulbs can affect their perceived brightness. Color temperature is measured on the Kelvin (K) scale and is categorized into three main types: warm/soft white (2700K-3000K), cool white (3500K-4500K), and daylight (5000K-6500K). Cool white and daylight bulbs tend to appear brighter than warm white bulbs.

If your lights are too bright, consider opting for warmer color temperatures. Warm white bulbs emit softer, more yellowish light. This creates a cozier and more inviting ambiance. By selecting bulbs with lower color temperatures, you can reduce the perceived brightness in your space.

Light Diffusion

How can you soften LED lights or even ordinary lights? You can use diffusers or lampshades to reduce the harshness and create a more pleasant lighting effect. Diffusers are accessories that attach to the light fixture, helping spread the light more evenly.

On the other hand, lampshades can be added to existing fixtures to soften the light’s intensity. Opt for lampshades made from materials that diffuse the light, such as frosted glass or fabric. With these additions, you can create a more gentle lighting effect in your room.

Multiple Light Sources

Too many light sources in a small space can lead to excessive brightness. Each light source adds to the overall illumination of the room. When combined, they may create an uncomfortably bright environment. In this case, the solution is to consider reducing the number of lighting fixtures.

You can also use lower-wattage bulbs in areas where multiple light sources overlap. Assess the room’s lighting needs and determine if certain fixtures can be removed without compromising functionality or aesthetics. By strategically adjusting the number of light sources, you can create a more comfortable lighting balance.

Smart Lighting Controls

Smart lighting controls provide advanced options to customize and adjust the brightness levels according to your preferences. With smart lighting systems, you can program schedules, set times, and even control the intensity of lights remotely. All of these you can do through smartphone apps or voice commands.

If you’re wondering how to make a light bulb less bright, this is one of the best solutions. These controls offer greater flexibility in lighting management and allow you to create personalized lighting scenes. By fine-tuning the brightness levels to your liking, you can achieve a softer and more comfortable lighting experience throughout your home.

The key to softening lights that are too bright is to address the factors contributing to excessive lights. When you know what’s causing the overly bright lights, you can effectively soften the brightness and create a more soothing atmosphere in your home. Remember, finding the right lighting balance is crucial for comfort and functionality.

Bright Lights Check Smart Home Controls
Remember to check the user manual of your smart lights.

Bright Light FAQs

What happens when the lights are too bright?

Lights too bright can cause discomfort and eye strain. The intense brightness can lead to headaches, difficulty in focusing, and a general feeling of discomfort. Excessive brightness can also disrupt sleep patterns and negatively affect mood and productivity.

Can the placement of LED lights affect their perceived brightness?

Yes. The placement of LED lights can affect their perceived brightness. They may appear brighter or more intense if they are positioned too close to the area you want to illuminate. Consider adjusting the position of the lights or using lighting accessories like frosted covers or diffusers to help distribute and soften the light. This will create a more balanced and comfortable lighting effect.

Can eye sensitivity be a factor in perceiving lights as too bright?

Yes. Eye sensitivity can contribute to lights appearing brighter than they actually are. Some individuals may have conditions like photophobia (light sensitivity) or certain eye disorders that make them more sensitive to bright lights. If you frequently experience discomfort or perceive lights as overly bright, it’s advisable to consult an eye care professional for an evaluation and appropriate recommendations.

Hire a Local Electrical Pro

The methods above are effective DIY tips to troubleshoot and resolve issues with the brightness of your homes lighting. Remember, electricity can be dangerous and you should always engage the help of a certified, qualified and licensed electrician when working with power.

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