By Nik Krohn
How many times have you stubbed our big toe on the hallway table? Or stumbled around in the dark feeling for the light switch to find your way to the bathroom? And you know the layout of our home better than anyone. What about your guests who can’t even remember where the bathroom is?
Lighting is one of the most well-thought-out aspects of a home. We spend a painstaking amount of time choosing just the right lighting for every room in our homes, making sure each fixture is the perfect complement to the room’s décor and provides the exact right amount of light. We want our lighting to be functional and to set a particular mood. But do you know what part of the house is almost always overlooked and under-lit?
Hallways and corridors are the darkest parts of the house, usually with no windows or natural light of any kind to illuminate this frequently used path. Check out the carpeting in the hallway and you will see it gets some of the heaviest traffic in your home. Not to mention that it’s where most families display their most prized possessions—their family photos. But tucked away in dark hallways, no one really notices them.
Many people, after moving into their new homes, notice the problem with the dark hallways after a few nights of finding their way through them. They notice the ambiance of the home changes as they approach the dimly-lit section. Sometimes they find solutions, such as a hall lamp, which adds more furniture to a small space.
Another solution could be night lights. But, if aesthetics are important, the last thing you want to do is plus some cheap plastic-covered light bulbs into the AC sockets.
So what to do?
There are super affordable products like Guidelights from SnapPower come in the form of sleek outlet covers available in several colors to match the AC sockets, which remain uncovered so that you can continue to plug things in. The LED lights embedded along the bottom of the $15 Guidelight cover illuminate automatically based on the whether the built in sensor detects that the hallway is dark. If there’s enough light, the LEDs stay off. The Guidelights derive their power from two prongs that slide over the outlet screws; and cost less than 10 cents a year to run.
From the editor: The Guidelights offer an economical, easy-to-install lighting solution for dark spaces in your home, but there are other options that work well, too. Light switches with built-in motion sensors and timers can trigger on hallway lights whenever someone steps into the switch’s detection zone or at scheduled times of the day (like from dusk until dawn). Check out Lutron, Leviton, Insteon, and WattStopper for products like this. Alternatively, you can tie the lights to an affordable automation system like the Caseta from Lutron. In addition to setting up a schedule for the hallways lights (and other lights in your house) to follow, the system can operate motorized shades and other devices. And, you can control all of these devices through voice commands, thanks to the system’s compatibility with the Amazon Echo Alexa voice assistant. Activating the lights could be as easy as uttering “Alexa, hallway lights on.”