How to... Use Light for Optimal Living

Enlighten your inner condo with these tips on how to make the most of natural and artificial lighting, by GVHBA CEO Bob de Wit


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Lighting sets the atmosphere for everyday living in your condo. Natural light has many positive effects on your well-being, happiness and productivity. While natural light is often unpredictable and location dependant, creating the perfect atmospheric environment is achievable through thoughtful lighting considerations.

Many condos are built without a lot of pre-existing embedded wall or ceiling fixture options. Try out these solutions to illuminate the dimmest condo and curate the perfect amount of ambiance for any space:

  • Strive for a variety of light sources throughout a room. This creates dimension and minimizes that dreadful overly lit stark brightness. Place both floor and table lamps around the room, lighting up nooks and seating areas where you’d likely curl up with a book. Place candles on scattered surfaces around the room. Try flameless LED candles to create soft lighting (and safer to leave for hours unattended!).
  • Keep the walls and furniture light in colour. This maximizes surfaces for light to reflect, creates an airy vibe, and is on trend. Pair with light lampshades to let the most amount of light shine through.
  • Install dimmer switches to fixtures. This will conserve energy and give you the most control over lighting options.

Tips From a Professional

I spoke with Norm Brown, expert lighting designer at Norburn Lighting & Bath Centre, and he left us with these tips:

  • Lighting a room with many windows at night is challenging – make sure all windows are fitted with drapes or blinds. On the 20th floor, you may have little need for privacy, but drapes reflect light back into the room, whereas light escapes through uncovered windows.
  • Avoid track lighting – especially in the kitchen. Track lighting is a common fixture found in condos, but it creates heavy shadows. Replace with a large flush-mount ceiling fixture that will create a softer surrounding light.
  • Building on the last point, install under cabinet lighting to brighten countertops as a quick and affordable solution to brighten a kitchen. LED strips designed to stick under cabinets are readily available, and come in a variety of affordable price points.

Regardless of window size and the natural light that reaches your suite, you can craft the desired atmosphere to suit your lifestyle through the right lighting design. Chat with interior designers or lighting experts to maximize your condo’s potential. 

Find a lighting expert in your area at

Bob de Wit is the CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association (GVHBA), the voice of the residential construction industry in Metro Vancouver. GVHBA has more than 850 members and is proudly affiliated with the provincial and national Canadian Home Builders' Associations.
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