5 Ways To Add Warm Lighting Accents for Dark Winter Days

January 24, 2024

Five ways to make your home feel warmer during the dark winter months.

How I add soft ambient lighting around our home during the dreary winter days! 

I actually quite like an occasional cloudy winter or rainy day. It's the perfect excuse to stay in comfy clothes, light a candle and turn on all of the soft lighting in the house. 

But the dark winter months get to us all after a while. 

I waited the longest I ever have to take down our Christmas trees this month. Especially the basement tree -- the twinkle lights were just so pretty and soothing. I wanted to leave it up forever. 

When we took it down I really missed those lights, and got to thinking about the ways I like to add some soft, warm light around our house.

These soft lighting ideas will help you keep the glow of the holidays around longer that make any home feel so inviting! 

1. Cozy countertop lamps

I like using lamps in general to add some soft, low light around our house. But last year I shared how much I love a little countertop lamp

These smaller lamps nestled on the counter are still my favorite way to add soft accent lighting: 
small countertop lamp
Tour our mud/laundry room here!

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In general, lamps on a dark day instantly warm up the space, but using them in spots like the kitchen or laundry room adds an unexpected dose of cozy. 

If you don't have an outlet, I have another lamp option for you later in the post!

2. Candle and wax warmers

These candle and wax warmers are my absolute favorite find of last year! I love them so much, we now have a few around the house. 

I love candles, but with animals I hesitate to burn them often. I've found that not only are these candle warmers safer, but soooo pretty: 
modern candle warmer

They set off the scent just as much or more than if burned, and they make the candle last forever

Plus, the soft warm light is just SO lovely! They are such a beautiful addition, especially in these colder winter months. 

There are a ton of options available, from more modern options like above, to traditional glass warmers like in my office: 
glass brass candle warmer

Wax warmers aren't anything new, but the options have definitely gotten better! This amber glass wax warmer is my favorite: 
amber glass wax warmer

The light it lets off is so lovely. 😍

These are so great because you get the pretty low light, but also a scent!

3. Battery-operated art lights 

These rechargeable artwork lights look great above art, but would also be wonderful by themselves: 
wood planked wall on stairway

I use them all over the house to add some soft light in the evenings or a dark day. 

These in particular can be easily removed from the wall and plugged in to charge them, and they look great!: 
rechargeable art light
Tour our pantry redo here.

The art lights in our basement aren't quite as long, but let off a good amount of light: 
battery light over art

I toned those down a bit with a coat of brass spray paint, but otherwise they work great! (And come with a remote so you can hang them up high.)

4. Non-wired sconces

I've always loved a candle sconce, and over the years I've started using more battery candles than real ones: 
spring mantel decor

That "sconce" is really a metal lantern from Walmart -- I just took the handle off and hung it instead. :)

Over the past few years I've been adding some accent lighting with my sconce without electricity trick
box trim on dark wall

That hack is especially helpful for spots like this on the side of our window seat bookcases where running electrical would be difficult. 

They're also a great option if you want to save some money, but still want some more accent light.

5. Chargeable table lamps

These adorable little table lamps are another great find that I enjoy so much! 

I've seen very similar lamps at restaurants and love the ambiance they add to the dinner table. Ours came in a set of two and I first got them for our game table in the basement where to do a lot of Lego sets puzzles. 

Since then I've been moving them around the house for sweet little "moments," like on a tray by the kitchen sink:
small glass table lamp by sink
My washable dish and hand soap labels.

There are three different light settings -- cool, warm and a mix of both. They provide the charging cord with the lamps and the charge lasts for hours. 

Eventually I'd like to get more to place on a couple bathroom countertops. How sweet! I LOVE these.

Honorable mention:  Holiday twinkle lights ALL year.

Who says you can't use twinkle lights all year long? I'm looking around for a spot to add these light up branches I had in our dining room over the holidays: 
vase with lighted branches

I think they would look lovely added to a potted plant or large vase of greenery. 

The lights have a eight different options from twinkle to steady on, so you can change them up with your mood. :)

I also love adding a strand of twinkly lights in or under glass. This was a plug in version: 
twinkle lights in glass

But you can also use the battery-operated twinkle lights from the holidays in similar ways ALL year. Drop them in a large glass jar like I did, or under a glass cloche. 

So pretty! 

Do you have any of these lovely soft lights around your home? 

**Don't forget that changing your light bulbs can make a big difference, especially this time of year! I prefer to use daylight bulbs in our bathrooms and warmer lights in living spaces:
daylight bulbs in bathroom

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  1. Hi Sarah. I love the metal walmart lantern sconce!! How do you hang it, with a thin nail thru the hole that held the handle? Or does it need a supporting nail on the bottom too?

    1. Yes! I just hung it from the little hoop that held the handle.

  2. Hi Sarah! I am interested in the candle sconce in your dining room that has a round brass backing. It's beautiful! Can you share the source of this sconce? I would like to purchase a couple of them.

    1. Hello! I got that from World Market years ago, I'm not sure if they still sell it.

  3. Hello, all that you do to your home is lovely; the lights are great for keeping winter cozy and warm; the idea is to not have bright lights but warm glows hinting at daylight. We used these Himalayan salt glow lamps that are great for keeping things warm and fantastic around our abode; we're renters, forever. Take care and thank you for sharing!


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