Frequently on an evening we notice that our homes may still be too dark, this takes place earlier and earlier as winter sets in. Switching on the main light as well as individual lamps may brighten the room, but sometimes you still can't get the brightness in a room that you would like. Not only is this inadequate lighting hard on your eyes, but it also decreases your willingness to continue working and may cause you to become drowsy.

When this occurs, people often rush out to buy extra lamps, stronger bulbs or even lamps with more bulbs in. New lamps and bulbs cost money both to acquire and to power.

Brightening up your apartment or house is a brilliant way to increase the effectiveness of your current lighting. Make changes to your rooms and reduce expenditure by making some tiny changes to the house itself.

1. Paint the rooms in your property - this is the most straightforward way to lighten a room; don't forget you need to purchase lighter and brighter colours. Paints are sold in multiple levels of brightness and two shades of white can have completely different reflective properties.

2. Look at the furniture that you have in the problem areas, think about renovating it to make it lighter or even buy new, lighter types of furniture. Items with a metallic finish are often good for a dark area as it has a reflective surface unlike dark wood.

3. Hang mirrors in strategic spaces around the room or even around the entire property. As mirrors are so reflective they are a brilliant way of reflecting what small amounts of light you do have and give a certain flavor to a room.

4. If you aren’t up for repainting or buying new furniture, maybe you could look for things to clean up or remove from your living area. Each item in a room closes the room in and steals light, removing items that are not needed or used can open the room up and make it seem brighter.

5. Curtains can cause a room to look dreary, if you have dark, heavy curtains look at replacing them for paler curtains which tend to reflect light back into a room.

6. As with any redecorating, try and work with what you have in the home first before you go out spending lots of cash. Enhance the brightness of your room by making use of what you already on hand, move mirrors and existing light surfaces around and change the direction of where the bulbs point to.