In the late 19th century, lamps were designed to show off the then-new carbon filament bulbs they used. (“Look, everyone, I don’t use candles!”) In the 20th Century the novelty had passed, so most lighting fixtures evolved to keep the bulb hidden. But now the latest trend in lighting is to use and expose modern, decorative filament bulbs for both the soft golden glow they create and the stylistic touch the appearance of the filament adds. These new filament bulbs are mercury-free and fit any standard socket, so you can easily experience a welcome change from the bright, white light of conventional light bulbs.

These trendy light fixtures offer many opportunities for “lighting with style.” Being a detail oriented person, I love to take this opportunity to upgrade from the norm and install a more decorative specialty light bulb. But when is the right time? Here are my design principle and sMARt tip: If you can see the bulb you should update it.

For example, forgo expensive shades on wall sconces and chandeliers for a more clean and modern look by exposing unique bulbs.  Updating lighting fixtures offers decorative touches and can even make them more appealing when consideration is taken to discover and install the right bulb to match. Even the “big box” hardware chains are beginning to display the many options, so get inspired!

So the next time you go to replace a light bulb, pop into your head the idea of decorative light bulbs as an option. You’ll definitely see the light as to why it’s a good idea.