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Putting out the welcome mat for guests means making surevisitors to your home can see the house, negotiate the walkways andfeel welcomed by the light radiating from your home. During thewinter months, you might need to update your outdoor and indoorlighting scheme to create a welcoming ambiance.

“Well-lit homes, with highlighted walkways and illuminateddoorways, make a visitor feel much more welcomed, especially whenthe sun goes down very early in the evening during the winter,”says Daniel Auer, a lighting expert with LightingShowplace.com.

He offers a few money-saving tips and trend ideas for improvingthe lighting insideand outside your home:

* Light the way: If your home currently has just one lanternnext to the door, consider replacing it with matching lanterns.Flanking the door with matching lights will create a warm, evenglow while assuring the safety of those who enter. If your home hasa porch or overhang, you have even more options: a recessed,chain-hung or ceiling fixture.

* Bring the party into the night: If you have a three-seasonsroom, ceilingfans are a great way to add multiple layers of lighting – notto mention comfort. Any fan that you love indoors can easily beused in a three-seasons room with the proper wiring. What’s more,most fans offer dimmer options so you can adjust the light levelsto match the mood of your gathering. Fans with blades that evokethe look of leaves or fern fronds are particularly attractive inthese indoor/outdoor rooms, helping underscore the natural appealof the space, making it a perfect gathering spot for yourparty.

* Great indoor lighting makes a glowing first impression. Withcold, rosy cheeks, your winter visitors will be looking for a warmwelcome into your house. Create this ambiance with a spectacularhanging lantern, a multi-tiered chandelier or a large foyerfixture, which offers height and scale plus excellent generallighting. To top off the look, consider adding matching wallsconces. Nothing says welcome better than a warmly lit home.

* Skip the stores and shop online: Comparison shopping for homeimprovement items has never been easier thanks to the Internet. Youcan find the right items fast, without wasting time and gas drivingfrom store to store. With specialty websites likeLightingShowplace.com, you can utilize a variety of tools to findthose walkway lights, garage lights, ceilinglights or fans for a great price.

The website allows you to shop by room, style and finish, brandname or price range with an inventory much larger than any brickand mortar store. If you need assistance, simply call the phonenumber for quick and personal service. By being able to quicklycompare options, you’ll find the right lighting for any area ofyour home for less.

“Creating a warm, welcoming ambiance to your home will make yourguests feel brighter and happier as they approach the front door,”says Auer. “It also can help provide safety, so you don’t haveanyone tripping along the front walkway, which will make everyone’sholidays just a little bit nicer.”

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