Cozy Accent Lighting Tips & Tricks

Today, I’m teaming up with several other bloggers for the DIY Blog Hop that’s all about lighting. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to see more great lighting ideas from several talented bloggers!

Accent Lighting

Creating a comfortable and inviting home is something many of us strive to do, and lighting is one of the key elements to making your space feel warm and cozy.

Many of the tips & tricks I’m going to share with you today, are ones that I use all year long, not just for the holidays. But the Christmas season gives me extra opportunities to decorate using light.

Plus, having cozy lighting touches all around the house feels like a good way to counter the cold of the winter season.

Fairy Lights

I have multiple sets of these Fairy Lights all around my house. I use them all year long, but at Christmas, they are especially handy for the places you want to light up where having a cord stretched to an electrical outlet is not practical.

Table Centerpiece

You can see them here in the table centerpiece that I made from an antique brick mold. Clearly, a cord stretched to an electrical outlet would be weird and awkward on my dining table.

These fairy lights use 3 AA batteries, and can be set on a timer to come on for 6 hours at the same time every day, and then off for 18 hours.

I love that with the timer, they just come on and go off each evening all by themselves. And because these are placed on our dining table, they provide a nice ambience, almost like candlelight, for dinner.

Vintage Sled

I have this vintage sled next to my door in the front entry. This is another place with no nearby electrical outlet. Twinkling fairy lights hidden in the greenery add a magical touch and a nice glow to the entryway.

Home Office

A few fairy lights mixed into some greenery, as well as a small tree in my home office provide some comfort during my long hours of working from home right now.

Vintage Truck Vignette

I wrapped yet another string of battery-operated fairy lights around this carved wood tree that was my mom’s. It’s the perfect addition to this display using the vintage 1950s Tonka Farms truck that we purchased at a flea market. You can see my DIY Wood Moulding Trees displayed here, too. 💕

Flameless Candles with Timers

Flameless Candles that have built-in timers are another trick that I utilize all year long.

These Pottery Barn lanterns sit in front of my fireplace year ’round– they just get dressed up with a bit of greenery for the holidays. But all year long, we enjoy the accent lighting that pops on in the evening, and goes off automatically at the time of our choosing.

I’ve tried many, many types of flameless candles over the year, but I now own multiple sets of THESE, because they’re the best I’ve found so far.

They come in a set of 5 with varying heights, and have a remote control with timer settings that can be adjusted for your choice of 2,4,6 or 8 hours on. Plus they have a flickering flame effect that makes them look as close to real as they can be.

Bonus! They are on sale right now for about $20 bucks for the set of 5. That’s a deal!

Backlighting with Flameless Candles
The mercury glass candle seen here is part of a set of 2 that I bought years ago. It’s also on a timer, but I couldn’t tell you where I got it. The hidden candles in this book case are the same as the ones in my lanterns, which I linked for you.

All year long, I also use flamelss candles to give some backlighting to the built-in bookcases next to my fireplace. They are deep, which I love, but can be dark because of that. A flameless candle on a timer hidden behind my displays lights them up with a lovely flickering glow.

Kitchen Island Centerpiece

Our oversized kitchen island gets a lot of use when we are cooking or baking, so I like having a seasonal centerpiece here to enjoy.

I’ve had this set of two mercury glass candles for so long, I have no idea where they came from, so unfortunately I can’t share a link with you.

For Christmas this year, I went with this simple vignette. My husband recently brought home this beautiful poinsettia and greenery arrangement from Costco for me, so I set it on my favorite oversized wood tray from Target’s Magnolia Hearth & Hand line, added in a couple of carved wood reindeer, and another flameless candle in mercury glass.

(I love this oversized wood tray, and get so much use out of it! Below, you can see how I also used it in my Fall island centeriece, and for charcuterie too, because it’s food safe!

Tea Light Candles with Timer

For places where you want a small amount of flickering light, yet the pillar flameless candles are just too big, these small battery-operated tea light candles with built-in timers are really useful.

Vintage Santa and Lantern Vignette

This vintage Santa sits perfectly in a little red rocking chair that I got for my first birthday, so I guess it’s also “vintage” now. 😂

I set Santa up next to the fireplace, with a basket of vintage Christmas books that I’ve been collecting for a few years now. My hope is that these books are a tradition in-the-making, and that I will have a nice-sized collection to read to my grandchildren someday. 💕🎄📕

Of course, if Santa is all set up in his chair with some books, he needs light to read by, right? This rustic lantern that was a gift from my mom years ago was perfect. It’s got a spot in it to hold a votive candle, but instead, I slipped one of these little tea lights on a timer in there, and it just magically lights up right around dusk, and then turns itself off again a few hours later. Adorable.

Antique Corner Cabinet

I’m going to tell you more about this show-stopper of a corner cabinet later, because it’s so fabulous that it deserves its very own dedicated post. But today, you get a little sneak peek, because I have decorated and lit up for Christmas right now.

I used more of the little battery-operated tea lights, and just tucked them in behind the items on each shelf. You really can’t see the candles themselves, but when they magically turn on each evening, they give this cabinet the sweetest little glow, and highlight all the sentimental things I have displayed here just perfectly.

Christmas Tiered Tray

Watch for a post early next week with all the details of my Christmas tiered tray. I used a couple of real candles on my tiered tray, but let’s face it, I’m never going to actually light them, because it would likely set the whole thing on fire. 🔥 Bad idea.

So instead, I just tucked a couple of the battery-operated tea lights into the candles. They come on, and they go off, and they aren’t a fire hazzard. Much better idea.

And remember, these lighting tips are not just for Christmas. Here you can see how I used more fairy lights in my Tiered Tray for Fall.

See how it adds a cozy glow? That’s the goal.

Timers for Outlets

Outlet timers and smart plugs are one of my favorite ways to light up the house. I have them on almost everything.

Christmas Tree & Mantel Garland

The tree and the mantel garland are on timers, so they come on and off each evening on their own.

I’m calling my tree this year “rustic woodland”. It’s filled with red berries, pinecones and nature-y accents, and animal ornaments.
China Cabinet

Christmas decor is not the only use for automatic lighting. My husband installed lights inside this china cabinet, and I put them on a timer, so they come on as it gets dark each evening, and go off after we’ve gone to bed.

I like the glow it adds to the kitchen in the evening, and how it lights up to highlight my ironstone collection.

Outside Lighting

My door wreath uses battery-operated lights on a timer.

I have flameless candles suitable for outdoors in lanterns on my porch that stay out year ’round. You can see them here in my Fall Porch Decor as well.

We have all of our outdoor Christmas lights on a timer with light sensor, so as soon as it gets dark, they automatically turn on. The timer can be programmed for how many hours you want them to stay on.

It’s all about the ambience…

Last night, my husband and I were cooking dinner together. We were sipping wine from our Costco Wine Advent Calendar, Christmas music was playing quietly in the background, and all of the various lights were twinkling around the house.

It was so peaceful. It’s these small, simple pleasures of life that are getting me through the chaos, stress and worry of the world right now.

Home has become an even greater sanctuary, as many of us are spending far more time staying in. Adding cozy little touches, like these simple lighting tricks, can help make your home a place of comfort and relaxation.

PS. I’d be so grateful if you’d follow me on social media and subscribe via email, so you don’t miss a thing. ❤️

Now it’s time to hop over to some of these other amazing bloggers, and see the great lighting projects they are sharing today!

Creating a Moody Speak Easy with Light | Grandma’s House DIY

DIY Lampshade Makeover | Chas’ Crazy Creations

How to Clean a Crystal Chandelier | Life at Bella Terra

Under Cabinet Lighting | Health, Home and Heart

How to Paint a Chandelier | Design Morsels

How to Create a Mercury Glass Lamp Base | Shiplap and Shells

Three Christmas Lighting Projects | White Arrows Home

DIY Wooden Lanterns | Kippi at Home

15 thoughts on “Cozy Accent Lighting Tips & Tricks

  1. Lights add beauty and mood, I especially like the flameless lights some of them look so real.
    We do want to thank you for all the wonderful ideas you have shared on the Blogger’s Pit Stop during 2020 and look forward to seeing more in 2021, starting on the 8th Jan. May you and your loved ones have a blessed Christmas time.
    Kathleen

  2. I literally have every lighting accent you mention in your post — great minds (and tastes) think alike lol Your house and Christmas decorations are absolutely lovely. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm xo Kathleen

  3. This is a wonderful post! This is just what I was needing, as I have been wanting to add bits of cozy light. You’ve given me so many wonderful ideas, and I ordered some lights before I even finished reading!

  4. I love your decorations and will be borrowing some ideas! My favorite items to buy are the fairy lights on a timer, and the flameless candles on a timer. I think I buy a few new of each every year, because I never have enough for all of the places I want to use them!

  5. Love this post Niky! You have creating ambience down perfectly. It is all beautiful, warm, and the very picture of the sanctuary we are all looking for right now. Thanks for sharing such great ideas. We will all get through these crazy times together!

  6. Lots of great ideas! To me it isn’t Christmas without lights but you can have lights of some sort all year long! Thanks so much for linking up with me at #AThemedLinkup 36 for Christmas Crafts and Décor, open until December 17 at 12:05 am. Shared on social media.

  7. I love all of the clever ways you’ve tucked lights into so many places. It really does make your home look so festive and cozy. I especially like it in the shelving and the centerpiece. You have me some great ideas that I’ve pinned for later. It was fun hopping with you.

  8. Niky, what an informative post! I love those fairy lights and never thought to use the battery operated candles for back lighting…just brilliant. Plus that photo of you at age 1 is just adorable. The balloons on the wall are such a throwback! Thanks for sharing all your fabulous tips! So happy to be hopping with you again.

  9. SO many great ideas, Niky! I love that red rocking chair and the cardinal lantern. I love fairy lights, too, and have quite a few strands in my own stash. I especially love that backlighting idea! Why didn’t I think of that?! It’s such a simple, but effective, idea. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. These are all such wonderful and exciting projects Niky! I just love lights and better yet I love decorating for a season… and I think many of these would work for all winter… we all need that extra glow right now. Thanks for sharing and wonderful hopping with you!

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