Everybody has a neighbor that lights up the yard with novelty outdoor lights during the holidays. But what about if you want to bring the season in a subtler, more sophisticated way? The American Lighting Association (ALA), offers proven tips. holiday decoratingWith refined style inside and out.

Consider a grand entrance. You can instantly give your property a feeling of elegance and sophistication by adding a few landscape uplights to highlight trees, shrubs, and path lighting to illuminate sidewalks and driveways.

It’s time to shine once your company has arrived. Every little thing can create a happy mood and make guests feel at home.

“Decorating for the holidays doesn’t always have to be sparkles and glitz,”Bruce Hathaway is the national sales manager at Hubbardton Forge, a Vermont-based lighting company. “Sometimes a little understatement goes a long way.

“When entertaining, you need to manage the flow of a space.” says Hathaway. “Recessed lighting should not be dimmed. Accent and cove lighting should also be used to create drama and highlights. Don’t forget about portable tables and floor lamps, which help create the perfect stage.”

Focus attention on a tree and other holiday decorations with portable spotlights. These small, inexpensive fixtures are available at most ALA-member showrooms and can usually accommodate a tabletop dimmer. Create pretty silhouettes by placing a spotlight beneath a Christmas tree so that it shines up through the branches. For an especially warm and intimate feel, shine a spotlight toward framed photos of family members and past holiday gatherings, and fill a corner with a basket of children’s holiday books.

One easy and quick change that will have maximum impact is to switch out a few lampshades. Replacing a neutral lampshade with one that is red or gold will soften the light and create a holiday atmosphere. Try adding a few shade charms, available at many craft stores, to add some sparkle and fun. You can even buy an inexpensive plain shade and decorate it with whatever suits your style and particular occasion.

Visit your local ALA-member lighting showroom to discover all the items and expertise you need to make simple, low-cost changes to make your home beautiful and inviting. For more information about all aspects of home lighting, go to .AmericanLightingAssociation.com”>www.AmericanLightingAssociation.com.