Harmony in Light: 11 Tips to Reduce Indoor Brightness

a kids bedroom with a sheer blind

The warmth of sunlight flooding your living space can be inviting. However, when it transforms into an excessive brightness, it can disrupt the comfort of your home.

From different window treatments like sheer shades and banded transitional shades for windows to placing indoor plants, there are many solutions to choose from. Whether it’s in your bedroom, living room, or home office, here are 11 things you can do if it’s too bright indoors.

Reduce Indoor Brightness

Excessive brightness in a home can transform a usually welcoming environment into an overwhelming space, affecting comfort, mood, and even the usability of rooms.

Whether due to direct sunlight, reflection, or simply the choice of interior décor, managing intense indoor brightness is crucial for creating a pleasant living environment.

Curtain Selection

curtains and blinds in a kids bedroom with a teddy on a bed

One of the most effective ways to manage excessive brightness is through thoughtful curtain choices.

Choose curtains made of thick, opaque fabric to create protection from intense sunlight. Note that neutral colors complement different interior designs well and provide a functional barrier.

It’s worth considering blackout curtains for areas like bedrooms where you need maximum darkness for restful sleep. The right curtains not only enhance your decor but also allow you to regulate the brightness with ease.

Sheer Shades

a living room with neutral decor, a rattan light shade and plants

For those who appreciate natural light but seek balance, sheer shades are an excellent choice. These window coverings offer a compromise by diffusing sunlight to create a soft, filtered glow.

Sheer shades in light colors can add elegance to your space and maintain privacy. Sheer shades are also a universal design element that flawlessly complements different interior styles.

Adjusting these shades allows you to control the amount of light, achieving the perfect balance between brightness and comfort throughout the day.

Textured Wall Coverings

a bedroom with textured wallpaper, a button back headboard and vintage bed side table

You can try textured wall coverings that absorb and diffuse sunlight, reducing its harsh effects. Choose materials such as textured wallpaper or wall panels. They add visual interest and contribute to a softer and more balanced light environment.

The play of light and shadows on textured surfaces can change the way sunlight interacts with your interior, adding depth and character to your living space.

Window Films

Window films are a versatile and cost-effective solution to manage indoor brightness. These films come in various shades and designs, allowing you to customize the level of brightness while adding a decorative touch to your windows.

In addition to their appearance, window films provide UV protection, protecting furniture and fabrics from the harmful effects of prolonged exposure to the sun. Installation is easy, making window films a practical choice for those seeking to maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

Indoor Plants

a living room with a bohemian style, leather armchair, white sofa and lots of plants

Indoor plants can serve as natural light filters. It’s better to choose plants with wide, dense foliage to create a green barrier against intense sunlight.

Placing these plants near windows helps diffuse sunlight, adding a refreshing touch to your interior. Indoor plants also contribute to a healthy indoor atmosphere by purifying the air and creating a harmonious combination of functionality and style.

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Strategic Use of Color and Texture

  • Soft, Matte Surfaces: High-gloss finishes and bright colors can amplify the brightness of a room by reflecting light. Opting for softer, matte surfaces can help absorb excess light, reducing glare. Consider matte paint finishes and furnishings with textured fabrics to diffuse light gently.
  • Darker Color Palette: While dark colors absorb more light, they can make a room feel smaller or more confined if used excessively. Balance is key; incorporating darker hues through accent walls, furniture, or décor can help manage brightness without overwhelming the space.

Smart Lighting Solutions

a green and mustard living room with velvet sofa and cushions
  • Dimmer Switches: Installing dimmer switches allows you to adjust artificial lighting according to the time of day and your specific needs, helping to balance indoor light levels and reduce glare.
  • Task Lighting: In areas where you need brightness for specific tasks, such as reading or cooking, use targeted task lighting. This approach allows you to keep the overall room lighting softer while providing adequate light where necessary.
  • Indirect Lighting: Instead of overhead lighting that can contribute to excessive brightness, consider indirect lighting solutions. Floor lamps that cast light upwards or wall sconces that spread light across a surface can create a more subdued and comfortable ambiance.

Landscaping and Exterior Adjustments

steps up to a home with tall trees around it

Strategic Planting

Planting trees or tall shrubs outside windows can provide natural shading, reducing the intensity of incoming light. Deciduous trees are particularly effective as they block sunlight in the summer but allow it through in the winter after shedding their leaves.

Awnings and Pergolas

Installing awnings, pergolas, or other outdoor structures can cast shadows over windows, diminishing the amount of light that enters the home. These solutions not only reduce indoor brightness but also enhance outdoor living spaces.

Reflective Surfaces and Mirrors

While reflective surfaces can exacerbate brightness issues by bouncing light around a room, strategic placement of mirrors can redirect light away from direct sight lines, reducing glare. Position mirrors so they reflect light towards darker areas of the room or away from seating and work areas.

Upgrading Windows

a window with sheer curtains and a bed next to it

Energy-Efficient Windows

Upgrading to energy-efficient windows can help control indoor brightness and temperature. Look for windows with low-emissivity (low-E) coatings that reflect infrared light, keeping your home cooler and reducing the need for bright, artificial lighting.

Double or Triple Glazing

Windows with double or triple glazing offer improved insulation, which can help in managing both temperature and light levels. The additional layers of glass and air space act as barriers to direct sunlight, softening the brightness that enters the room.

Room Layout and Design

a sideboard and plants acting as a divider in a room to reduce light

Arrange your furniture to minimize glare and direct exposure to bright light. Position seating areas away from direct sunlight and use bookshelves or room dividers to block or filter light.

Decorative screens or partitions can also help diffuse bright light, adding visual interest to the room while serving a practical purpose. Choose designs that complement your décor and place them strategically to shield areas from excessive brightness.


Managing indoor brightness and light usually requires a customized approach that should take into account both functionality and aesthetics. Experiment with different strategies to strike the perfect balance between natural light and promoting peace and well-being in your space.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a very small commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links help to pay the editorial costs of writing a blog. For more information, please read my full affiliate disclosure here

I also use Artificial Intelligence Image generators to create some of my images. These are to show you examples of my ideas and inspiration when I cannot produce the real images myself.

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