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How to Enhance Wallpaper Visuals Using Lighting Effects

Whether your new wallpaper didn’t turn out quite like you pictured it, or you’re looking for a way to spruce up the appearance of your old wallpaper, you’ve come to the right place!

Close-up of a man installing black ceiling-mounted spotlights

Today’s guide offers #7 tips to enhance the visual impact of wallpaper using different lighting effects.

1. Use Ceiling-Mounted Spotlights

Ceiling accent lights are a fantastic way to highlight the details of your wallpaper while decoratively lighting up the room.

These fixtures illuminate streaks of the wallpaper with an adjustable light beam spread to cover as much of the wall as you want.

Directing ceiling accent light at 30 degrees is standard for artwork, which can work just as well for wallpaper patterns. Still, you can tweak the angle until you get the desired results.

2. Take Advantage of Mirrors

Adding a mirror is a proven method to brighten any room and expand its visual feel. But to make it more effective for improving the look of your wallpaper, place it close to a light source.

Think ‘wall mirror’ or ‘oversized floor mirror‘ next to a window or ambient lighting. The light will bounce off of it and onto the wallpaper, further illuminating its beauty.

What’s more, the reflection of the wallpaper in the mirror acts as a pseudo wallpaper, resulting in extra depth within the room.

A office with a desk and chairs featuring an artistic touch of black and white mural wallpaper.

3. Put Up String Lights

Sometimes you only need a soft touch of light to boost the visual appeal of a wallpaper. This is the perfect job for string or fairy lights.

These are great for bringing out the color and design of wallpaper, plus adding a cozy charm to the room. String lights look particularly attractive against rustic and simple wallpaper patterns.

4. Opt for Candles

To improve the visual effect of your dramatic or vintage wallpaper, consider using candles as a light source instead of bulbs.

There’s just something about flame lighting that produces a compelling, cocooning aesthetic. It looks especially enchanting against wallpapers of a darker color palette.

It doesn’t have to be real candles if you’re worried about wax dripping. Faux flames from artificial candles can do the trick as long as their light is warm enough.

5. Add Wall Washers

Setting up lights that wash the wall can effectively drive attention to your wallpaper.

This light type can be track-mounted, surface-mounted, or recessed among other forms. You can choose the one that offers your desired light distribution width.

Contemporary wallpaper patterns pair especially well with wall washers as it casually accentuates the wall without overdoing it.

A living room with solid black wallpaper and white furniture, illuminated by strategic lighting.

6. Create Lighting Layers

If you’re looking to enhance the cozy feel of your wallpaper while tying together the room’s decor, layering light sources can be the answer.

Mix dimmable ceiling lights or wall fixtures with floor or table lamps. You’ll notice how the blend of light beams from various directions support the visual impact of the wallpaper.

7. Choose a Complementing Light Color

When dealing with artificial lights, picking the right color can make all the difference for your wallpaper’s visual impact.

Wallpaper with warm colors (such as red, yellow, and orange) looks more vibrant under white LEDs, warmer under vintage bulbs, and duller under fluorescent bulbs.

On the other hand, wallpaper with a cooler color temperature (such as blue, gray, and green) appears duller under white LEDs, muted under vintage lights, and brighter under fluorescent lights.