An undecorated college dorm room can look extremely drab, especially due to the yucky dorm lighting. The default lighting in dorms make everything look like a hospital or the DMV, and overall just makes the mood feel pretty depressing. You can add a bunch of color, lots of posters, and cool furniture, but nothing will pop the way you want it to if you don’t have the right type of lighting. Not only does lighting improve any selfie you take, but it will make your room feel finally like a home. Warming up the room with a few smart tactics will liven up the space.

The first tip could seem a bit obvious, but it is often forgotten by college students. Open up your window or window shades! It will flood the room with natural light. If you can’t figure out how to remedy the dorm lights by other products, your window will help by miles. Even if the weather is nasty, natural lighting will still be a game changer. If there is any furniture or beds blocking the window, move them before you set up the room! Trust me, you want as much window as you can get. Keep the full window space open so every now and then you can bring some breeze and sunshine into the room.

If you don’t have a lot of window space, a “happy light” is a great investment. These lights improve Seasonal Affective Disorder by creating a simulation of natural sunlight. A more aesthetically pleasing alternative is a salt lamp. Both these products give off warm light that really open up a dorm space. Both can be placed on a desk to help with pushing through homework, or on your dresser to warm you up when you get ready in the morning. These are better ways to light your room compared to string bulbs that often give off light similar to default dorm lighting.

The last tip is not for everyone, but it can be a really cool and unique way to improve the vibe in your room. Colored lights are a really funky way to make your room feel hip. It may not be your style, but you can test the waters with changing just one regular bulb in a lamp to a pink bulb! Or maybe finding a colorful string of lights to hang over your bed to encourage relaxation. Take a risk and try out some color.