As a home stager my mantra is "let there be light". Many homes I walk into have one overhead light in a room which has one 60 watt bulb in the fixture.
I am not sure how they function with so little light but that is not my concern. My concern is getting their house sold and I tell them "you can never have too much light". Well, I suppose you can if it is a huge florescent fixture with four florescent bulbs but type of lighting is a whole other topic!
Whether I am doing a home staging consultation or a Redesign project, I tell most homeowners they need three lamps in their family room or living room, preferably in a triangle arrangement and at least two of them being table lamps versus all floor lamps.
I have always recommended that in an average size bedroom you should have two fairly large lamps on each side of the bed.
I say "fairly large" for most all lamps unless they are accent lamps. This is because most of us have large scale furniture and small lamps not only look disproportionate, they do not give off much light. A lamp with a 6" lamp shade will project light onto a small area of the table it is on but not provide much light for a room.
I recently saw on HGTV that they recommend 100 watts for every 50 sqaure feet. That's a lot of light! Another recommendation, use white or cream lamp shades. Dark lamp shades don't allow enough light to come through.
Along with the lack of light fixtures I find in a home, I find most homeowners are using high efficiency bulbs. Great for living, not for selling. They take too long to "warm up". The buyer will be in the next room before the light bulbs have reached their full wattage.
Take out the high efficiency bulbs and replace them with the old fashioned cheap ones for selling.
Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN.
CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer