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Quick and Simple Home Lighting Projects

Update the Lighting, Update the Look


Quick and Simple Home Lighting Projects

An opaque shade with gold liner adds class to this classic piece.

Photo by Coral Nafie
Fresh and easy home lighting projects can really transform an interior space. By changing lamps, shades, and fixtures, you can bring new drama and interest to any room. Add warmth, excitement, and ambiance to a living space or private sanctuary.

While major home lighting installations should be done when a home is in the construction stage, there are lots of projects, -some easy, some a bit more difficult,- that can be done by the average homeowner.

If you know a good handyman and don't want to do these home lighting projects yourself, you might be able to save a bit of money. But for other installations, you should contact a licensed electrician.

It's unlikely that any of these home lighting projects would require any building or lighting permit.

To bring interesting light to your room and add drama and interest, check out some of our simple home lighting update projects. They're basic and simple but can work wonders in your home.

  • Update Your Lamp Shades
    A fresh lamp shade can really perk up a boring lamp. When the pleats get flat or the lining burns off, get rid of the lamp shade and give the lamp a new life. The easiest way is to take your lamps and an old shade to a lighting store or home center. You'll be able to replace the size and shape easier and see how any new shade will look on the lamp.

    For a real new look, experiment with a colored shade, a different shape, or one with a metallic lining. Consider covering a shade frame with fabric or wallpaper that coordinates with your decor. Another option would be to decorate a plain linen with stencils, a color wash, or decoupage finish.

    For a unique finishing touch, add fringe, beads, or braid to the bottom and to edge of the shade using craft glue that dries clear or a hot glue gun. To top it all off, find a new finial that draws the eye up.

  • Install a Dimmer
    Adjusting the intensity of light in a room is a simple process if each light fixture has a dimmer switch attached. The light can be controlled at a wall switch or with a dimmer on the light cord. It's really quite easy to install a dimmer and it will give you the ability to adjust the light according to your need. You can choose from numerous styles of dimmers for any need.

    Have full light for homework and hobbies. Turn down the light for romantic dinners or quiet evenings in the family room. For general lighting during the day, adjust the light to a medium intensity.

    In addition, the life of every light bulb can be lengthened when it's dimmed. Think of the money you'll save.

  • Add an In-Line Cord Switch
    With a simple cut of a cord and tightening of a screw, you can have a light switch conveniently installed on an electric cord in no time at all. Select the size of switch that is appropriate for the electric cord you have. The actual on/off switch you'll install might be a roller, a rocking tab, or a little bar. Think how convenient this could be.

  • Make a Custom Lamp
    If you can't find a lamp that you like, consider making one yourself. If you have a vase you like, an interesting box, a pretty basket, vision it as a lamp base. Purchase a kit to construct a lamp at any home center or lighting store. Or have a lamp shop put together your new vision of a lamp. Check out some of the Lighting Projects that are posted online.

  • Check Out Special Needs Lights
    I particularly like motion sensor lights. When someone walks into the room or past a door, the light goes on. And when the motion ends, the lights automatically go out. What a convenience when your hands are full.

    Another great light is one that goes on when the daylight dims. I have one outside my front door, but it would be great in a hallway too.

Read on for information about special lighting fixtures that add interesting lighting to your home.

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