Hate the Lighting in Your Rental? Try These Bright Ideas

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If turning on the lights in your home makes you look like you’ve been pulling an all-nighter, you've come to the right place. While your options are definitely more limited when dealing with the rules of a rental, there are still some easy fixes you can make to help give your space that perfect glow. I consulted my sister, Robyn, who happens to be a lighting designer at HLB Lighting, for all her best tips and tricks. (That's what sisters are for, right?)



Photo by: Photo: Noriyuki Araki/Getty Images | Graphic: Erica Reitman

Photo: Noriyuki Araki/Getty Images | Graphic: Erica Reitman

Make the Most of Floor and Table Lamps



This seems like an obvious one, but it truly is the easiest way to transform your space while still making sure you get your security deposit back. Lamps also let you truly flex your design muscles as the style, color and shade choices are virtually endless. Try putting a lamp in an unexpected spot, like your kitchen or bathroom, for even more impact.

Photo by: Lamps Plus

Lamps Plus

Our Product Pick: This arc floor lamp would work for a variety of design styles.

Yes, You Can Use Sconces

Modern White Bedroom With Industrial Wall Lamp

Modern White Bedroom With Industrial Wall Lamp

Choose sconces with a standard cord and plug that require no drilling or rewiring. If you want to hide the cord, you can use some wire mold, then paint it the same color as your walls. Or go for a more industrial look and just leave the cord as is.

Photo by: West Elm

West Elm

Our Product Pick: Here is a great midcentury modern-inspired sconce that we especially love.

Swap in New Pendants and Chandeliers

Shared Kids' Room With Bunk Beds and Desks

Shared Kids' Room With Bunk Beds and Desks

Photo by: Matthew Williams

Matthew Williams

As with the sconces, you have cord and plug options for pendants and chandeliers, as well. These allow you to replace the builder grade lighting you might have with chic, new fixtures. Just make sure to keep your old light fixtures so that you can put them back before you move. If you find that you have discoloration on your ceiling that needs to be covered, try a ceiling medallion.

Our Product Pick(s): Head to Color Cord Company for mix-and-match varieties of fabric wire, cord sets, shades and bulbs. It's a wonderland for DIYers. For an option that's a little sleeker, check out Flos' string lights (designed by Michael Anastassiades). 

Are You Using the Right Bulbs?

White Bedroom With Vivid Blue Ocean Photograph and All Black Lamp

White Bedroom With Vivid Blue Ocean Photograph and All Black Lamp

Once you have your lighting figured out, you need to make sure you have the right light bulbs. Stick with LED lights, and choose bulbs with a color temperature of 2700k. This will give you that warm light that flatters everyone.

Our Product Pick: This 6-pack of dimmable LED bulbs will get you started. 

10 More Ways to Lighten Up Your Home

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Make Your Home Light and Bright

Drapery Liner

©Rustic White Photography


©Rustic White Photography

Mirrored Furniture

©Rustic White Photography

Glass-Paned Interior Doors

©Rustic White Photography

Proper Wattage

©Rustic White Photography


©Rustic White Photography

Updating Old Lighting

©Rustic White Photography

Globe Bulbs

©Rustic White Photography

Battery-Operated Ambience

©Rustic White Photography


©Rustic White Photography

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