10 Affordable Lighting Hacks for your Home

My favorite textured lampshades and more affordable lighting hacks in post.

I’m spilling the beans today! I’m sharing my favorite affordable lighting hacks for your home.

Lighting is just magical. It has the ability to completely change the vibe of a room. It can make it more cozy, add ambiance and drama, and highlight beautiful features and artwork.

Have you ever walked into a home with the most beautiful lighting? It feels warm and inviting; a space you want to spend time in. What if I told you there are some easy ways to achieve that look, most of which you can do yourself? Let there be light! 🙂

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Lighting Hack #1: Switch out your Lampshades

You might be thinking, really Karen? A lampshade!? To which my answer is a resounding YES. And I encourage you to try this one for yourself. The right lampshade can add warmth and a soft glow to your spaces like nothing else. This is the cheapest and easiest way to switch up your lighting.

My go-to? Textured Lampshades. I give some ideas below. Once I started switching over my plain jane white blah lampshades for ones with texture or interest – my rooms instantly went up a notch.

My favorite textured lampshades and more affordable lighting hacks in post.

Some ideas of textured lampshades are:

  • Burlap or Linen Textured Lampshades – for a cozy warmth
  • Pleated Lampshades – for a homey vibe
  • Woven/Rattan Lampshades – for a textured, coastal feel
  • Empire Lampshades – The shape just screams; come in and stay awhile.

Lamps and lampshades can cost a fortune. However, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to keep the cost down. Here are they are:

  • Thrift the Lamp Base and splurge on new shade.
  • Pick up affordable lampshades at Target and HomeGoods
  • In fact, Target is my go-to for LAMPS and shades.
  • Wayfair and Etsy have good medium range lampshades. But if you save on the lamp, you can spend more on the shade.
  • Buy a cheap lamp (Amazon, Target, IKEA) and buy a new lampshade for it. (I got this cheap floor lamp and put a pretty empire lampshade on top – it looks much more expensive than what it is now.)
  • DIY a Pleated Lampshade yourself. There are plenty of tutorials out there.

One word of advice when switching out your lampshades; make sure you get one that will fit your current lamp (spider, uno, clip on, harp and finial etc.).


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Lighting Hack #2: Try Battery Operated Lights

Sometimes there’s a dark corner in your home that just needs a light; but there’s no outlet. What do you do? You try one of these battery operated lights. Some of these are touch lights and some of them have remotes. You just need to remember to change the batteries!

Lighting Hack #3: Use these LED Bulbs

There is a house down the street from us that uses those blueish cool LED lights everywhere in their home. How do I know? Because their house glows blue at night! And it’s even harsh to look at from the outside when I’m walking the dog.

Please use LED lights that are warm white; look for 3000 Kelvins or under. I like 2700k – 3000k personally. These give off a warm glow and you still get the benefit of LEDs.

I’m obsessed with these Smart Bulbs and have them in various lamps around the house. The best part is the dimmer on them (in my opinion), but you can do a ton of cool with them.

If you don’t need a ton of lighting in an area and you just want a kiss of soft light; try 15 watt LED bulbs in soft white. GE makes a good one. Yes, it’s not going to throw a lot of light but it’ll give you that cozy vibe you’re after.

Lighting Hack #4: Install Dimmers

This is a biggie! Dimmers not only extend the life of your lightbulbs, but they help create a softer lighting environment in your home. By the end of the day, I love to turn the lights down around the house, it calms us and gets us ready for sleep. Plus, the house just looks so pretty.

You can buy dimmers everywhere these days, but I’ve found that Amazon is the cheapest place to get them (these ones are my favorite because they work with our existing light switches). And installing a dimmer switch is an easy DIY, but I recommend watching a bunch of tutorials and always being safe when working around electricity.

And if your lamp doesn’t come with a dimmer switch (some of them on Target actually do!), then this dimmer plug will be your new best friend.

Lighting Hack #5: Thrift for Lamp Bases

Let’s be honest, lamps can be expensive AH! Higher end shops like Circa Lighting and Pottery Barn want at least a couple hundred for a large size lamp. Whenever I need a new lamp, I visit my local ReStore.

DIY lamp base makeover

Bring a spare lightbulb with you to the thrift store to check each lamp – and don’t let the color or beat up lampshade deter you. I look for great lamp base shapes, large jug shapes are my favorite. After I give them a makeover, I add a new lampshade and they are as good as new. I’ve been able to score really nice sized lamps for under $10!

Lighting Hack #6: Install Under Cabinet Lighting the Easy Way

Under cabinet lighting can really take your kitchen up a notch. It’s also pretty darn useful when you are making dinner. You used to have to hire an electrician and run all kinds of wires when you wanted under cabinet lighting. Not anymore! I’m working on a how-to post for this one, but Amazon sells these lighting kits that make it really easy for the non-professional to get under cabinet lights.

Lighting Hack #7: Replace your Boob Lights with these Affordable Finds

Why do they still make these things? Ugh. Anyways, you are very familiar with these things if you just moved into a builder grade home. Builders love to put them everywhere. Did you know that it’s actually not too hard to replace your boob lights yourself? You have to be careful, just like with the dimmers, but you CAN do it. We are slowly trying to replace all of our boob lights, so I collected a giant list of affordable boob light alternatives right here.

Lighting Hack #8: Use Plug-in Sconces

Sconces are beautiful, and they are just the type of accent lighting your home needs. They look especially stylish on either side of your bed, as a reading light. And typically we have outlets there – so these plug-in sconces are just the thing you need.


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They are budget-friendly and you only need to require mount them to the wall and plug them in! Not everything needs to be hardwired. However, if you do happen to have a sconce without a plug, you can always try a battery operated light with a remote to make them work (see #2).

Lighting Hack #9: Paint a Light Fixture

Perhaps you moved into a new home with a cool light fixture, but it’s just not the right color. Did you know you can easily spray paint them? I did this exact thing when we moved into our home here. We had a stainless steel pendant light and I wanted black instead. You can read more about that DIY right here. I’m working on one for our bathroom light fixtures as well.

spray painting a light fixture

Lighting Hack #10: Put a Lamp on your Kitchen Counter

A target table lamp on a kitchen counter

Trade the overhead glare for a sun-kissed glow! Placing a lamp on your kitchen counter isn’t just about practicality; it’s an instant shot of warmth and charm for your culinary haven. That warm glow has a way of making people feel welcome and relaxed. It’s like wrapping your kitchen in a hug, inviting you to linger and savor the simple pleasures of home.

So that wraps up all my affordable lighting hacks for y’all. I hope you give one of them a try!

xo Karen

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