A tight budget makes home lighting more of a challenge, but a little creativity can keep your home bright without a large investment. Dedicated lighting stores offer a wide selection of fixtures, but many also come with a serious case of sticker shock. Looking beyond the lighting store opens you up to budget-friendly lighting options for every room of the home. Several factors go into a budget lighting project, from the scope of the lighting makeover to your style.
Identify the rooms and lighting fixtures that need updating. Evaluate the shortcomings of the current lighting in the area, as well as the typical uses for the area to help determine the type of lighting needed.
Browse decorating magazines to find pictures of lighting fixtures you like. Take the pictures with you as you shop for lighting to look for similar styles at lower prices.
Shop around at different stores to compare prices. Lighting fixtures are also available online from various retailers. Factor in the cost of shipping and look in brick-and-mortar stores to make sure you're getting a good deal online.
Shop secondhand stores that deal with home furnishings for used lighting options. Habitat for Humanity runs ReStores, which are nonprofit stores selling donated home furnishings. Garage sales and auctions are other options for secondhand lighting fixtures.
Purchase LED lighting for your home to save money over time. You might pay a little more up front, but you'll save over time with the long-lasting bulbs.
Use white Christmas lights above and underneath cabinets to add lighting accents at a low cost. Place a strand of lights in a glass vase or jar for accent lighting on a table or countertop.
Install your own light fixtures if you feel comfortable working with wiring, but remember this is a dangerous project if you don't know what you're doing. Personal injury and fires are potential dangers of handling the work yourself. Ask an experienced friend or family member if you aren't sure about the process. You might also find a seminar or class on the process or get advice from hardware store employees.
Reuse as many of your current lighting fixtures as possible. Polish the metal, replace shades or add embellishments to lamp shades to change the look of the fixtures.
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.