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Are you looking at adding a new illuminating light fixture to your home but can’t decide? Well read on my friend, I have some tips that I use whenever you are looking for your newest way to light up a room.
This project is relatively straight forward and can be done in an hour or so (well, selecting the new fixture may take longer, but doing the actual switch can be done relatively quickly).
First Things First: What Type?
Lights have a few different types, and it can help you ahead of time to know what you want before you set out. Generally, your options will depend on what kind of light fixture you want to update. For example, you can’t stick a table lamp into a ceiling light slot!
Fairly straight forward, track lighting is lights that are on a track. You can have a few lights to several along the track, and they are often adjustable so you can adjust where the lighting points. This style of lighting can be useful when you have artwork you wish to display.
I love using this type of lighting in spaces where you want to avoid overwhelming your space with a prominent fixture. Recessed lighting has the fixture installed above the ceiling, with an opening flush to your ceiling. This type of lighting creates a beautiful ambient light that is used to illuminate certain task areas of the room.
Typically these lights have multiple light bulbs and are hung on a branch system to support the many lights. They do not necessarily have to be the encrusted crystal pieces that likely come to mind when you see the word “chandelier,” but they are typically more elaborate and are used to illuminate larger spaces.
Wall sconces are lovely pieces that are attached to your wall. Unlike lamps though, they are wired into the wall and controlled by a light switch. You will often find these in hallways and down staircases.
These lights hang from a cord from your ceiling, with a single shade enclosing a lightbulb. You’ll often see these shining down over a table or a kitchen island.
These lamps are plugged into a free outlet in the wall, no extra electrical work involved. They stand alone and are usually tall. They can also have multiple stems and adjustable pieces that allow you to adjust where the light shines.
Table & Desk Lamp
These lights are designed to sit on a table or a desk, they can light up a corner of your room, or they can be task lamps, designed so you can move the light to shine wherever you might need it.
Offline or Online Shopping
I recommend at least shopping offline to get an idea of what you want. However, once you know, many online retailers can offer great prices and variety. Often what happens to me is I’ll find the right look, but can’t find it in the finish in the stores in my area.
My favorite stores to shop are, in no particular order:
JYSK.ca (Affiliate Link) is an excellent store for many different furnishing needs, and they regularly update their inventory to make sure you get stylish products at a great price.
Ikea’s main shortcoming for me is the nearest one is up over the mountains in Vancouver, so I can’t go trolling through there to get inspiration. However, if you are lucky enough that one is nearby, I recommend a trip. If you are in an Ikea-less town like me, don’t lose hope, you can still order products. You can even save money on shipping if you live near a pickup point! Of course, you can also ship straight to your door.
I looove Wayfair. The selection online is extensive, and if you spend over $75, you can snag some free shipping! They also conveniently organize their lighting into the types, so you can browse all the pendant lights or check out their many different wall lights!
Rona, Home Depot, Lowes
Big box hardware stores often have a lighting department where you can shop a selection of styles of lighting (typically the wired lighting, not the plug-in types).
Walmart, Target, Hudson’s Bay
Department Stores will usually have a home section where they offer a selection of table, desk, and floor lamps. They may also have wired lighting selections too that may be just what you’re looking for, so it’s worth checking out.
Specialty Stores – Pier 1, Home Sense, Lighting Stores
These stores will be more expensive, usually, but they can offer some stunning pieces for your consideration.
Changing Out a Light Fixture
First things first, if you are updating a table, desk, or floor lamp, you need to switch out the old lamp with the new lamp, and you’re done. If you are doing a ceiling light or wall sconce though (as theses light fixtures are wired in, you can’t just plug them into the wall outlets), your project will be a bit more complicated. You will also need a pair of pliers, a screwdriver and some wire nuts (check the instructions on your new fixture to be sure. Also, the new fixture may come with the wire nuts so don’t buy them unless you need them!)
Be sure to follow the instructions that come with your new light fixture, but for more details, I recommend checking out this helpful tutorial from The Family Handyman! You may not need everything listed in the article, but it’s beneficial to have this handy when working as you never quite know what you’ll encounter when you pull back that old light fixture!
A light fixture change can add an instant refresh to any room. Most light fixtures are also relatively cheap to buy as well, especially if you hit the right sale! I’ve been able to change ceiling lights for under $100 in many cases. I hope this article has inspired you to freshen up your space. If you have any additional tips or want to give me a shout out, please leave a comment! For more tips on how to fresh up spaces, be sure to check out my earlier article here.
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Next week I’m going to talk all about rustic decor and how you can incorporate this gorgeous style into your home. Until then, stay crafty my friends!