New Light Fixtures to Light Up Your House Love

Earlier in the “Falling in Love with Your Home”series, we talked about increasing natural light. Today I will be expanding on the topic, but this time I’m talking about the man-made type of lighting!

As I mentioned in my previous post, in the quest to fall in love with our home, we have painted almost every room in our home, but I have also replaced almost all of the light fixtures as well!

There is no excuse for putting up with dated, dim, or just plain ugly light fixtures! (Although, I will accept “but, I have 25 foot ceilings” as an excuse.)

I know that sounds like it would cost a fortune, but honestly the average cost I’ve paid per light fixture is $30. I’ve paid as little as $5 and at most I paid $125 for the drum shade pendant in my office.

My sources for lighting are: Craig’s List, Habitat ReStore, Overstock.com, eBay and friends! A new source you might also try is DiggersList.com, it is kind of like a Craig’s List for building supplies.

One day’s haul from the Habitat ReStore!
$20 Semi-flush light fixture from Craig’s List.

And, you do not to spend money hiring an electrician. Removing and rewiring a light fixture should not stop you “Dead in Your Tracks.” Sorry, bad pun, I know. But, seriously, it isn’t rocket science. As long as you are safe and Turn Off the power (flip the circuit breaker) that your fixture is on, you should be able to replace your own light fixture.

Here is a good instructional video for replacing a ceiling light fixture:


Note: They mention you will need a helper in the video. I’ve only needed help when removing a heavy fixture (for example a ceiling fan.)

Still a little scared? Well, think of it this way, all you are doing is unscrewing screws, paying attention to how the light that you are removing is installed. Then repeat the same set up when installing the new. Easy peasy. Oh, and I don’t use the circuit tester (although I should). I turn the light on before I flip the circuit breaker. That way I can see when it is off.

To view another tutorial from Pretty Handy Girl for replacing wall mounted fixtures, CLICK HERE.

Now let the lighting parade begin:

In our foyer I wanted an open glass hanging fixture to light up the small space.

Before: Foyer Brass Light

But, I hated the brass light so much that I settled on a Costco semi-flush light that I paid $45 for.

Interim Foyer Light

Little did I know that I would find the perfect fixture a year later at our Habitat ReStore. A little Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint and I was in love with my new foyer light.

$10 Spray-painted Habitat Light Fixture. Tutorial HERE

We have all seen the hideous Hollywood style strip lights in a bathroom. That is exactly what we had in our master bathroom. I ended up finding this temporary fixture on Craig’s List.

Brushed Nickel wall mounted sconce from Craig’s List.

You have to love to hate this dated 1970′s fixture. Antique Brass and globes as big as duckpin bowling balls make for an interesting bathroom fixture.

An inexpensive wall mounted light fixture from Lowe’s really brought this bathroom into this decade (not to mention some paint and other updates. Details HERE.)
This shiny brass chandelier was the last of our light fixtures to be converted. I knew what I wanted here, but couldn’t find an affordable black chandelier.
Before: Dining Room Shiny Brass Chandelier
As luck would have it, I saw this baby hanging from a friend’s ceiling and remarked how much I liked it. Right there and then he told me I could have it. I’m only kicking myself for not installing it months sooner!
After: Black Chandelier
(FREE because it wasn’t a friend’s style! I know – seriously – don’t hate me.
Because I would if your friend gave it to you for free!)

When we moved into our home, the light fixture over the kitchen table was a dim 60 watt bulb fixture that really left me craving more light.

Before: Kitchen Brass & Glass Pendant Light

Okay, I really hesitated to post this next picture, but I refuse to hide any of my flaws from y’all. Well okay, maybe just a few.

I bought this light fixture off of Craig’s List hoping to improve the light on our table. BIG MISTAKE! It was such a harsh and direct light that I turned around and sold it a month later.

Interim Light: Modern Glass & Brushed Nickel.
“Ummm, Mr. Spielberg, I have something you might be interested to see in my kitchen.”
WHAT WAS I THINKING?

A few keystrokes on the keyboard brought me to this little gem for our kitchen. I just love the quaintness of this light fixture that I found on Overstock.com. Small, whimsical, yet not too cutesy. To center the chandelier over our kitchen table, I installed a ceiling toggle style hook and sewed a swag cover to hide the chain.

After: Rustic Bronze and Silver Leaf Chandelier $65 from Overstock.com

Chandeliers aren’t just for your dining areas. I’ve seen them in laundry rooms, bedrooms, and even mudrooms!

Black iron & rope 3-arm Chandelier.
Renee’s $10 Habitat ReStore light that we installed in her mudroom.

Don’t neglect your exterior lighting. These wall mounted lights were so small and looked very weathered.

Before: Dirty Brass & Shiny Black Exterior Lights

I finally found some beautiful old world lanterns at Lowe’s for $24 each! SCORE!

After: Copper Wall Mounted Exterior Lights. Installation Tutorial HERE.

Light fixtures don’t have to be hard wired. Some ambient lighting in our home comes from plug-in style lighting. Like these pendant lamps I made from minnow (fish) traps:

They started life as a $5 fisherman’s trap.
And now they have a new life on our screened porch.
$3 Thrift Store Lantern retrofitted with a plug in light kit.
Perfect for reading stories in Pretty Handsome Son #1′s bed.

I saved my favorite light for last. This star light hangs in our upstair’s hallway. The light is on a timer and gives off just enough illumnation for our little late night sleepwalkers.
Paper star light plugs into nearby outlet and is set on a timer.

So how about your home? Do you have any light fixtures you detest? Have you scoured Craig’s List? Be sure to check weekly for new postings.

Comments

  1. Lois@frugaldecormom says:

    Cool post. I've got lots of lighting to change out in this old house. And I'm hitting the Restore next Friday! Can't wait!

  2. Jen (aka: Photojenic) says:

    Do you ever worry about bad wiring with used fixtures, that might result in a fire hazard?

  3. Michelle @ Dream Home DIY says:

    This has me itching to rip out our dated lighting…..the living room AND dining room have matching brass ceiling fans. Eeek!

  4. I have been slowly doing the same thing in my home. Replacing or painting light fixtures to bring everything up to date. It is amazing what a difference it makes! I am jealous of your free chandelier…no fair!

  5. Diane Ferraro says:

    Those are great ideas for lighting – both indoor and outdoor. I just took on the project of re-doing all of my landscaping lighting and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

    If you want to give your outdoor lighting an upgrade, I suggest this resource: http://bit.ly/OutdoorLights, which helped me a great deal. I didn’t even think about adding lights to my garden pond before I saw that graphic.. and now my little pond glows night & day :)

    Hope this helps!

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