Even if you know that the lighting in your home can affect your mood, you might not feel compelled to change your fixtures or bulbs. Maybe the mere thought of budgeting for and installing new light fixtures is just not worth the effort. Or maybe bringing in your electrician to add new electrical wiring in your home just isn’t on the table. In both cases, DIY lighting hacks can get you where you want to go.
That said, you also might not see yourself as especially crafty, handy, or anything close to a MacGyver type. Fret not – anybody of any skill set can pull off the nine lighting hacks below.
Nine lighting hacks to try
1. Use plastic jugs to cut down on harsh light
When your light is too bright or harsh for your liking, the way to soften it just might be in your fridge. Using a plastic milk or gallon water jug is a classic DIY light hack that softens your light just as a lampshade does. Just cut off the top of your jug after you’ve emptied and dried it, then place it gently atop a tabletop light bulb. You can also use your DIY lighting jug as a flash diffuser for your next photoshoot.
2. House your light in a white balloon softbox
As with a plastic jug, a white balloon can soften your light’s glow. Just blow up your balloon to whatever size “lampshade” you want, then hold your balloon’s opening tight so no air escapes. Then, gently slide the balloon’s opening over your light source and seal it using tape or a rubber band.
Of course, your average balloon won’t open wide enough to fit a lightbulb. That’s why this DIY lighting hack is best used with small, narrow lights such as string lights or portable laser lights (more on these later). Also, it’s important to know that heat can cause balloons to pop, and some lights emit lots of heat (though laser lights don’t!), so your white balloon softbox might not last very long or be the right fit for some bulb types.
3. Use pendant lights in place of chandeliers
Chandeliers are perhaps the most elegant lighting item around, but they’re expensive and tough to install. Pendant lights, though, provide an easy lighting hack that achieves that fancy chandelier feeling with far less spending and stress. Just mount the pendant to your ceiling with some basic tools, wrap the cord, let your bulbs dangle, and voila – high-class ceiling lighting with no hassle.
4. Make your own tripod lamp
If you’re the handy type, then for you, a fun lighting hack might involve transforming craft supplies and tools into an elegant light fixture for far less than the sticker price you’ll see in stores. For example, using some wood beams and store-bought lampshades, you can build your own tripod lamp that gives your home an enticing contemporary look. If this lighting hack seems up your alley, these DIY tripod lamp instructions will guide you.
5. Invest in dimmers without adding new internal wiring
Chances are that if you’re at all interested in lighting, you understand why dimmers are part of any great lighting design. You might also find dimmers intimidating since you think that installing them means getting an electrician to add new wiring to your walls. Plug-in dimmers make this notion a thing of the past, making this a great shortcut to install dimmers in any room of your home.
Plug-in dimmers turn literally any light into one you can tune to your liking. To use them, you’ll plug your light into your dimmer instead of plugging it into your wall. You’ll then plug the dimmer into the wall. This way, you can turn your bedside lamp up or down however much you want.
6. Add lighting to neglected spaces
In lighting design, it’s common to focus on room lighting at the expense of lighting in spaces that you won’t physically occupy. As a result, your closets, cabinets, and wardrobe may have minimal lighting or perhaps no lighting at all. The good news is that there are plenty of lighting hacks that can help you find that t-shirt stuffed between sweaters or that shot glass hiding behind all your mugs.
Closet, cabinet, and wardrobe lighting can be as simple as a battery-powered, wireless LED light. It can also be string or rope lights shining from downwards into your closet. With these lighting hacks, you’ll both see better as you hunt for certain items and elevate your lighting design – it’s form and function, not one over the other.
7. Use one light for more than one color
Often, artificial lights are white or off-yellow in color, but they don’t have to be. You can use LED lights, for example, to shine thousands of shades that exist within the rainbow (plus pink and white colors beyond it). You’ll make one inexpensive purchase to give you thousands of options – talk about a hack! Plus, since most LED lights are remote-controlled or phone-controlled, you also get the hack of modifying your colors from wherever you’re sitting.
8. Try portable lights to test different looks throughout your home
You might think of lighting as solely comprising fixtures you install in one location and keep there, but that’s not always the case. Portable lights give you the versatile lighting hack of small but bright lights that travel with you as you move around your house. You can use these lights to get standard white or off-yellow lighting or enjoy the endless possibilities that come with colored lights.
The BlissLights StarPort USB is a great example of how portable lights make for one-of-a-kind DIY light hacks. Whether you use your StarPort to shine red light, blue light, or green light, you can take it with you as long as you also bring a device with USB ports. That can mean your laptop, or you can use your mobile charger to keep things on the especially small side. Filling your room with colorful, entrancing starry-sky lighting has never been easier!
9. Use laser lights for picture-perfect effects
If you’re into accent lighting, then you understand how much value a well-lit photograph, chair, or bookshelf can add to your lighting design. But what if you could create light and images at once instead of using the former to illuminate the latter? With laser lights, you can do exactly that.
You can flood your room with visions of a starry night sky with a BlissLights BlissBulb screwed into your favorite traditional light fixture. The BlissLights Sky Lite Laser Galaxy Projector floods your room with calming visions of cloudy nebulas, stars, or both. And the BlissLights Ark Ambient Aurora Light broadcasts alluring green auroras against a soothing blue backdrop. Forget ordinary lighting – with lasers, you get the whole picture.
Bring lighting hacks into your room with BlissLightsThrough repurposing ordinary household items, making your current lights more versatile, or adding colorful lights to your space, DIY lighting hacks can substantially elevate your home. And if you’re going the colorful route, BlissLights has all kinds of exciting, inspiring laser lights! Browse our collection to find the ultimate laser lighting hack – with our laser projectors, bulbs, and USB lights, you can enjoy unparalleled lighting without going big.
BlissLights has been a leader in the laser lighting industry since the company was founded in 2006. Our team of experienced engineers and technicians helped create award-winning special effect lighting for major theme parks before minaturizing our patented technology for home use. BlissLights is dedicated to laser safety and education, and is registered with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).