The privacy and calm of studio apartment life are unbeatable, but with little square footage and less overall natural light, adequately lighting your solo space can be tough. You’ll need light fixtures to make up for the lack of sun, but with your apartment’s limited space, you can’t exactly add a floor lamp in every corner. A single fixture won’t add the lighting layers you need to conduct every task in the right light. And if you’re renting your apartment, wiring in new fixtures for your studio apartment lighting is likely a no-go too.
Fret not, though – there are all kinds of creative, fun ways to light small spaces such as studio apartments. Any of the below studio apartment lighting ideas are great ways to make your space feel bigger and more welcoming.
12 studio apartment lighting ideas
Among the best ways to work toward proper studio apartment lighting are through:
1. Overhead lighting
A good studio apartment lighting approach always starts with the ambient light that overhead fixtures provide. Overhead lighting has virtually no impact on how much floor space remains open in your apartment, while casting a wide beam.
If you’re renting your apartment, try installing different light bulbs in your current overhead fixtures to change your apartment’s look and mood. If you own your apartment, you have a bit more leeway: You can bring in an electrician to install the fixtures of your choice.
As for the type of overhead lighting you want, read on for a few options.
2. Ceiling fixtures
Ceiling fixtures are the most common type of overhead lighting. They include two primary categories:
- Recessed lights. These fixtures are embedded in your ceiling, meaning that the bottoms of your light bulbs will be flush with or slightly above ceiling level. These lights are common in apartments, though some apartments may have rooms without ceiling lights.
- Track lights. These lights are becoming increasingly popular since each individual light on the track is adjustable, so you can direct your ambient ceiling lighting wherever you want. Track lights can also bring ample decorative flair to your studio apartment, as can other types of overhead lights that hang far below your ceiling.
3. Low-hanging pendant lights
Low-hanging pendant lights provide an especially versatile overhead lighting touch. These eye-catching fixtures hover just a few feet over a surface to provide simultaneous interior design flair and ambient lighting. If you hang these lights over a work surface or desk, you can also use their illumination as task lighting.
Often, low-hanging pendant lights require an electrician to install additional wiring, though some pendants come in simple plug-in varieties. If the need for wiring or the idea of a light fixture so close to eye level in any way concerns you, there are plenty of non-ceiling lighting options you can try.
4. Floor lamps
Floor lamps are a great alternative to ceiling lights in most studio apartments. Their bases often occupy just a couple of square feet of floor space, so you can fit them snugly next to your bed or in an unoccupied corner across the room. Some floor lamps also come with two or three individual fixtures with bendable stems that give you added flexibility for how you spread ambient lighting throughout your room.
The light from floor lamps is often as powerful as with recessed ceiling lights, and floor lamps are typically easier to set up since you won’t need a ladder or extra effort to install. And perhaps more importantly, since floor lamps are plug-in fixtures, you won’t need to add any new wiring. That said, since floor lamps typically have fewer bulbs than do track lights, you may need to pair them with task and accent lights.
5. Table lamps
Rare is the ambient light that entirely reaches every nook and cranny of your studio apartment. Table lamps can make up for this gap. If you find that your floor lamps or overhead lights just can’t illuminate a key part of your desk, a table lamp can give you that much-needed additional brightness. Table lamps can also come in handy for applying makeup or reading in bed. You should couple their task lighting with accent lighting to fully enliven your studio apartment.
6. Wall sconces
Wall sconces are an especially versatile type of studio apartment lighting. They can illuminate entryways, accentuate your best furniture or wall art, and do so much more. Although they have traditionally required additional electrical wiring, plug-in wall sconces are becoming increasingly common. With simple sconces, a few table lamps, and numerous floor lamps or overhead lights, you can amply light pretty much any studio apartment, even one without windows.
7. Natural light
Assuming your studio apartment does indeed have windows, you shouldn’t be afraid to harness the wondrous glow of natural light. Sunlight that flows into your apartment through your windows provides a great foundation from which to build your lighting design.
Amidst natural lighting, you won’t need as much illumination from your floor lamps or ceiling lights, though natural lighting is never quite enough to fully illuminate a studio apartment. And at night, natural light is entirely absent, introducing the need for common lighting fixtures or more adventurous ones (or both).
8. Colorful lights
Most lighting is white or off-yellow in color, but with smart LED lights, laser lights, and other specialty lights, you can flood your room with virtually any color on the rainbow. Smart LED lights are perhaps the most common colorful lights, as standard LED lights have long been hailed for their energy savings, but laser lights shine brighter and farther. They also use even less energy than LED lights while projecting patterns impossible with most other kinds of lights.
9. Laser bulbs
Laser light bulbs can be super convenient to install since they fit right into standard fixtures. This ease of use is paramount in studio apartments, which lack space for adding extra items to your already limited storage options. With laser bulbs, you can instead use the fixtures you already have to immerse your studio apartment in breathtaking, awe-inspiring laser lights.
For example, laser bulbs such as the BlissLights BlissBulb screw right into all your typical light fixtures, so you can bring their wonders to all parts of your apartment. Find astonishment in every room with laser bulbs’ red, green, or blue starry-sky projections!
10. Portable laser lights
When you’d rather not move a laser bulb among several fixtures to bring the outside sky indoors, portable laser lights can save the day. These lights fit in a small desk drawer, nightstand drawer, or even your pockets. They occupy far less space than pretty much any other lighting fixture while emitting especially moving, transfixing colors and patterns.
The BlissLights StarPort Laser USB is a great example. Just plug it into your wall charging port, mobile charger, or laptop to enjoy starry-sky laser lights from a device that fits in your pocket!
11. Aurora laser projectors
With aurora laser projectors, you can take your starry skies up a notch. Aurora laser lights such as the BlissLights Ark Ambient Aurora Light project stunning, gently moving green auroras onto your ceilings against mesmerizing blue backdrops. They’re especially great for amazing your apartment visitors as they walk into your newly decorated studio apartment, as are other outer space laser projectors.
12. Galaxy laser projectors
Galaxy laser projectors take you outside your four walls even though you’ll never leave home to use them. These transfixing projectors, which include the BlissLights Sky Lite Laser Galaxy Projector, are known to make first-time users audibly say “wow.” That’s just part of why the Sky Lite is huge on TikTok – just as importantly, their starry skies and beautiful nebula clouds can completely fill almost any room. The result is a studio apartment fully immersed in wonder.
Four key tips when picking studio apartment lighting
Now that you have so many studio apartment lighting ideas to try, you might wonder how to choose the right options for your space. That’s why we’ve included three key studio apartment lighting tips below to help you decide.
- Use several types of lighting fixtures. Don’t just get a floor lamp to supplement your recessed ceiling lights and call it a day. Your studio apartment lighting setup should comprise several lighting layers and fixtures that, ideally, are adjustable. This way, you can change your lighting setup however you please to keep your apartment looking interesting and fun.
- Shine your lighting directly onto objects. We mentioned earlier that wall sconces are great for accentuating furniture or wall art. This direct lighting is key to making your small studio apartment appear larger. Whether you use sconces or other accent lights for direct object lighting, you’ll achieve a fading wall effect that makes your space look bigger.
- Choose versatile lighting. Many of the studio apartment lighting ideas mentioned above have several uses. Table lamps are great for reading, working, or even chopping vegetables atop your tiny bit of kitchen counter space. Laser lights make for calming meditation spaces, immersive gaming setups, and so much more. Know what you need from your lights before you shop, then choose lights that check off several boxes.
- Don’t skimp on shading. Your apartment will appear bigger if more light is shining inside it, but on some nights, you might want a more intimate vibe. That’s why you should factor shading and dimming into your design, perhaps through plug-in dimmers if you can’t add electrical wiring. Alternatively, to keep your lights low-key but inspiring, laser lights always come in handy.
Light your studio apartment with BlissLights
Studio apartment lighting is a tricky balance of minimizing clutter and appearing to maximize space, but setting the right mood also matters. With BlissLights laser projectors in your apartment, you can harness the power of colored lighting and projected images for those nights when you want your studio apartment to truly wow your visitors (or just yourself). Browse our collection to find the studio apartment lighting projectors you never knew you needed until now.
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).