Creative Ideas for Lighting Rooms Without Ceiling Lights

A room without proper lighting is a room that no one wants to be in. In this post, I’ll give you some ideas for lighting a room without ceiling lights. (Article may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure at the end of the post.)


Plug-in wall scone from Hangout Lighting

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Imagine this. You move into the new home or apartment you’ve been so excited about. The furniture has been placed exactly where you want it. You’ve decorated it with your favorite pieces. You’ve added life to your new space, making it oh-so-cozy. But, there’s something you just can’t escape – darkness. Your dream home has no ceiling lights and very little natural light.


How are you supposed to read that new book without straining your eyes or keep yourself from accidentally bumping into the furniture again? The truth is that living in a home with minimal lighting can be like living in a cave, and that’s downright depressing.

I could go Captain Obvious here and tell you your first option is to install your own overhead lights, but since you’re reading this article, I assume that’s out of the question.


Source Julie Blanner

An electrician will charge you over $100 to install ceiling wiring for your overhead light fixtures. You may live in an apartment where changing the ceilings is not an option according to your lease.

A better way to brighten up your dark room is to get creative and look for lighting ideas that don’t include installing ceiling lights.

If you do have the option of overhead light fixtures, read my article 50 Best Modern Farmhouse Chandeliers. and Lighting [2022].


Large Floor Lamp with linen shade from Antique Farm House

It may seem like you’ll never get to have the home of your dreams, but don’t let your lack of overhead lighting get you down; you’ve got options.

Top Ideas for Lighting a Room Without Ceiling Lights


Table Lamps

The power of a table lamp can honestly be transformative for your home. They’re subtle in the sense that the light they offer covers a small area, and yet their impact can be so large when directed to the right space.


Table Lamp from Antique Farm House

A great table lamp can give you the power to make a bright and bold impression within any space in your house.

One of the best aspects of a table lamp is its versatility. You can pretty much put them anywhere, on your bedside table, on a shelf, or even near an entryway, they can creatively brighten any dark area of your home.


White Stacked Ball Table Lamps (set of two) from Antique Farm House

Plus, the wide variety of unique table lights that you can choose from allows you to pick an option that fits your style and the character of your home.

What If I Don’t Have an Outlet Near My Table Lamp?

Easy enough, battery-powered table lamps take the outlet out of the equation. There is no need for a nearby plug, just pop batteries in your lamp and place them anywhere in the room.

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Pendant Lights

Plug-in pendants are one of the best options for lighting a room without ceiling lights. They’re easy to install and a breeze to maintain. All you need is a power outlet and a simple hook or two.


Really cool glass plug-in pendant light made-to-order from Hangout Lighting

You can opt for a single pendant light (sometimes called a swag light) in the corner of the room for ambiance or multiple lights for a center-of-the-room showstopper. Just remember, if you choose pendant lights for the center of the room, you’ll need an outlet nearby so cords don’t overtake your ceiling.

Plug-In Sconces

There’s often a lot of focus on lighting a room without ceiling lights from above, but remember that the perimeter of the room needs some love too.

Plug-in sconces are a favorite lighting solution for homeowners without overhead lights. They’re easy to install and can be turned on and off with the click of a switch.


Handmade plug-in wall sconces from Hangout Lighting

A popular place to put plug-in wall sconces is at your bedside. A pair of these lights can softly flood your walls with beautiful light. The advantage is they can be turned off with ease when you’re ready to get to sleep.

The downside of plug-in wall lights is that due to the softness of the light, you’ll need another source of light to cover the middle of the room.


Industrial style plug-in sconces from Hangout Lighting

I recommend combining the plug-in wall sconces with other lighting options like a table lamp or pendant light to maximize the light in the room.

String Lights

Who doesn’t love string lights? But have you thought about using them inside your home? They look great at restaurants and hanging on outside decks and porches. Why not bring the outside in?


Credit Design Sponge

String lights are whimsical and festive when compared with other options. They’re powerful enough to light up a room while adding a touch of cozy to your space. Without a doubt, everyone loves cozy.


Credit Briar Winters

String lights are affordable and easy to use. You plug them into the wall, wrap them around the room and you’re done. You can even plug one strand into another for more lights.

Floor Lamp

Using a beautiful floor lamp is a great way to completely flip what was once a dim part of a room into the perfect place to relax, read, or work in.


Floor Lamp from West Elm

Like many of the other options on this list, the beauty of a floor lamp lies in its versatility. You can move a floor lamp pretty much anywhere you want making it an ideal add-on to your home.


Tree Floor Lamp from Lamps Plus

Floor lamps serve as another piece of furniture in your home rather than just being a complement to the surrounding style.

Arc Lamp

Arc lamps are floor lamps with a curved base that allows the light to flood the area more directly. By using an arc lamp, you can be more intentional about what space is being lit up. Rather than just creating a pool of light, this option opens up the opportunity to put light over difficult spaces like the middle of a couch or a hard-to-reach chair.


Arc Lamp from Crate and Barrel

There are a variety of arc lamps that offer differences in the style and arch shape of the lamp. For example, if you’re looking to light space like the center of your couch it would be more appropriate to get an arc lamp with a dramatic curve.

The possibilities are endless and can take some of the hassles away from brightening up tough areas of your home.

Edison Light

A creative solution to brighten your living space and add a unique sense of character is by hanging an Edison light. Edison lights are a great option to create a vintage industrial feel.

Hang a single pendant in your reading nook for task lighting. Or swag a cluster of Edison lights to the center of the ceiling that suspends from a large hook to create the feel of overhead lighting.


Edison light from Brighttia

The fun thing about Edison lights is that you can get them made to order. One of my favorite places for Edison lighting fixtures is Hangout Lighting. They were featured on the television show The Profit, which is one of my favorite shows on tv. Hang Out Lighting offers cords and sockets in all different colors with a large selection of Edison light bulbs.


Uplights are a unique option for lighting your room without ceiling lights. You strategically place them on the floor and point them up (hence the term “uplight”) to subtly light a specific area. Uplights can be used to highlight photos, artwork, or architectural details in your home.


Uplight from Lighting Direct UK

One drawback to uplights is that they’re a direct light source to the walls only. They won’t provide enough light for an entire room. They’re a creative solution for ambiance but you’ll need to pair them with a stronger light if your room has no ceiling fixtures.

Battery Operated Lights

Battery-operated lights are a popular choice when living in a room without an overhead fixture – especially apartment living. It’s understandable though, no wiring is necessary, easy install and no need for an outlet. Even your 2 year old can easily turn the lights on and off.


Source Lamps Plus

Are one or two battery lights going to be enough light to illuminate your entire space? No, but they’re a good option as an add-on light for your room.

Battery-operated lights come in lots of cool and different shapes which can oftentimes make them the perfect choice for difficult spaces.


Battery Operated Lights from Amazon

The only issue with the lights is what makes them so effective in the first place. Because the lights run on batteries and not electricity, you’ll have to change the batteries when necessary. This can be a nuisance especially if the lights are in spots that are hard to reach.

So, I recommend utilizing battery lights in spaces that are easy to get to so it’s less of a hassle to replace the batteries when the time comes.

Flameless Candles

Flameless candles are a simple way to add a soft glow to your home without having to put in much work. The candles produce beautiful ambient lighting and can be arranged around your room to add style and comfort.


Source Wayfair

You can set them on the fireplace mantel, around the center of the room, or on coffee tables and end tables. Some even come with a remote control. They’re a good option to help set the tone for your space.

Pulling It All Together

If you’re ready to add some much-needed light to your dark home, just know that you have a world of options open to you. A lack of overhead lights may make you feel like you’re at the end of your decorating rope, but the important thing is that this situation really allows you to be creative and make unique choices that make your home you.

Source Me and Alice Photography

One of the best ways to take these ideas further is by combining different types of lighting for your home. Instead of going with one type of light, it’s a great idea to include a variety of lighting styles that complement each other and make the most out of your home’s design.

Have fun experimenting with different combinations and figuring out what works best for your space.

What are your favorite lighting fixtures for a room without overhead lighting?

Until Next Time,

Related Articles:

How to Swag a Light Fixture that Hangs from a Cord or a Chain
17 Best Modern Farmhouse Lighting Fixtures and Chandeliers
Vintage Italian Tole Chandeliers and Floral Fixtures – An All-Inclusive Guide
10 Popular Pendant Lighting Fixtures
Silicone Light Bulbs – The Coolest Candle Light Bulbs You Never Knew Existed

Please note that some links in this post are affiliate links. At NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, I will earn a small commission on any purchases made.

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