Tips To Help You Hide Ugly Light Fixtures In A Rental Property

One of the biggest downsides to renting is the decorating and renovation limits. When you don't own the space, there are typically a hefty number of restrictions when it comes to changing features, whether it's the paint color on the walls, structures, or hardwired components. One feature that makes a major difference in the overall feel and look of the space is lighting. Rentals aren't known for donning the prettiest or most trend-forward light fixtures, which can quickly rain on your style parade. 

Not only that, but it's annoyingly difficult to change this aspect in a rental. Electrical work is almost always forbidden, and tackling those built-in lights, whether in your rental closet or living room, is a contract breach waiting to happen. That doesn't erase the fact that those lights can make or break your living space.

Lighting impacts how you feel and can drastically change a room's appearance. Rental lighting is often harsh, artificial, and far from the design aspirations you had for your living space (there's a reason why so many people hate the big light). If you're stuck with the dreaded boob light or recessed lights in your apartment or rental house, you have a few rental-friendly options for hiding them. From genius TikTok hacks to wall-mounted fixes, here are a couple of ideas for making hideous lights disappear — temporarily.

Hide any ugly rental light with a new shade

If you can't stand the idea of another day staring at that bland, beige light in your living room or bedroom, look to TikTok user Casa Creative for inspiration. They show how easy it is to take a lampshade and cover up unsightly flush-mount lights on the ceiling without any drilling, painting, or sketchy electrical work. In fact, no tools are necessary for this quick DIY.

All that's involved is finding a lampshade that fits around (or is larger than) the circumference of your current light and a flatter, more stylish cover. Make sure the lights are switched off, then gently unscrew the current light cover or diffuser and the bulbs with your hands. After this has been done, place the shade around the light area and screw the bulbs back in over the top. Add the new cover, tighten the bolts, and you're good to go. Store the old version for safekeeping, as you'll want to replace it before you move out.

Other ways to improve rental lighting

If you have recessed lights, one of the best ways to forget their existence is to leave them off and replace their purpose with another lamp. Select a floor lamp or table lamp that's bright enough to completely take over the need for ever having to switch those ceiling lights on again. Rather than hanging a shade, renters can also simply swap out the cover or diffuser of their flush-mount ceiling lights for a quick fix. Fresh shades can also be added to pendant lamps that hang down lower than flush-mount lights.

Another fabulous option for renters to try is an adhesive wall-mounted light. These newer light fixtures won't require drilling into the drywall. Thanks to the removable adhesive backing and a battery-powered light, it's simply a case of sticking your new light to the wall and flicking it on. These tend to look more modern and won't cause any damage that'll hurt your chances of receiving your security deposit back. You can also find this type of lighting in plug-in format, which might be preferable to battery-powered and doesn't require hardwiring.