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How to Improve Bad Rental Lighting

Sometimes, rentals mean bad lighting. Here are a few tips on how to make the best of the situation.

You get what you pay for, and sometimes with rentals, that means bad lighting. Make the best of it with these tips.

  • Invest in light fixtures that you’ll be able to keep for a long time -- long after this particular bad lighting situation. If you purchase a hanging fixture that would normally be hardwired, you can have it adapted to a plug for just a few bucks. Then hang it wherever you like and keep the apartment (read: ugly) overheads off.
  • One great option: architects’ drafting lamps, which are extremely flexible. Face them downwards for reading or romantic lighting, or flip them up to bounce light off of the ceiling and illuminate the entire room. You can either go the floor lamp route and get one with a weighted base, or find one with a clamp to use on a table edge or shelf.
  • A cheap option for the ceiling is giant Japanese paper lanterns. Fit them over ugly landlord light fixtures to totally transform a space.

Nestpert: Kevin Lichten, AIA is a founder and principal of LichtenCraig.com, a New York architecture and design firm.

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