The Best Lighting Fixtures To Buy When Your Budget Is Tight




I’m a fan of good, quality lighting. And you probably are, too. After all… Who isn’t?

It really makes an artistic statement in a space, goes a long way to telegraph its style, and can push an interior up a notch in quality and design bravado. Many times I begin the design process thinking about the decorative lighting in a room. It’s important to consider the light fixtures at the get-go of a room’s design plan.


Unfortunately though, people sometimes forget to budget much for lighting.

They don’t anticipate the expense, spend the money elsewhere, or just don’t value it as much as, perhaps, a designer would.

Of course, there is good cheap lighting available out there. There are fixtures that are well-designed, look stylish, are up-to-date, and go easy on your budget. But, you have to be sooooo careful here.

The space you’re buying lighting for, if you are going cheap (ahem….inexpensive), should be fun and whimsical, rustic and industrial, or casual and textural.

The room has to be capable of accommodating both high and low type products. It must not be a space that takes itself too seriously.

Here are some examples:

I’ve used this light fixture (3 of them) in a nail salon before. It’s $50 from IKEA. (Yes, it took the owner hours to put these together. You pay one way or another, in time or money. 🙂

Lighting; lamp

Simple industrial type fixtures can be fun and inexpensive. I think this barn light fixture is classic, timeless, and I could see it working well in many types of spaces that want a more simple, rustic look. I’m using it in my Honey Bee Ham Deli project, right now. There are lots of versions of this fixture, ranging from around $75 and up.

Lighting; lamp

Even though this basket type fixture is an easy DIY, here is another inexpensive IKEA pick. With a basket fixture you can go big, because it’s all about the texture and natural element this fixture gives to a room.

Lighting; lamp


The one reason why the barn light, the dandelion, and the basket work so well, is…

They are shamelessly cheap.

Everyone knows they are, and they aren’t even trying to look expensive. They’re almost appreciated for their cost effective style and nature. It’s like wearing Keds or Converse shoes with a tux or a wedding gown. They’re classic, stylized, fun, and they are what they are: unabashedly practical for a budget.

Another direction you can take if you have no money left for lighting is…

Go generic.

That’s right— generic, plain, and simple is better than imitating expensive fixtures in a cheap manner. That’s why a fixture with a simple drum shade, a glass globe pendant, a basic lantern, etc. would be good choices. While they don’t really knock your style out of the park, they don’t really bring it down either. They could also serve as decent placeholders until you have the budget to go all out. It’s kind of like a simple, basic, black dress: You can get by with a less expensive dress if it is understated and subtle. However, if you wore a more outrageous style and color (something that would call attention to itself), it would be best for it to be made of higher quality materials.

Examples of Inexpensive, generic lighting:

Lighting; lamp

Lighting; lamp

Lighting; lamp

Lighting; lamp

So what have we learned here today?

If you’ve forgotten to budget for lighting, and you’re in a pinch, any of the above options will work just fine. 😉

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