How to Get Overhead Lighting Without Wiring

Is it possible to get overhead lighting without hard wiring? If you live in an apartment or a home that doesn’t have enough overhead lighting this can be a hard problem to solve cheaply. It is expensive to have an electrician add an overhead light and you might not even be allowed to if you’re renting.

There are ways to get overhead light without adding a junction box. If you don’t own your home, or you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend you have to get more creative with lighting because you can’t change what’s there. There ARE ways. If a room doesn’t have enough overhead light I have three ways to add it.

1. Use Plug In fixtures For Overhead Light

If you have an outlet and you can screw a hook into your ceiling, you can have a chandelier or a pendant light anywhere. These “plug-in” swag chandeliers are a really easy way to add overhead light. All you need to use one of these is a hook that you screw into your ceiling.

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  • This plug in pendant (not technically a chandelier) comes in 10 different colors. ‘
  • Bronze plug in (comes in two colors) .
  • Lamps Plus has tons of designs like this drum swag in every color and pattern.

You can do this with any chandelier or pendant that has a chain. If you want to find a style you like search for “swag light fixture.” The only requirement is that the chain is long enough to reach a plug. If it isn’t you can extend the wire with a kit like this (even if you are a novice).

If you already own a chandelier or pendant that is meant to be wired into the ceiling, it’s easy to convert it to a plug-in light. You just need a kit like this. You can also use a more modern ceiling hook like this.

Large Arc Floor Lamp

Arc floor lamps aren’t technically overhead, but if you get one with a large enough arc it can provide the same benefits that overhead light does. Here are a few examples of these used in rooms and a few that I like.

Torchiere Lamps Can Light Up a Room

These are not technically overhead lights, but they act like them because they send light up and bounce it off of the ceiling. Torchieres are often overlooked because there aren’t a lot of them and many look old fashioned. Keep looking! There are MODERN versions available and they add tons of light.

They also take a pretty high wattage bulb, which makes an even better source of light.

Check Wattage On Your Fixture

Be sure to look for the largest wattage bulb your chandelier, pendant or lamp will hold. If you are confused about what type of bulb to use, check out this article about different LED and incandescent light bulbs. Your fixture will tell you the max usually right near where the bulb screw in.

learn more lamps and lighting, check out these posts that cover all the details to make sure you get the right lamp for your space.

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  1. These are great options, Andrea. I am headed up to Maryland on Memorial day weekend to help my daughter get settled in a new apartment. It will be interesting to see what we have to work with as far as lighting goes. I may be revisiting some of these to give her ideas!

  2. We have a few of these style lamps because we do actually have a room that never had any lighting put in. Crazy right?!!! Thanks for sharing this informative post.

  3. I love the options you have shared here Andrea. I’m trying to figure out something for an area in my guest room and will look at these ideas.

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