This $18 Hack Helped Me Fake Wall Color When I Couldn’t Paint My Living Room

published Jul 5, 2020
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Outfitting an unfurnished space is never easy, but when I moved into my most recent apartment, I was faced with not one, but two, tricky decorating challenges. Not only was I not allowed to paint the off-white walls, but I also have 10-foot tall ceilings—leaving me with an ample amount of bare wall surface to decorate, especially in the living room. So what’s a maximalist-minded renter to do in this case? Fret not, friends: I found a fast, easy way to fake wall color that only set me back about 60 bucks total.

If you aren’t already hip to Bulbrite Solana bulbs, then now’s the time to smarten up. Both Alexa and Google Home voice compatible, these clever $18 LED bulbs connect wirelessly to an app on your smartphone, so they can cast a glow in a rainbow of colors (as well as dim and intensify)—all with a touch of your screen.

I popped one of these guys into each of the three cloud-shaped pendant lanterns I have hanging in my living room, downloaded the app on my iPhone, and within minutes, I had faux pink walls. If you don’t have hanging lights, no worries. Place one of these bulbs in a table lamp, walls sconce, or an overhead flush mount to cast color onto your walls as well—again no paint brush necessary!

Even better, you can use the app to create custom lighting schemes and schedules for each bulb. For instance, I have a special after-sunset scene scheduled for two of the bulbs in my living room. At 7 p.m., just as the sun starts to set, my lights automatically turn to a mid-intensity pink that projects the perfect shade of pale fuchsia onto my walls, as seen above. It’s a great visual cue to start winding down from the work day.

If all that wasn’t enough to sell you on these genius wall color-changing lights, don’t forget that LED bulbs use up to 80 percent less energy (and last up to 25 times longer) than traditional incandescents. So switching to these kinds of bulbs will lower both your electric bill and your carbon footprint. No surprise then that I currently have at least one of these bulbs in every room of my home for mood lighting on the fly and regularly give them to friends as housewarming gifts. Plus, in my next place, should I be able to paint, I can use these bulbs to get a sense of what shade might look good more permanently on my walls.