I Replaced All the Ugly Ceiling Lights in My Rental Apartment for Under $120

published Sep 13, 2022
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Being a home shopping editor and living in a pre-war apartment that hasn’t been holistically updated since its debut has just about as many frustrations as it does charms. Every room in my place had an impressively outdated ceiling fan or flush mount light, and living with a motley crew of lighting temperatures and noisy propellers was dizzying at its best. But what began as a frustration became one of the most charming elements of my apartment’s essential decor. For under $120 total, we replaced all of our mismatched ceiling lights with these mid-century modern globe mounted semi-flush ceiling lights from Amazon — and have been earning compliments for three years since.

Fellow renters, not only does this single change have the ability to dramatically elevate your decor (and relieve headaches), but it may not be as hard to achieve as you think. When my housemate and I realized the flickering lights and strobing propellers were starting to make us feel legitimately ill in our own home, we respectfully requested a change from our gracious landlord (love you, Louise). As it turns out, especially since we were willing to invest in the replacement lights ourselves, it can be a surprisingly quick and painless upgrade. Good tenant tip: See if your superintendent is able to do the installation themselves or your landlord has an electrician (or friend!) on call. Not only did this save us even more money, but being transparent with our landlord and receptive to her thoughts on the whole thing earned us a few gold stars.

Credit: Kendall Cornish

My housemate and I were working with a tight budget, but once we agreed that replacing our ceiling lights was a priority for us — an investment in our new WFH set-up, comfort at home, and pride in our space — we began our search for the perfect hardware. But about 10 minutes in, the simplicity of the Mid-century Modern Globe Lights stopped us in our tracks and ended our search early. The style, reminiscent of those cozy French restaurants in cities that somehow make you feel at home, complimented the mix of modern and traditional we already had going on in our home. So, we bought three for under $120, got them the following day (love you, Amazon Prime), and, after 30 total minutes of installation, paced the place in amazement. In less than 24 hours, we’d created a dream apartment.

This mounted pendant light comes in two lengths — we went for the shorter 6-inch length since we have lower ceilings. You can also take your pick between matte black or polished gold hardware and a clear or frosted globe to cover your light bulb. I adore our gold and frosted glass light fixtures and love knowing how easy they are to install and remove even more. While affordable, they’ve lasted three years so far and we could totally take them with us when we move if we wanted to — they’re definitely one of the best home decor investments I’ve made as a renter.