6 Easy Renters Fixes for Ugly Ceiling Lights

updated Apr 4, 2022
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

For many renters, it isn’t the blank walls or the basic carpets, or even the neighbors that can disrupt that feeling of home sweet home. Instead, it’s the lighting. Whether your rental sports flourescent light bars that cast a jarring light, or those much-hated flush mount lights that seem dated and unoriginal, ceiling lights in rental units aren’t exactly envious. 

But there’s a rental hack for just about anything. And where there’s a basic, ugly light fixture, there’s a DIY that makes everything better. Here, we’ve collected a few DIY ceiling light covers that are totally cool for renters, since for the most part, they don’t make any permanent changes to the existing light fixture. So don’t fret; keep reading for a few easy and inexpensive landlord-friendly fixes for ugly ceiling-mounted light fixtures.

If you can’t change it, hide it. As long as your ugly lighting isn’t too obtrusive (in that case, we’re so sorry for you), you can use one of these cheap methods to cover it up until you move out into a space of your own. Once you nail this, it’s time to spruce up your rental’s bathroom and wall-to-wall carpet

1. Dollar Store score

In this YouTube tutorial, you’ll learn how to use cheap Dollar Store cutting mats to create a totally glam hanging fixture that’s suspended from your ceiling light. Just a few simple steps (and the most basic craft materials!) and you’re all set with a blingy ceiling light cover. 

2. Rattan basket hack

There’s something that’s both chic and rustic about rattan; it’s a natural fiber, so it lends that rustic vibe, but it’s also very of the moment. That’s why you might want to consider this clever ceiling light cover from Heather at TheHeatheredNest. She shows you how to take a simple rattan basket to create a totally upgraded look in your entryway. 

3. Lamp shade lighting cover

Not in love with your ceiling light cover? Give it an upgrade with a lamp shade, like Heather does on her site, TheFeatheredNest. The great thing about this hack is that you can create a customized look for your space given the vast number of lampshades available at home decor stores. Just look for one that’s straight up and down rather than tapered for a clean, modern look. 

Credit: Maegan

4. Nice and Nautical

Using only a hanging plant basket and a spool of sisal rope, Maegan at love…Maegan created a beautiful ceiling light cover that works perfectly in her beachy bedroom. Find instructions for this simple project on her site. 

5. Boho Chic

How can you create a boho or Scandi aesthetic when your apartment has those ugly gold and glass flush-mount ceiling lights? Answer: By covering them with this ingenious macrame-inspired ceiling light cover from love…Maegan, of course! Using little more than a skein of yarn and wooden craft beads, she’s created the perfect ceiling light cover for a boho style. Get the how-to on her site. 

6. Fabulously feathered

We’re guessing you didn’t realize just how glam a flush-mount ceiling light could be. But when you add a ring of black feathers to it, like love…Maegan did in this room, we promise you’ll be a total believer.  

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