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This Simple-But-Genius TikTok Hack Will Help You Fake Overhead Lighting

published Aug 6, 2020
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Whether you’re living in a 30-story high rise or the second floor of a townhouse, one thing is nearly universally true of apartments: They never seem to have enough light. And while you can do a bit to fake a brighter space, including revving up dim old overhead lights by swapping in higher-lumen LEDs for dull incandescents or replacing (or removing) heavy shades, it can be tricky to figure out a solution when you don’t have any overhead lights at all.

Table and floor lamps are great for task lighting, or even providing atmosphere, but it’s tough to illuminate a whole room with them. If you owned your home, you’d be able to wire in a light fixture (or at least pay someone else to do it!), but if you’re renting… well, it feels like you’re out of options.

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Except! This viral TikTok proves that a little ingenuity and some cleverly placed Command hooks can go a long way towards faking the look and feel of overhead lighting.

Faced with a pretty generously sized living room that had exactly zero overhead lighting, user Kendra Stricklin (on TikTok and Instagram as @strictlykendra) pulled out a set of string lights that she hung in zigzags across the ceiling. For rental-friendly mounting, she used Command hooks to hold the lights in place. The outlet that the lights plug into is connected to a switch, so she’s able to turn the lights on and off just like you would an actual overhead light—and the effect is surprisingly bright.

If you don’t have a light switch that connects to an outlet, another option is to use a smart plug that connects to a smart home device, such as Alexa or Google Home. You’ll be able to control the lights via an app or—if you have a device in the room—by voice command.

All told, you can copy this TikTok hack for as little as $50 for the string lights and hooks—so even if you do own your home, this budget solution for low-light rooms is certainly worth a shot.