by Staff Writer
Lighting is one of the easiest and fastest ways to update the look of your home, but the cost can add up. While many light fixtures out there are quite expensive, you have many discount lighting options, so you can decorate every room with fixtures you'll love, even with a tighter budget. If you also follow these lighting cost-cutting tips, you'll save even more money.
Shop for brass fixtures: Brass tends to be lower priced than other finishes, so you can often find incredible deals on brass light fixtures. If the brass color doesn't go with your decor, get crafty with a few cans of spray paint. Make sure to tape off the light sockets first, go in a well-ventilated area, and spray the fixture with even, light coats of paint that's intended for metal. Once it dries, you can hang it in your home, and you'll have a one-of-a-kind fixture with a small price tag. You could even use bright colors -- like pink, red, or yellow -- in a child's bedroom or in a powder room.
Keep up on trends: When a lighting trend gets popular, manufacturers are quick to make affordable versions to keep up with the demand. This means you can find versions of the style that are very affordable, as long as you're willing to settle for materials that aren't as expensive as the original. For example, a chandelier may have glass beads instead of crystal; it will still be beautiful, and you won't have to spend as much on it.
Go for groups: Large fixtures make a style statement and are necessary in large rooms with high ceilings, but they often come with an equally large price. If something large is not in the budget, try hanging a few small fixtures together. Three similar or identical light fixtures, hung at different heights, would make as much of a statement as one large fixture.
Watch for sales: Lighting goes on sale now and then, and you can sign up for email alerts to find out when the sales begin. If you can't wait for a sale, look for clearance lighting to find fixtures that are priced to sell quickly.
Turn off the lights: Lights are only good if someone is in the room or on the porch to use them; otherwise, both your indoor lighting and your exterior lighting simply cost you money. If no one is in the room or on the porch to take advantage of your lighting, cut your electric bill and turn off the lights.
Use energy-efficient light bulbs: Energy-efficient light bulbs may seem like just a more expensive light bulb when you purchase them, but they have several advantages, all of which save you money over time. These bulbs use less wattage to make a similar amount of light as your regular bulbs, and they do it without producing a lot of extra heat, which means they save energy twice. Plus, due to their efficiency, these bulbs last longer than other light bulbs.
Dust light bulbs and light fixtures: A coating of dust on your fixtures diminishes their beauty and their ability to light your home. Regularly clean your lamp shades and ceiling fan blades to maintain the good looks and dust off the light bulbs to brighten the room.