How to Light a Room with No Overhead Ceiling Lighting February 5, 2022 – Posted in: General Info, Home Lighting, Tutorials

small bedroom with no overhead lighting

It’s easy to miss a room’s lack of overhead lightning until the sun goes down and you realize how much light you’re missing. If your room doesn’t have overhead lighting, there is no need to remodel your entire room to add new light fixtures. There are many creative ways to add lighting to your room, and none of these ways are difficult to do.

Plug-In Pendant For Overhead Lighting


The easiest way to solve the lack of overhead lighting is to create overhead lighting. However, the good thing is adding an overhead light does not mean adding any fixtures to your ceilings. You can easily install a hook in the ceiling to hang the cord of the pendant light and these lights can simply be plugged into an outlet.

Floor Lamps To Light The Room

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To light up your room, you can use a floor lamp just like hotels do. You should get yourself an oversized floor lamp. These lamps are not only statement pieces, but they will improve your room’s lighting. To further enhance the lighting, you can choose a lampshade that emits even more light due to its design. You may also opt for no shade for optimal light.

Gather All of the Natural Light

Sunlight Shining Through The Trees Onto Green Grass

While this option will not be useful when the light goes down, you can capitalize on natural light during the day. You can do this by switching to light, breezy curtains where the light can pour in. Opening up the windows and doors will also bring in the light and the fresh air.

Desk Lamps

Modern Desk Lamp

The empty surfaces on your desks and tables can be put to use to help brighten your rooms. Although desk lamps will be of no use in lighting up the entire room, they are still useful in providing additional light to several places in the room. You can put desk lamps on desks, bookcases, and end tables at the sides of the couches. You do not need to have outlets installed, as you can simply use battery-powered lamps.

Mirrors To Reflect More Light

mirror over the sink kitchen idea 1

This might seem like an outlandish suggestion, but strategically placed mirrors will not only make a room seem bigger, but they can also add more light. Point your floor lamps towards the mirror, and the mirror will shine more light throughout the room. You can also hang a mirror opposite a window to mimic the natural light and the appearance of additional windows. The more mirrors you use, the more light that shines through your rooms.

String Lights As A Decorative Accent Light

string lights

String lights are another fun way to add light to a room. They can be hung by the window to create a cozy feel and lighten any room. They also create a bohemian aesthetic when used in bedrooms and a lively, entertaining feel, in the living room. Luckily, these lights are always affordable and come in various colors so the style can be customized exactly to your desire.

Non-Directional Floor Lamp

Directional Floor Lamp

These lamps tend to cast light in many directions across your room making them perfect for our application. Non-directional floor lamps are aesthetically pleasing and produce a soft light, as opposed to a hard light that comes from spotlights. However, you still need to position them tactfully as they can be overpowering if too close to your eyes.



Up-lights send light upwards toward the ceiling and illuminate more light than a desk light or a floor light. Up-lights also come in different sizes, including floor up-lights and table uplights. These are perfect for larger rooms and hallways.


Candles are another option to provide dim and cozy lighting, but they are a fire hazard. Luckily, there are alternatives available that are not as hazardous. There are LED flameless candles that will create the same cozy lighting and are safer, produce less heat, and easier to light than traditional candles.

Do not despair if you are lacking overhead lighting there are many options available to achieve the same effect.

Wall Washer Sconces

wall washer light fixtures photo 10 edited

Wall washer sconces are a great solution for rooms that don’t have an overhead light. These fixtures will help to evenly distribute light over a large area without creating shadows. They can also be used to create an intimate atmosphere in any room without overhead lighting. Wall washer sconces come in a variety of styles, so you can easily find one to perfectly match your décor.

LED Strip Lights

LED Strip Close Up White Color

Installing LED strip lighting underneath furniture might be just what your room with no overhead lights needs. The addition of under-furniture lighting does more than add some much needed light – it can help to make the room look bigger by highlighting certain aspects and details of the environment. Furthermore, adding LED strip lights provides an ambiance that sets the mood in the room. For a cheap home option, I recommend picking up Roku RGB strips, while the premium standard has been Philips Hue due to all the integrations and quality build.

What are some creative ways to add lighting to a room without overhead lighting?

Some creative ways I’ve seen is adding flameless LED candles, plug-in wall sconces, and battery operated lights. Combining these lights with other ideas in this post is a great way to lighten up the room while having a unique feel to it.

How can natural light be maximized in a room without overhead lighting?

I would recommend adding mirrors to the room, particularly across from the source of light (such as a window). Mirrors reflect 95% of light, much more than typical white wall paint.