Skip to Content

14 Lamp Alternatives to Light Up Your Rooms

A collage of lamp alternatives.

A table lamp or a floor lamp can be efficient for task lighting such as when you need some illumination for your bedtime reading. Lamps, however, can be limited in its use and can cause eye strains when not positioned correctly.

So if you want to have more coverage for your lighting, check out these lamp alternatives below for any parts of your home.

1. Christmas/String Lights

A woman is installing Christmas lights in her living room.

Christmas lights are a great save spacing, budget alternative to a lamp. In a small space, they can be strung up on the ceiling, down the wall, or can even line the perimeter of the floor.

Enough lights to go around an entire room is often less than 20 dollars, and, unlike a lamp, there is no need to buy a lampshade or an extra end table. Christmas lights can also make a room feel cozy and warm, and give a space the bohemian feel.

Chat Box

Home Expert (Bot)
Hello, how are you? Ask me anything about interior design, home improvement, home decor, real estate, gardening and furniture.

String lights can also be battery powered or plug into a wall, making them great for any living situation. Christmas lights are also easy to hang, requiring just a few thumbtacks or nails to get them up.

2. Light-up mirror

A lady is facing a light up mirror

A light-up mirror is one of the less common lamp alternatives. However, this option should not be overlooked. Light up mirrors provide the elegance of a regular wall mirror with the brightness of a typical lamp. They are a great option if there is no space for a lamp on an end table or even a standing lamp.

A regular mirror will help open and brighten a room on its own, so adding lights to one will really help take a dark room at the next level. The mirrors usually come with LED lights, which means they are especially bright.

Typically between 50-200 dollars, this is also a great budget lamp alternative. Mirrors can be hung with velcro or screws, so damaging a wall should not be a problem.

3. Wall Sconce

Wall sconce

A wall sconce is a good choice for someone who wants something elegant yet out of the way. Sconces are similar to a typical lamp, except they are mounted to the wall.

Being on the wall makes sconces good for someone who wants a reading lamp, as they can typically be angled toward the bed or the couch. Sconces can be plugged in, or battery operated.

They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, making them incredibly versatile, so they will fit in almost any home. Adding a shade to a wall sconce can help tailor them to your liking even more. Prices can range anywhere from 20-300 dollars.

4. Battery-operated candles

Battery-operated candles in stainless steel containers.
Battery operated candles are a modern and safe alternative to the traditional candle. Although these lamp alternatives do not provide as much light as a typical lamp, they are a good budget-friendly option that makes a room cozier, while adding just a touch of light.

Place one or two on a mantle, or arrange a plethora of them around a room, and battery operated candles will provide an elegant source of light. The candles come in all colors and sizes, from tea lights to jar candles.

Having a range of sizes and styles will help add a creative touch to any room. The prices range from around 5-30 dollars depending on quantity and size.

5. Electric lantern

Electric lantern
In a rustic or farm style house, a lantern may be the way to go. Battery operated or plug-in lanterns can be easily found from most home decor stores. Lanterns usually have LED lights, so they are able to easily brighten a room.

Lanterns can range from being modern and sleek to old and rustic in appearance, which makes them fit for many different home styles. Many modern-looking lanterns come in a variety of colors, from bright blue to rusty metal.

Because most lanterns are relatively small, several can be placed around one room or area to give off more light. This lamp alternative ranges in price from around 10-30 dollars, making them pretty affordable.

6. Neon signs

Neon sign
Neon signs are a fun and unique way to add a retro touch to any home. Most signs will have “light-up wire” and not real neon, however, some antique stores or flea markets may have signs made with real neon.

A light-up wire can be purchased on its own from most craft or hardware stores, and bent into any shape or letters, or, a pre-made slogan can also be purchased and installed in a home.

These signs are a good way to add a bright pop of color and light in one and typically cost less than thirty dollars. The words and boards come in a variety of sizes in order to fit any space.

7. Stick-on touch lights

Stick on touch light

If overhead lighting is not an option, and nor is a lamp, stick on LED touch lights are a super budget option to give the illusion of overhead lighting. These lights are typically round, white lights, that can be stuck onto the wall, the ceiling, or even hidden out of sight under a table or cabinet.

Some are a touch on, touch off, while others have a switch or button to press. Typically priced under 10 dollars, these lights are a great option because several can be purchased without breaking the bank.

8. Cloud lanterns

A lady is holding a lit up cloud lantern.

Source: Etsy

Cloud lanterns are a great item to make yourself! This lamp alternative is another great one to make a room feel cozy and warm, especially at night. Cloud lanterns are LED light bulbs with cotton stuffing glued on to give the illusion of a cloud.

They can be purchased for relatively inexpensively, or DIY-ed at home for less than ten dollars. The LED lights inside can be either battery operated, or electric. After you have made or purchased a “cloud” simply hang it from the ceiling, and you’re good to go!

9. LED mason jars

Mason jars used as lighting

Mason jars with lights inside are a cute and rustic way to add a cozy glow to any home. This lighting alternative is another one that can be made at home or purchased for little money.

The mason jars can be custom designed to any house by simply spray painting or covering in tissue paper, making these a versatile lighting option. Most store-bought jars will come with LED lights, which are typically battery powered, so there is no need to worry about cords or power outlets.

Another plus side to mason jar lights is the size. Because mason jars are small, several can be placed around a room or mantle to make a room even brighter.

10. Light-up letters

Lit-up letter inside a bar

Large metal letters are a stylish and hip way to add some extra light into a room. Any letter of the alphabet can be found, most often with battery operated LED lights. The letters can be large or small, which means that entire words can be spelled, or the first letter of a word can look great too.

This idea is not just limited to letters, either. Symbols such as arrows, the “and” sign, and hearts can also be found. Because they are battery operated, the letters or symbols can be placed anywhere around a room, from hanging on the wall to propped up in a bookshelf.

11. A Fireplace

A young mother with her children are warming up in front of a fireplace.
A fireplace is a great (and old-fashioned) way to add both heat and light to a room. While the average person may not be able to afford a brand new fireplace, there are so many options for a fake fireplace.

Even a fake fireplace can add a fair amount of light to a room and may take up very little space for the amount of light and heat they produce.

Even if you are not in the market for a new heat source, most fireplaces can be turned on so that just the light is on, but not the heat. Fireplaces can range in price from around 100-1,000 dollars, depending on the style and brand.

12. More Natural Light

Lady dancing on her bed as she enjoys the natural light coming through the window.
If most of the windows in your house are covered with curtains, consider taking the curtains off. If privacy is an issue, consider getting frosted windows or having curtains that can easily be pulled back during the daytime, but closed at night.

By simply pulling back curtains, a room can light up almost as much as turning on a lamp. Even adding sheer curtains is a good option for a combination of privacy and natural light.

13. Adding a Vase

Lady admiring a variety of vases
If a lamp is being used for decor and not light, a tall vase can be a good option instead of a lamp. To replace a lamp on an end or side table, find a large vase that is similar to the color scheme in your home. Flowers can also be put in the vase to add a pop of color.

If you are trying to replace a free standing lamp, a vase can still be a good option. An artistic, colored glass vase is one of the best ways to add an elegant touch to a room. Vases are incredibly versatile and come in so many unique shapes, sizes, and colors.

14. Light-up picture frame

Pictures frames with surrounding lights.
A light-up picture frame solves both the issue of not enough lighting and not enough decor. Picture frames can easily fill up space that is being unused, and, many lights up.

The lights can either be built into the frame as a soft glow coming from within, or round LED bulbs that go around the perimeter. If you are looking for a lighting choice, the LED bulbs are probably the best bet.

However, if you are looking for an option to fill the space instead of a lamp, any old picture frame will be just fine. Picture frames come in so many colors, patterns, and sizes that finding one to fit any home shouldn’t be an issue.

Having a variety of styles and sizes can also help fill space, and having several will provide more light in your house.

Chat Box

Home Expert (Bot)
Hello, how are you? Ask me anything about interior design, home improvement, home decor, real estate, gardening and furniture.