Lighting is one of those things that you can easily go over budget when building a house. But by choosing a combination of some less expensive lights, DIYing a few of them, and adding a splurge fixture or two, it can really make a difference on reducing the overall lighting budget. We have been building our house since April 2016, and by the time we got to lighting we were nearing the end of our budget. Here’s a quick little tour of the lights we chose for our house.
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In the mudroom I wanted something kind of fancy. I originally upcycled an old brass chandelier, but it was one of those Pinterest fail projects. I didn’t really love how it turned out, and that ceiling is so high in the mudroom I thought it wouldn’t be a great idea to hang something that I didn’t love. I found this simple black chandelier from Lowe’s for under $100.
My biggest splurge on lighting was for the one in the front hall. I loved the jar lights we used above our fireplace in our last house, but I didn’t think the rectangular shape would work here. Then I found this one on overstock.com (Mariana cognac glass pendant). It was perfect, and even though it was a splurge for me it still wasn’t crazy expensive. Shipping to Canada was a lot of money, but fortunately I live close enough to the border that I could ship it to my United States mailing address then pick it up.
This was not the easiest light to install. First of all, those are thirteen foot ceilings. Tony and I were both perched at the top of a ladder. I held the light, Tony did the wiring. And then of course Tony didn’t have the proper tools handy and had to search the house for a flat screwdriver while I held the light up there (it’s heavy!!) I kept telling myself that Survivor challenges are way more difficult, and if I ever wanted to be on Survivor I couldn’t drop that light.
Upstairs in the living room we went with eight LED pot lights. When we were planning our house we wanted to make sure that every room was well lit. Dimly lit rooms make me depressed, so we wanted to avoid that. These pot lights are spaced about three feet apart, and it is more than enough light. These lights are about $35 each because they are LED light bulbs. We are also not the best at turning off lights, so even though these are more expensive than other light bulbs, we will save on electricity costs.
In the kitchen we also added five recessed lights, and two hanging pendants. These pendants are made from pendant kits that I got from Home Depot for less than $30 each. And the shades I swiped from my dad’s workshop. They are vintage white porcelain garage lights that my dad got at a yard sale 30 years ago. I think they are the perfect size for above the island, and even though they were some of my cheapest lights, I think they still provide a nice focal point in the kitchen.
Dining room light
The light in the dining room I bought from a Habitat for Humanity Restore for $35. It was originally a brushed nickel, but I spray painted it black to match the rest of the lights in our main living area. I don’t love this light, it’s a little crooked and I think it hangs too high (thought no one has hit their head yet which is a bonus!) But if we ever want to upgrade this light in the future I won’t feel too bad about replacing it for only $35.
In the bedrooms we wanted ceiling fans and bought the same plain and simple one for each of the bedrooms. We got them on sale at Lowe’s for less than $100 each. In the master bedroom we also added four LED recessed lights that are controlled by a separate switch.
For the main bathroom I wanted something a little more special and sparkly, but something that would also provide a fair bit of light. I chose the Maxine vanity light from Rona with eight light bulbs, and I think it checks off all those boxes.
For our en-suite bathroom I bought this light (affiliate link) from Lowe’s. That room is still a work in progress and I don’t have pictures yet.
And in the hallway and walk-in closet I picked out simple dome lights. You can’t go wrong with a light like this for $20 from Home Depot.
And finally, for our outside garage lights we chose three galvanized steel (affiliate link) outdoor lights, also from Lowe’s, that were one sale for $25 each.
Whole home lighting on a budget
In total we spent about $2000 on lighting and fixtures throughout the house. Since we chose some less expensive fixtures in some areas, it meant we could spend a little more on statement lights. All said and done, I’m pretty happy with the lights we chose, but if we ever change our minds we can always upgrade in the future!
Does anyone else have a “Survivor” light installation challenge? I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was tired and sore and not overly happy.