Our home was built in 1875 – like a lot of homes with that much history, ours has plaster ceilings and no ceiling fixtures in the living room. Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about how to light a room with no overhead lighting or ceiling wiring!
You may have a similar situation in a living room or bedroom without overhead lighting or ceiling lights – but there’s plenty of alternatives to add light fixtures and get some extra light at every height – from ceilings to tables to walls – even if you don’t have a ceiling fixture or overhead lighting available.
6 Ways to Light a Room Without Overhead Lighting or Ceiling Lights
Check out some of my favorite ideas for adding more light to your living room, bedroom, or other rooms without ceiling lights or overhead lighting without tearing down your ceiling to add wiring!
Plug-in Ceiling Pendants
Plug-in pendants are a perfect way to add a ceiling light without wiring – giving you overhead light even if you don’t have a ceiling fixture.
We recently updated our living room with a custom plug-in pendant from Illuminate Vintage, but there are plenty of ready-made mobile plug-in pendants you can use to add light without wiring your ceiling. We had a hook added to the top of the downrod which then hangs onto a hook we screwed into the ceiling. Then we swagged the cord to the corner of the room, where it loops around a hook and plugs into an outlet near the baseboards.
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Plug-in sputnik chandelier with 16ft cord
Farmhouse plug-in wire caged pendant light
Plug-in pendant light with frosted shade and clear cord
You can also easily hang plug-in sconces around your home to light a room without overhead lighting or wall wiring – these are great because you can mount them at different heights. They look great in pairs on either side of a bed or couch or on their own like this adjustable plug-in sconce from Schoolhouse lighting.
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Mid-century plug-in wall sconce
Swing plug-in or hardwire wall sconce
Walter plug-in or hardwire wall sconce
Oversized or Arc-style floor lamps are an easy way to add light to a room without ceiling fixtures or wiring – no drilling required! I love arc lamps for providing the feel of overhead lighting without actually having ceiling lights.
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Polaris arc floor lamp
Arquer floor lamp
Elizabeth edison floor lamp
Use table lamps in different sizes, at varying heights, or in pairs to add more light to a room if you don’t have overhead or ceiling lights. Sleek, minimal table lamps come in colors for just about every space, and a bare bulb or light-colored shade helps direct light around the room or allows it to bounce off the ceiling – providing some overhead light without wiring.
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Industrial edison bulb desk lamp
Gold table lamp with linen shade
Table lamp with charging outlet
String lights are a fun and easy way to add ambiance and light to a room without the need for ceiling wiring or overhead light fixtures. They’re also lightweight and would only need some nails or hooks to hang from, or you can drape them from hanging utilities like this dreamy loft.
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Globe string lights with bulbs for indoor/outdoor use
Copper fairy string lights with remote control
Window curtain string lights for indoor/outdoor use
There are tons of new options for wireless or battery-powered ceiling lights like this battery-operated pendant. The main drawback is needing to replace the battery – but it’s a small price to pay for a traditional-looking light without wiring the ceiling!
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Battery operated glass pendant with frosted shade
Battery powered metal cage edison desk light
Battery operated wall sconces, set of two