More light in a room… when you don’t really care what it looks like

I have an art room/studio, and since I’ve moved in, I have made due with the light from the single bulb in the ceiling fan in the middle of the room + task lamps. It wasn’t really ideal, though, since whenever I left the room I had to go turn off several lamps, and since the work desks are at the outside of the room, I cast a shadow on whatever I was working on.

My cheap (ish… for a whole room light system) but not totally attractive solution was to buy the following:

  • 3 Ikea light cord sets. I live 9 hours away from any IKEA, but picked these light kits up when I went to Austin last.
  • 3 shades to go with them. I lost the ones I got at IKEA, so I bought these from amazon.
  • Bulbs. I wanted bright white light, so I got these daylight bulbs at amazon. I love them – they do make a slight buzzing noise, but I’m almost always listening to something in the studio.
  • I got a cheap light kit at Menards. Just a standard holds two bulbs deal. It was $4. It was like this one on amazon.
  • To plug the IKEA lamps into the fixture, I got two of these adaptors from a local hardware store. Like this one, but without the pull cord.
  • Finally, I got an umbrella to hide the big mess of cords. (The one I got is pretty huge, but there are a lot of cute cheap umbrellas on Amazon.)

Light solution in art room

To get the umbrella up, I sawed the post off below the catch, and used the little metal piece that fell out (I sawed around it) to fashion a hook that also holds the umbrella open. Then I just hung it right on the light fixture.

I used mostly stick up hooks to hold the lights kits and cords in place – plaster ceilings don’t like screw in hooks.

Here’s what it looked like before I hid the mess with an umbrella:

Mess of cords before umbrella

The total wattage of the lamps is less than the rating of two 60W bulbs the light fixture is rated for (thanks CFL’s!).

Now my room is nice and bright. Next step: getting it cleaned up.

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