As a renter, I am fully aware of how limited the options for illumination can be. I often find myself stuck with some type of fixture I can hardly imagine someone designed on purpose. The subject of this post, bedroom lighting, is among the most frustrating for me. Often there is the sorry excuse for the overhead (and for whatever reason, off-center) fixture, the brass wall sconce, or the third option: no fixture at all. What you get is just a lonely outlet, powered by the door-side switch, that they expect you to plug a bedside lamp in to. This third option is usually my favorite, because if nothing else it allows me freedom of choice. When renting, you can not expect great or honest lighting options from potential properties. Recently, what was advertised as “providing recessed lighting” turned out to mean “one single area with two recessed can lights, while everything else will be brass, chain-hung fixtures from 15 years ago.” So what are the options for the bed-side lighting when you can’t exchange fixtures or hire an electrician? Here are a few to get you started thinking.
West Elm’s Industrial Sconce
One of my personal favorites (these have a way of popping up around my house), the very basic industrial Clamp Light. Available at most hardware stores for less than $10.00, it comes in a variety of sizes and styles. As an added bonus, a simple light bulb change can turn this into a small bedside heat source. Just be careful not to touch the metal shade once it has been on for a little while.
If you can’t find anything you like, try getting a cord kit, like this one from Urban Outfitters. This one includes a 15 foot cord, an in-line on/off switch, and the bulb shown above. Urban also offers a large array of shade options for their cord kits.