Lighting Rant and an Affordable, Recycled Pendant Lamp

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I love our new apartment. Really, I do. It has presented us with some decorating challenges that have forced both me and my husband to think creatively about how to solve them. But the one feature of this new place that’s driving me absolutely nuts is the lack of lighting in both the bedrooms and the living room. Good thing is that Scotlight Direct Online was there to help us. They had lots of selections to choose from, but we couldn´t just stick with one, we found this designer lighting online and we absolutely loved it.

We generally don’t use any lighting during the daytime, preferring to open windows. But as soon as it gets dark, we find ourselves scrambling for light. The living room is lit by an old lamp in one corner, but we tend to also use the dining room light (which at least contains a CFL). But the bedrooms are maddening. In my daughter’s room, she often has to use the light in the closet or the bathroom in addition to her small lamp just so she can see what she’s doing at night. And because the lamps in the master are on the far wall, we have to stumble into our room in the dark and find our way to them.

Note to property management company: A central fixture in these rooms would really be nice.

Again though, this particular challenge just gives me a reason to ogle at beautiful ceiling fixtures and figure out how I can bring one home with me. Ever on a budget (aren’t we all), I discovered this recycled beauty from Urban Outfitters. I’m not really thrilled about the gold tone shown in any of the three angles above, but that’s nothing a can of low-VOC spray paint can’t fix.

I do love the Moroccan-inspired look of the octagonal etching stamped throughout the shade. I can only imagine the beautiful shadows this would cast throughout a room. And for less than $50 (right at 60 once you add the cord kit), we could have a light fixture that would brighten the entire room instead of lamps that are just barely doing their jobs.

Why It’s Green:

  • Shade made of recycled metal

Origin: Imported (not sure from where)

Price: $48

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7 comments… add one
  • Lynn April 9, 2010, 4:42 pm

    We have the opposite problem. This house had literally DOZENS of recessed fixtures. It was built about six or seven years ago (we moved in 5.5) just before anyone was terribly concerned with this issue. Arrgggh. At night, with the exception of the kitchen, I try to not use any other overhead lights, only lamps. My husband, however, refuses to turn off the lights in his office where he works at night and work by the light of a lamp. But I will say that if you have the option of new lighting in your home, there are SO many amazing options. And it\’s so easy to make your own too. I\’ve seen some really fun ones made from glass bottles DYI.

    • jennae April 9, 2010, 7:31 pm

      @Lynn I can definitely see how the opposite problem would be just as bad — worse even. Because rarely can you turn on one recessed light at a time. It’s generally all or nothing. I could see myself walking behind my husband and daughter turning off lights all day, so I feel your pain 🙂 I’ve been looking into some DIY options (been feeling pretty crafty/handy lately), so I’ll keep you guys posted if I decide to make one 🙂

  • Becca April 9, 2010, 6:53 pm

    Those are really cool and unique looking. We are very fortunate that our current house has many central lights. We have lived in houses before with hardly any.

  • kelli April 9, 2010, 7:57 pm

    LOOOVE those!!!

  • Sheena @ Sophistishe April 11, 2010, 6:22 am

    OMG, thank you for this post! I’ve added the cord kit to my wishlist. I’m dreaming up chandelier type lighting for our living room! We open the windows and then scramble for light at night too. This would be a huge help.

  • Make Green Come True April 12, 2010, 7:00 pm

    Those are very cool lights! I love your site and great eco-decorating ideas.

  • Condo Blues April 12, 2010, 10:01 pm

    I have the same problem in two bedrooms in my house. No overhead light. The light switch by the door goes to a socket. I have a row of halogen desk lamps lined up on the top a shelf in my computer room plugged into the light socket and work as overhead lighting. The other room, as a hanging lamp I made from old wine glasses hanging from the ceiling & plugged into the switch socket.

    You could easily make that lamp with some wire mesh around an old drum shade frame and a lamp kit.

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