This Easy Lighting Upgrade Added a High-End Touch to My Living Room for Just $50

I’ve always swooned over the look of hardwired picture lights and sconces, but as a renterI’m unfortunately not in the position to make any type of electrical changes in my space. That said, I’ve learned to get creative when designing my space to create the illusion of custom touches. One of my latest hacks was installing some chic, library-like lights, which are battery-operated and therefore completely cordless, in my living room. The best part? This upgrade cost me less than $100 in total, all thanks to these Amazon beauties.

If you ask me, there’s nothing more elevated looking than a set of built-in bookshelves with brass picture lights on top, and this was something I had wanted to re-create in my living room for quite some time. A few months ago, I finally got my act together and made this idea a reality, and I’m so glad I did. Keep scrolling for all the details on this easy lighting upgrade and tips to help you pull off a similar look in your space.

Source: Sarah Lyon | Photo by Margaret Rose Larson

Why I Love My New Picture Lights

The price is right

I know from my work in the design space that most brass picture lights cost a pretty penny—seriously, some styles retail for upwards of $300 per sconce. So, right away, I decided to take to Amazon in search of a more budget-friendly option, which is how I landed on these $50 finds. I scrolled through a lot of cute styles but decided I liked the appearance of these particular picture lights the best, and they’ve also gotten dozens of rave reviews.

They’re easy to install

After ordering these sconces, all I had to do was drill them in on the top of my bookcases and flip on their switch. No electrical hardwiring needed! I’m all for a simple project that doesn’t eat into my entire weekend or require watching complex YouTube videos, so this was the perfect solution.

They look great on or off

Since my apartment gets a lot of natural sunlight during the day, I usually keep these picture lights off when I’m relaxing in the living room or working from home. When I do turn them on, I love the warm glow they cast in the evenings. Honestly, even when I’m not using them for lighting, these picture lights look so elegant and classy! You’d truly never know they were such an affordable buy.

You can use them in any room

Now that I know how beautiful they look and how easy they are to operate, I’m hoping to purchase another one (or two!) of these picture lights to highlight some of my favorite pieces of artwork around my home. I’ll also be able to easily bring these lights with me whenever I move to a new apartment, and I know I’ll find some sort of spot for them even if that space doesn’t have built-ins.

How to Decorate with Picture Lights

Whether you use picture lights for bookshelves or to highlight a special piece of art, these are great for going all in with the old money or quiet luxury look that’s trending right now. Why can’t you pretend that your city studio apartment is actually an old-timey library? I recommend styling these with other brass accents and fun vintage accessories to truly embrace this oh-so-popular aesthetic.

Other Affordable Picture Light Options


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