How to Plan, Prioritize, Budget, and Make it Happen
Updating the lighting in your home is one of the quickest ways to give your house a facelift. It’s easy to accidentally overspend on your house’s lighting if you don’t have the right information, but not to worry! With a few pro tips and some help from Armstrong's Lighting, your home will feel brighter and look better – without breaking the bank.
1. Make a Plan
Before you start tearing lights out, pull up a chair and make a solid plan. When you’re on a budget, prioritizing which spaces need the most love is key. Look in each room and make sure all your spaces have multiple lighting sources to eliminate shadows and illuminate workspaces.
Once you’ve done that, think about lighting focal points. Where do you want your lights to make the biggest impact? A few places to consider starting are: above the dining room table, in the living room, and in the bedrooms.
Pro tip: Make a list of all the fixtures you want in order of importance–it will come in handy later!
2. Evaluate Your Budget
Do your research and be realistic about your needs and wants. Knowing how much you can spend and being an informed buyer will help you make the most of your money and avoid overspending.
Take a look at your budget and decide on two numbers – the amount you’d like to spend, and the highest amount you’re willing to spend. Then, put together some ballpark estimates for the fixtures you want.
When you walk into the showroom prepared, you can put your money where it matters most! It’ll also help us to know what price range you’re looking at to match you with the perfect fixture!
Pro tip: Don’t forget to include the costs of professional installation and light bulbs in your estimate!
3. Prioritize Your Needs
If you’re renovating on a budget, ask yourself: Which light fixtures will make the biggest difference in my house? Remember that list of fixtures you made earlier? Pull it out and prepare to rearrange it.
Prioritize fixtures that give off ambient, or full-room, light. Once you have those at the top of the list, move on to task lighting. Any workspaces will need additional lighting above them (kitchen counters, bathroom vanities, desks, etc.).
If you still have room in your budget, consider adding accent lighting to features in your home you want to highlight. Moving from general to specific will help you narrow your focus to what really matters, and light your house without running low on change.
4. Pick Your Fixtures
It’s easy to get sticker shock when you start looking at light fixtures. When you’re choosing lights for your renovation, you have two options: you can get a cheap fixture that will work for now, or you can get a quality fixture that will work for years.
While there is a time and a place for inexpensive fixtures, just remember that buying lights that will stand the test of time will actually save you money in the long run.
You also need to keep in mind how often you want to redecorate. Trendy fixtures will look outdated much faster than classic styles. If you don’t want to be repeating this process again in 5 years, get a classic, quality fixture that won’t need to be replaced when the fads change.
Pro Tip: Selling your old fixtures online can give you a little extra to put towards your next lighting purchase.
5. Remember the Bulbs
While LED lights cost a little more up front, they use at least 75% less energy, and they last up to 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs. To be sure you’ll see savings on your electrical bill, look for bulbs with the Energy Star rating logo on the packaging.
Don’t make the mistake of buying bulbs that you’ll just have to replace in a few months! Be sure to work LED bulbs into your budget–we promise it’ll pay off!
6. Do It Yourself
One major cost of updating lighting is installation. In many cases, a handy homeowner with the help of a few Youtube tutorials can save money by doing it themselves. You may also consider installing some lights yourself and having others professionally installed–dropping a heavy chandelier would put a dent in your budget (and your floor)!
However, if you’re going to go this route, researching and implementing all the safety precautions is non-negotiable. Being well-educated can save you from causing a fire, burns, or other safety hazards.
If you’re unsure about doing it yourself, no worries. Just make sure to factor the professional help you need into your overall budget!
Updating and replacing lighting on a budget can feel like a daunting task, but with these tips and our expertise, you can’t go wrong! The step-by-step guide we made will help you have amazing lighting without feeling financially strapped.
If you get stuck on any of these steps, give us a call and we’d love to chat about solutions.