Four ways To Instantly Upgrade A Light Fixture

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Lighting is arguably one of the most important ways to take your decor from good to great. It affects how your house looks and feels. Light fixtures are like jewelry and they are a great way to inject some of your personality into a space. So it is always perplexing to me that it is often overlooked in a lot of homes. Today, I want to give you four tricks that will take your chandeliers, lanterns and sconces you already have up a notch.

Change out Candle Sleeves

The candle sleeves that come standard with most chandeliers, sconces and lanterns are usually generic and plastic looking. Sometimes on more contemporary fixtures they are metal. If your fixture is fairly traditional, give it a little something special. Change the sleeves it came with for resin sleeves that look like wax candles. This will make a huge difference. Suddenly your ho-hum fixture looks high end!

This gorgeous Coleen & Company lantern retails for around $1400. You can see how new candle sleeves could give a generic lantern a boost for just a few dollars.

Change out bulbs

There are several bulb options for lanterns, chandeliers and sconces these days. It’s fun to chose a style that will enhance the beauty of the fixture. Here are a few examples below. I used these prismatic bulbs on my dining room fixture. They are gorgeous on chandeliers that have a lot of crystal.


Satin string wrapped bulbs offer a charming soft glow that is perfect for exposed bulb chandeliers or lanterns. Especially ones that are aged and traditional.

The opaque round bulbs are fresh, fun and contemporary. I love the way they look with this traditional lantern. The scallop detail with the round bulb is just an added bonus.

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Add Shades

I added shades to these transitional fixtures in my basement for two reasons. First - the shades tempered the glare. The large fixture is over a pool table and the lantern is over a game table. Both need to provide light. The shades keep one from burning their retina while in the basement. Second - I do think they soften the look of the fixtures too. While I like the look of the fixtures, probably something more practical would have been a better choice. Live and learn!


Add Dimmer Switches

Many designers will tell you to have every switch in the house on a dimmer. I couldn’t agree more. Everyone looks better in ambient light. It’s essential to have your chandeliers on a dimmer so that you can set the mood. If your kids are doing homework at the dining room table lots of light is needed, but no one needs six 60 watt bulbs blazing overhead during a dinner party. Candlelight is always flattering even it’s fake, simulated candlelight.

I hope I have inspired you with these simple tips to upgrade some of your fixtures. Remember, it’s all in the details!



Anne Anderson