What is a Vanity Light?

A vanity light, also known as a vanity bar, is a long light fixture mounted above the bathroom mirror. The counter and mirror are the focal point of the bathroom, and vanity lighting draws attention to this important spot. Vanity lights and vanity bars come in a range of shapes, sizes, and colors. And since […]

What is a Wallchiere?

A burnt orange midcentury sofa with two wallchieres.

Wallchieres offer a fresh approach to lighting, combining the vertical lines of a torchiere lamp and the wall-mounted convenience of a sconce.

“Wallchiere” is the clever term for a wall-mounted lamp that resembles a free-standing torchiere lamp. Attached to a wall like a sconce, it usually has one of two functions: spreading light out or directing light upwards. Like a torchiere, it is usually tall and slender, like a torch.

Wallchiere with a twig and vine pattern

The Twigs Wallchiere has a vine shape that adds style to any decor.

 

Why Choose a Wallchiere?

A wallchiere combines the best features of a wall sconce and a torchiere floor lamp. This combination of features can be advantageous. Choose a wallchiere instead of a torchiere if you want a light attached to the wall, and choose it over a wall sconce if you want soft shadows or upward lighting.

A wallchiere is a good addition to a room that would otherwise lack intricate design. There are modern and vintage styled wallchieres available. Try the Dekora style two-lamp wallchiere for a perfect solution for any lighting dilemma. A wallchiere’s shade is often made of ceramic, as this material type is a good choice as a light diffuser. The Diploma style wallchiere is perfect for formal settings. Combine two with a dimmer for a perfect dining room experience. For a more traditional one-lamp experience, the Twigs style is a good choice. It wholly diffuses light, warming the atmosphere with the deep color of the lampshade.

Keep an eye out for wallchieres with additional features. Our Studio and Gallery Style wallchieres include picture frames, so you know your beloved photos will get the spotlight they deserve. The Loft Wallchiere includes shelves, perfect for holding keepsakes or even books.

Wallchiere with picture frames

The Gallery Style Wallchiere holds three photos, as well.

 

Where Should You Use a Wallchiere?

Use a wallchiere wherever you would use a wall sconce. Convert a plain bathroom into a more fancy one by attaching small wallchieres near the vanity to warm up the view in the mirror. Add two wallchieres (with a dimmer) around a fireplace to focus attention on it. Dim the light to a level comparable to the fire to intensify the aesthetics of the heat.

Instead of a corner torchiere, attach a wallchiere to all corners of a room to avoid pesky shadows and to allow space for furniture and decor. Use it instead of a corner wall sconce to direct light away from the middle, instead of towards it. This could come in handy when hosting an event with a larger audience. The diffused light will remove any unnecessary spotlight from individual people and avoid harsh glare.

You can use wallchieres outdoors, too. Using a torchiere in an outdoor situation isn’t practical, and might be a liability because of wires and wind. Instead, attach a wallchiere to an outside patio — one that looks like a torch or a candle — to add more exotic flavor. They’re also dramatic on the façade of a retail business or restaurant.

Wallchieres are relatively new on the design scene. Because of their versatility and fresh look, they should be a top choice when planning a room’s lighting.

6 Great Kids’ Bedroom Themes

An outer space theme bedroom is perfect for kids with a passion for stars and planets.

An outer space theme bedroom is perfect for kids with a passion for stars and planets.

A child’s room should be a reflection of his or her personality, goals, and interests. Does your child like dinosaurs? Astronomy? Butterfly collecting? Here are six cool bedroom themes that fit almost any kid’s style.

1. Dinosaurs: Start with earthy wall tones, wooden furniture, and some leafy motifs for that Jurassic feel. Real or artificial ferns add to the prehistoric setting. Kids who love dinosaurs will love our dinosaur-themed light fixtures. Made of white earthenware clay, they are beautifully carved with the huge prehistoric reptiles that continue to fascinate us. Wall sconces with T-Rex, or bowl sconces with Triceratops? Our wide range of sizes, shapes, and designs means that any young dinosaur enthusiast can feel right at home.

2. Plants: Junior gardeners will love being surrounded by plants and flowers. Unfinished wood is a natural choice for furniture. For the walls and linens, choose various shades of green, from seafoam to forest. Potted plants, of course, are a must. The windowsill is the obvious location, but shade-tolerant houseplants can grow in almost any spot. As for lighting, desk lamps and ceiling fixtures with floral designs fit beautifully in our young botanist’s room. Our Blooms & Bees ceramic light is among our many beautifully designed ceiling light fixtures. Pull all these elements together to inspire any child’s fascination of nature.

The dragonfly cutouts on this children's lamp make it perfect for the kid who loves bugs.

The dragonfly cutouts on this children’s lamp make it perfect for the kid who loves bugs.

3. Bugs: Plants are great, but some kids are into the more animated parts of nature — creepy, crawly bugs. We have a wide selection of light fixtures that fit any insect-lover’s dreams, like our marvelous Dragonfly Dream table lamp. Mix and match our bug-themed lighting with our floral lighting designs to turn the room into a rain forest! A bug theme doesn’t have to be natural. Use cool blue tones and modern designs to surround a blue-glowing ant farm and inspire the scientists of the next generation.

4. Nautical: A marine-themed room can inspire young sailors and aspiring mermaids to continue dreaming of the ocean. Our anchor-themed wall sconces are a great addition to a young sailor’s lifestyle, and our seashell-inspired pendant lights would fit any young marine biologist’s agenda. Match these light fixtures with a nautical aquamarine color theme and accessorize the wall or bed frame with seashells to bring any child closer to the ocean. Be careful — with a theme like this, you might need to invest in a lifeguard!

Enhance a western-themed kids' room with this sconce, featuring cactus, cowboy, and night sky.

Enhance a western-themed kids’ room with this sconce, featuring cactus, cowboy, and night sky.

5. Outer Space: Send your young astronaut into the skies with a space-themed bedroom. Futuristic furniture with shining chrome surfaces creates the feeling of a space station. Stick glow-in-the-dark planet shapes on the wall to create a cool effect when all the lights are out. Installing a dimmer on the overhead light will turn the room into a planetarium. Shaped like a star, the Starry Sky ceiling lamp will bring any young space adventurer closer to the skies. Add a small telescope by the window to motivate the astronomer in any kid.

6. Western: For the aspiring cowboy or cowgirl, focus on brown tones and rustic finishes. Horseshoes, stars, and cactus shapes create the feel of the old west. To light the room, combine our Cowboy and Cactus wall sconce with a light earthy exterior for a perfect wild-west themed room. And have you considered bringing the western theme into the bathroom? It’s not as common as a nautical bathroom theme, which makes it surprising and fresh. Choose wood-framed mirrors and a cowboy-themed vanity light.

What’s the coolest themed kids’ bedroom you’ve seen? Tell us in the comments, and if you have a great photo, we’ll add it to our children’s themed bed & bath board on Pinterest!

What is a Wall Sconce?

A living room with couch and wall sconces

Clean, contemporary sconces can add dramatic light to any room. Consider pairing them on either side of a couch or bed.

Vintage two bulb wall sconce

This traditional wall sconce resembles two candles.

A wall sconce is a light fixture that is attached to a way that it only requires the wall for support. Wall sconces serve both aesthetic and utilitarian purposes. They are used very widely, and hallways, bathrooms, living rooms, and patios are among the countless places to add a wall sconce. There are various options to choose from when deciding to use a wall sconce. Some wall sconces have candles, while some are bulb based. Some are plugged into an outlet, while some are are battery operated.

There are, of course, pros and cons for each different kind of wall sconce. Some look like lamps, with an arm coming out from the wall and an attractive shade. They are very traditional and suit most applications. Lamp style sconces work well with pull chains and switches. They use bulbs with shades that can project the light evenly throughout the room, especially if there are a lot of them set up in the room’s perimeter. Other, fancier wall sconces might have replaceable covers. Some people may want to be able to replace the design of the sconce without touching any of the circuitry or the light sources. Some sconces resemble torches or candles, providing a more natural feel. Homes and restaurants with patios and outdoor areas compliment the outdoor aspect of a torch-like sconce. Some sconces lie flat against the wall, with light seeping out around the edges, while others direct light up with a bowl shape.

Ceramic wall sconce in a ribbon shape

This ribbon wall sconce is made from ceramic and has a classic look.

Sconces suit many different environments, including but not limited to offices, hallways, and indoor environments. Most sconces are wired to a switch, but there are some benefits to having battery-powered sconces. Unlike sconces that are hooked into your home’s wiring, battery-powered wall sconces can be more portable and may save energy. Also, a battery-operated sconce is much easier to install! Keeping a sconce separate from the room’s other light sources can be useful and stylish. It’s nice to be able to have light in just one area of the room as needed.

When buying sconce lights, it is important to have an aesthetic goal in mind. Sconce size can impact the mood of the room, and have practical considerations as well. A two-bulb wall sconce could illuminate a room in less space than two separate one-bulb sconces. This can save space in a small room and avoid cluttering the walls.

Wall sconces can be made of many different kinds of materials: Ceramic, plastic, glass, wood, and even metal. Choosing the right material for your situation is incredibly important to a room’s lighting. A blue ceramic sconce, for example, would highlight cool tones in a room, and a clear glass sconce could allow the warm light of the bulb inside to dominate the color emitted. Metal sconces offer defined, clear-cut shadows and focus light towards a certain area, while ceramic sconces dampen shadows and illuminate more spherically.

Most designers combine overhead lighting, lamps, and wall lighting to create a rich atmosphere throughout a room. For help choosing sconces, call our design consultants at 1-888-320-0630.

How to Create a Home Theater Room

Whether you want a simple media room or go for a complex home theater, these tips will get you started.

Whether you want a simple media room or go for a complex home theater, these tips will get you started.

Are you thinking of turning your den, spare room, or even basement into a home movie theater? Taking on a media room project can be challenging, but with some planning, it’s within reach. The important elements are picture, sound, lighting, seating, and décor.

Getting a Great Picture

Projectors with 1080p playback are becoming less and less costly. A good quality 1080p projector will cost around $1,000. The Epson PowerLight Home Cinema costs about $1,300 and does the job very well. Higher end home theater projectors can cost up to $5,000 and more — your budget should determine how far you want to go when choosing a projector. It’s easy to find low- and high-end home theater projection systems at electronics stores and online.

For the screen, you can either purchase a home theater screen or simply leave one wall painted white. A bare wall isn’t the best surface for showing movies, but if your budget is limited, it can work in a pinch.

Home Theater Sound Tips

A 5.1 surround sound system is standard in a home theater system. I like the sound quality of Onkyo, because the highs and lows are pretty even. If your budget is a little higher, you might want to look into a 7.2 system. If you’re looking for a sound system with deeper lows, look into Bose. Bose is a bit more expensive than Onkyo, and its quality is arguably higher. The quality of a speaker system rises significantly with its price tag, and for good reason too. Sound is half the experience, and not-so-great sound quality can prevent a home theater room from feeling immersive and authentic.

Bowl sconce for home theater

Theater sconces with dimming switches give a home theater authentic ambiance.

 

Lighting Your Home Theater

In a real movie theater, the lights dim when the show begins. Use dimmers on your lights to make your home theater experience realistic. Slowly dim the lights to a very low brightness when the movie begins, to allow viewers’ eyes to adjust. Leave one dim light illuminated near the door to help viewers find their way to the restroom or other parts of your house in the middle of the showing.

Your room will probably have some overhead lighting in the room already. For a truly authentic theatrical look, add theater-style sconces along the walls. Bowl sconces will direct light towards the ceiling, so your viewers won’t be blinded by glare in their eyes. For those who place elegance at the top of their priorities, clean sconces with an opening at the bottom are a great idea. Not only do they project light up, they also reveal a path of more intense light below. Corner lights, on the other hand, aren’t a good idea, as the corners nearest to the screen could wash out the picture even if they’re very dim.

Home theater with rows of seating and a wall sconce

Create rows of seating so everyone can enjoy the show. Image from wikiHow.

 

Creating Comfy Seating

Consider the size of the room, the size of your family, and the number of guests you’d like to invite over for screenings. If your home theater is just for you, you could go all out on a gorgeous, comfortable recliner. To entertain a few people, a couple loveseats should do the trick. To create a movie room that can accommodate larger groups, plan to have rows of chairs or, for a casual feel, beanbag seating. Ideally, row seating should be installed at different heights, just like in a real movie theater.

The best theaters are the most comfortable ones, so investing in comfortable leather seating will pay dividends. If your budget allows it, look for reclining seats and cup holders.

Decorating a Media Room

Use cool, dark colors to paint the walls. Dark blue, green, brown, and grey are all great choices. If you don’t want to invest money into a screen (which you should definitely do), you could leave one wall white. Avoid glossy paint to minimize glare and reflection, and allow viewers to focus clearly on the projected picture. Don’t forget the final touches: movie posters, memorabilia, and other keepsakes on the walls. Hang curtains around the screen and consider creating a “concession stand” with a small fridge for soda, some shelves for candy, and a popcorn maker for the most classic movie treat.

Don’t forget to stock up with classic movies, because without them, none of these tips will matter!

Can Halogen, LED, and Fluorescent Bulbs be Dimmed?

Packaging for a GE dimmable CFL bulb

When shopping for a dimmable bulb, check the packaging to make sure it can be dimmed.

There are many different kinds of lights on the market today. Three of the most popular are Halogen, Florescent, and LED. Each of these three types of lights has its pros and cons. Some bulbs have better energy saving features while some bulbs will have stronger outputs.

But can these bulbs be dimmed? Home, office, and even public environments often require different light levels at different times, and being able to identify the right bulb to use for different situations could save time, money, and embarrassment. Not to mention add a touch of style to your home lighting. Here are the details on the new generation of energy-efficient dimmable bulbs.

Can halogen bulbs be dimmed?

Halogen is an incandescent lamp with a tungsten filament — similar to the regular incandescent we’ve all grown with. The bulb is filled with halogen gas (unlike the traditional incandescent). As the bulb heats up, tungsten from the filament evaporates through the halogen gas in the bulb and deposits on the inside of the glass “wall.” The halogen gas then carries those tungsten particles back to the filament and re-deposits them. For this reason, halogen bulbs often have much longer lives than regular traditional incandescent ones.

All halogen bulbs can be dimmed, and finding a dimmer for halogen bulbs should be easy. Most dimmers are compatible with halogen bulbs. As long as the light and the dimmer are compatible, the bulb will be able to dim to most frequencies — but at the cost of a shorter life. You will have to replace a dimmable halogen bulb more often, so keep that additional maintenance in mind.

Packaging for an LED bulb that can be dimmed

It’s easy to find an LED light bulb that can be dimmed. Most LED bulbs are dimmable.

 

Can you dim LED bulbs?

LED lights are a more recent invention; they use a lot less wattage than incandescent bulbs for the same amount of output. An LED bulb with comparable output to a 60-watt incandescent uses less than 8 watts — a huge power-saving improvement! They are much more expensive than incandescent and florescent bulbs, but can last decades. An $80 LED bulb can last more than ten years and save tons of energy (and money) in the long run; a $7 incandescent bulb may last a fraction of the time and eat up much more power. In other words, your cost-per-year is much lower with a long-lasting LED bulb.

Most LED bulbs can be dimmed. Simply check the packaging to verify its dimming capability. Some LED bulbs turn off at the lowest dimming setting; this seems to be less of an issue as LED technology improves through time. In order to maximize the quality of your LED lights’ dimming, look for dimmers that are made for LED’s.

Are fluorescent lights dimmable?

Fluorescent lights work with a constant electrical current flowing through ionized gas in a bulb. This is why they take a few minutes to turn on and brighten. For the same reason, most florescent lights, bulbs, and strips cannot be dimmed. But don’t despair! There are special florescent lights that can be dimmed. According to EnergyStar.gov, CFLs dim a bit differently than incandescents. They will dim to 10-40% of the light’s full brightness, but will not dim all the way to darkness.

Dimmable fluorescent bulbs are expensive, and won’t work with traditional halogen dimmers. They require special florescent dimmers. To check if a florescent bulb is capable of dimming, a quick look at its packaging will often do the trick.

What is ADA Lighting?

Americans with Disabilities Act logoIn searching for light fixtures for your home or business, you may have noticed that some fixtures are labeled “ADA compliant.” What is ADA lighting?

The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, requires public buildings to construct safe and accessible buildings for all disabled people. Created in 1990, it guarantees equal opportunity for the disabled, with the goal that people with disabilities have equal access to education, employment, public services, and transportation.

The ADA sets regulations that assert limits and standards that contractors must meet and comply with when installing light fixtures in public buildings. If a fixture is more than 80 inches above the floor, then it is automatically ADA compliant. There are no further restrictions on those ADA sconces. There are further requirements, however, for a wall sconce placed under 80 inches. To be considered ADA compliant, it cannot extend more than 4 inches away from the wall.

A contemporary ADA compliant wall sconce with a circle pattern

Our 7.5″ Floating Orb Contemporary Wall Sconce measures just 4″ deep, making it ADA compliant.

Under chapter 4.4, the ADA mandates that “any object that extends from the wall (such as a wall sconce) that is at between 27 and 80 inches (2’3″ and 6’8″) above the floor” is prohibited from protruding more than 4 inches out into the hallway, walkway or corridor. Naturally, this includes wall-mounted light fixtures.

What is the purpose of this rule? Wheelchair and scooter users are at risk when a room has wall sconces that are not ADA-compliant. If a light fixture is placed below 6’8″ in height and protrudes more than 4 inches away from the wall, wheelchair users can bump into them — at the risk of injury. People who use other assisting devices like crutches and walkers are at even more risk. Non-ADA compliant fixtures can trip these people, resulting in potential falls and injuries.

Ribbon-style cylinder sconce, ADA compliant

Because it does not extend more than 4 inches from the wall, this 5″ Contemporary Cylinder Ribbon Wall Sconce can be mounted between 27″ and 80″ from the ground.

Violations of the ADA-established regulations can result in serious injuries; enforcement of these regulations are very strict. As of 2010, if it is suspected that a public building has wall sconces (or any other light fixtures) that are not ADA-compliant, the Department of Justice may file a federal lawsuit against the building managers or the contractors; the compensation required for these violations (depending on injuries) can range up to $55,000 for a first offense and up to $110,000 for subsequent ones.

All wall sconces that are placed above 80 inches (6’8″) and below 27 inches (2’3″) in height are ADA compliant. All other wall sconces must hug the wall closely in order to ensure safety and comfort for all people — whether they are wheelchair users, in crutches, or not disabled at all.

At Fabby, many of the wall sconces we manufacture are less than 4″ deep, meaning you can mount these fixtures between 80 inches and 27 inches above the ground and they will be ADA compliant. You don’t have to sacrifice style and craftsmanship to comply with ADA regulations. Browse our ADA light category to see all our options.

DIY Lighting or Hire an Electrician?

Installing a ceiling light fixture

Installing a new light fixture can be a fun DIY project, or a nightmare better handled by a pro.

Been watching home improvement TV shows lately? Of course you have! They make it all look so easy and get us excited about those three little letters: DIY. Take a deep breath and a dose of reality. When it comes to home lighting projects, it’s important to think carefully about what the job requires. Only then can you make a smart decision between hiring an electrician and doing it yourself. Here’s a checklist of questions that may help you figure it out.

Do you understand electrical wiring and connections?

You don’t have to be a pro to complete simple projects, but a basic understanding of electrical outlets and wiring is essential to your safety. Do you know where your circuit breaker panel is? Do you know how to turn off the power supply to the fixture you’re working with? When you pull off the fixture and are confronted with a tangle of wires, will you know which is which? There are guides online to help explain it step by step, but look them over first and see if you can follow along or if it’s all a bit overwhelming.

If installation of a light fixture will involve switching out or rerouting cables, this adds some complexity. In this case, unless you have special knowledge of or prior experience with wiring, hiring an electrician is best.

What tools are required for the lighting installation?

Using a screwdriver to adjust a light switch

You may have all the tools around the house, or the project may require an electrician’s tool bag.

DIY lighting may require particular tools. For example, to replace most fixtures you will want a wire stripper to prep the fixture for attachment to ceiling or wall electrical wiring. If you don’t have a stripper, use a utility knife in its place. A power drill makes mounting new fixtures simple and fast, but a screwdriver is a reliable option as well. We strongly recommend using a voltage tester to confirm that the power is off before you start fiddling with bare wires.

Are you adding a new fixture where none existed before, either on the wall or the ceiling? You’ll need quite a hefty list of tools, from a stud finder to a jab saw, making this an ambitious DIY lighting project.

Does your new light fixture come with mounting materials, and clear instructions?

When you pull your new sconce, ceiling light, or pendant out of the box, you might feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Put your giddiness in check, and check the box for mounting instructions and supplies. Most lights will include a mounting bracket and screws that fit the fixture. Like our stylish 13.5″ Drum Top Ceiling Light, which comes with a plate for semi-flush mounting. Your fixtures should also come with instructions showing materials included, configuration of wiring, and also the maximum wattage for lamping. Fabby’s ceiling fixture installation guide includes a clear, helpful diagram. Easy instructions make do-it-yourself lighting projects simple.

If mounting instructions are not included, the task before you becomes more challenging. Can you fit tab A into slot B based on intuition and clever guesses? Electricians have seen just about every type of fixture out there, so hiring a professional may be easier than trying to figure it out yourself.

Is there any visible damage or wear?

When working with electrical wires, wear and tear is a sign of danger. It can cause shorting and lead to an electrical fire. If you begin to replace a light fixture and notice that the hardwiring in your home looks distressed, then it’s time to hire an electrician.

As long as you disconnect power, have all the right tools, and feel comfortable with a project, DIY lighting installation is a safe and fun project. For more complicated wiring, we recommend letting your electrician take it on. Happy renovating!

Recycling, Donating & Storing Your Christmas Lights

Strings of Christmas Lights, wound up for storage

Recycle, donate, or store your Christmas light strings

Getting with the holiday program entails a lot of joyful shopping, wrapping and lighting. You know, deck the halls! But after the last Christmas cookie is gobbled down and we begin to think about the New Year our households are often left with storage debacles and waste. Where to put all the stuff and how to dispose of old or unneeded items?

One item that always seems to show up on the list of post-holiday hassles is Christmas lights. Depending on what you’re working with – working lights to keep, extra light strings you don’t need anymore, or non-working strands to be disposed of – you have several options: recycling, donating, and carefully storing.

Recycling Christmas Lights that No Longer Work

Workers recycling Christmas lights

Every year, workers shred Christmas light strings to recycle them.

Festive American families love to decorate with tons of holiday light strands. This means multiple seasons of coiling, uncoiling, stringing and sometimes 24/7 displays of lighted bulbs. Even the heaviest duty Christmas lights have a lifespan which leads to the question of where lights go after they’ve expired.

This holiday season we recommend recycling Christmas lights that no longer work. The Christmas light recycling process sounds rough and merciless. Strings are loaded into giant shredders, whose sharp teeth reduce them to tiny bits of plastic, glass, and copper wire. All those little pieces are then cleaned and sorted, so they can be melted down and used to manufacture new strings of lights.

Your usual recycling pick-up probably won’t handle Christmas lights, but there may exist a number of options for free drop-off of old or damaged lights. Some home improvement businesses take old strands and there are also free recycling centers for Christmas lights. For more details, check your city’s government website or search the web for local options.

Donating Christmas Light Strings

The holidays are a special time for us all. For families who are struggling with unemployment, poverty or the loss of a family member though, the arrival of Christmas can equal stress and pressure to make ends meet. Few things lift spirits higher than the simple hanging of bright and twinkling lights on an evergreen tree or in the frame of a window.

If you open up decoration storage this season and notice lights to spare then why not brighten the home of another family? Check with area shelters, non-profit organizations or businesses that organize holiday drives of goods and decorations and give the gift of dazzling light.

Storing Your Christmas Lights for Next Year

Getting the most out of Christmas lights is a cinch with just a little extra effort. As you pack up after each holiday, remove light strands from your tree and other displays with patience – taking care to avoid knots, breaks and pinches. Use cardboard from gift deliveries to wind strands around as you unravel from the tree. This not only keeps strands flat and organized but it is also a smart way to reuse materials. Or purchase Christmas light reel and bag sets for simple winding around a spool.

Put smart storage and handling of Christmas tree light recycling on the holiday to-do list this winter. You and generations of Christmas-lovers to come will be glad you did!

Holiday Party Lighting Ideas

Christmas Lights on the Ceiling for a Holiday Party

Spread soft light around the room by hanging Christmas lights from the ceiling.

Winter holidays are all about light – the warm glow of the Christmas tree, the flickering flames of the Hanukah menorah, and the sparkly New Year’s ball drop at Times Square. So it makes sense to pay special attention to the lighting of your holiday parties. Here are our top lighting tips to make a holiday party merry and bright.

Soft, Warm Light Makes People Feel Welcome

Some occasions call for bright light, but a party isn’t one of them. Your guests will feel relaxed and comfortable if the lights are a bit dimmer than usual. Consider keeping overhead lights turned off, relying instead on lamps, sconces, and other light sources. This creates an intimate atmosphere, encouraging everyone to open up and socialize.

Candles in Jelly Jars for Party Lighting

Dozens of votive candles in jelly jars add warm light to a Christmas party.

 

Get Creative with Candles

Taper and votive candles are an inexpensive source of warm, lovely light. It’s common to add one or two candles to a holiday dinner table, but the effect is much more dramatic when you increase their number. Collect a few dozen jelly jars of different sizes and place votives inside them, arranging them in a staggered line down the center of the table. For an outdoor party, pull a ladder out of the garage, set it up, and use the steps to hold candles and bouquets of flowers. Of course, a Hanukah party will have a brightly lit menorah. Put a pretty mirror against the wall behind it, doubling the light.

Go Wild with Christmas Lights

These strings of tiny bulbs aren’t just for the Christmas tree – they can be repurposed in all kinds of ways to light up a room for a holiday party. Turn party lights into ceiling lights: string them from one wall to another in straight lines, or from all the walls toward the center of the room, creating a sparkling star. Hang them from ceiling to floor to create a wall of light and hang panels of sheer fabric in front of them to soften the glow. (We recommend LED lights if the bulbs will be near fabric, because they stay cool to the touch.)

Lighted branches with evergreen boughs on mantle

Mix lighted branches with evergreen and pine cones for a glowing mantle.

 

Buy Lighted Branches for Bright Bouquets

Battery-powered light-up branches are available online and at craft stores. It’s easy to arrange them in a pretty vase, either alone or with live, dried, or artificial flowers. Our favorite way to use them is on the mantle, amid evergreen boughs and pine cones. It’s a modern twist on a traditional favorite.

Give Your Fixtures a Facelift

Your home is already full of light fixtures – pendants, sconces, lamps, and more. Dress them up for the party! An ordinary lamp becomes festive when you pin ribbons and bows on the shade. Or create a totally new lamp shade covered with white doilies and glitter to mimic the sparkle of snow. Hang ornaments from ceiling fixtures so they catch the light. Wind greenery and berry branches around a pendant light’s cord or around the branches of a chandelier.

Buy New Light Fixtures for Your Home

If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to upgrade your fixtures or add new ones, a holiday party is the perfect occasion. Wall sconces spread light around the room, avoiding the glare of a single overhead light. A cluster of small pendant lights with star designs will draw attention to the buffet table. Adding a dimmer allows you to adjust the amount of light to set the right mood.

For more Christmas party lighting ideas, check out our Pinterest board!

Party Lighting on Pinterest