Update Your Lighting On A Budget - A Step by Step Guide

We moved into our home almost one year ago, in April. We purchased a brand new home, and while we were able to participate in the design process, most of the lighting upgrades were overly priced and not our style. We opted to take the standard package and would later upgrade the lighting. 

Either you have a new build or you have an older home, but rarely does a home come with updated lighting that you love. Bathroom lighting, hallway lighting, bedroom lighting, kitchen and dining lighting...the list never ends. Lighting can change everything about a space. You probably won't be able to do it all at once, so we've created a simple plan to help you make your updates slowly.


Make a list of all of the light fixtures you want to change (list them in order of priority). Get detailed here, because there may be more lights than you realize, and ceiling fans count too. We started with our dining room, then living room, and then the entry hallway.


Start looking and begin to bookmark the fixtures that you like - ignore the costs, you can likely find something similar to what you want that's also in your budget when it's time to purchase. Create a board on Pinterest for all of your lighting. You can pin directly from websites to your board and edit your caption to describe where you want the lighting in your home. (Check out our board here...)

If you end up finding a unique fixture in an antique shop you may have to break away from your plan, but that's okay, because it probably won't be there when you visit again. Seize the moment!


Now that you have an idea of what you want for every space it's time to get organized. Going back to your list write down the cost or average cost of the light for each space. (Refer back to your Pinterest board for links to pricing.) Record these amounts next to each light on your list.

If you aren't able to install the lighting yourself be sure to research the cost to have someone do this for you, and add it to your total cost. Total the cost for all of the lighting upgrades and compare it to what you actually want to spend. Establish your budget.

Below is a sample spreadsheet that we created to help you visualize the planning process.

If you'd like for us to email you a working copy of this spreadsheet just send us an email and we'd be happy to!

If you'd like for us to email you a working copy of this spreadsheet just send us an email and we'd be happy to!


Now that you have a budget, you can begin shopping and purchase your first fixture(s)! Remember to add everything to your Pinterest board as you're shopping and browsing, this will help you make decisions as you work through your list. Think of it as a lighting mood board!


Take down your first light and install your new one! Sell/Donate the old fixture (or wait to have a full collection). When your budget allows, purchase your next fixture!

It may take a couple of years to have all of the lighting in your home updated. Try to enjoy the little updates along the way. Remember that lamps, string lights, candles, and fireplaces are a great way to change the lighting in a space, especially when you're using the space in the evenings.