Big Impact Home Improvements on a Tight Budget – Light Fixtures

Big Impact Home Improvements on a Tight Budget – Light Fixtures

Light fixtures! If you have ever lived in an older starter home or a manufactured home, they usually have the most low end light fixtures installed. I don’t mean historic homes though because they still usually come with quality fixtures. It’s amazing that neither Tim or I noticed the light fixtures when we previewed the home. I think because they were mounted high and so non-descriptive that they just didn’t draw our eyes upward. However, even if we had noticed them, it wouldn’t have phased us because light fixtures are such an easy fix and won’t break your budget if you are a smart shopper.

This improvement really can make a statement and transform the room into any style of decorating possible. Whether you tend to go for mid-century modern, farmhouse, traditional, or whatever your style may be, there are several light fixture options in every style for very reasonable prices. This improvement should probably be my number one suggestion as I literally changed out 5 light fixtures for around $100.00. Actually, I need to give credit where credit is due. I found and purchased the five light fixtures but, my husband installed them all!

The basic kitchen light before our upgrade. The laundry room light was an exact match to this but I forgot to capture the before picture.
The hallway light before our upgrade.
The guest bathroom light before our upgrade.
The dining room light fixture was basic, didn’t provide adequate light for me, and was not centered over the table. I purchased a $15.00 light fixture that resolved all of those issues.

When purchasing light fixtures for a manufactured home, you are limited in the style you can purchase if you want it to hang correctly. Most manufactured homes have vaulted ceilings. That means that flush mount ceiling fixtures will mount at an angle and may appear a little odd. I found that light fixtures with flexible cords or chains worked best. This allowed the weight of the light fixture to aesthetically balance the light on the angled ceiling.

Now I am very frugal and when I challenge myself to stick to a tight budget, I find it inspirational. This post definitely gives me bragging rights on transforming a space within a tight budget. You can get quality light fixtures on a budget everywhere. You just have to be patient and wait to stumble across them. Yes, if I was shopping without a budget, I probably would have opted for different light fixtures than what we replaced ours with. But you will be amazed that I replaced 5 light fixtures and kept the total amount spent to around $100.00.

I had three areas that I found light fixtures that would fit my needs and stay within my budget.

1, I am definitely a Home Depot girl but you cannot beat the selection and price of Lowe’s CLEARANCE light fixtures. They almost always have a few on clearance at a time. I made it a goal to not be in a hurry to find my light fixtures. However, every time I went into a different Home Depot or Lowe’s location to get an item I needed, I quickly scanned the light fixture area to see what they had on clearance.

Look at the seeded glass dome. Amazing that I found this at Lowe’s on clearance for $2.51. I ended up buying the mini pendant kit from Amazon for $13.95 to complete the fixture.

2. Hello FBMP! My husband likes to tell me I am banned from Facebook Market Place because I love to look at all the goods people are offering up. But sometimes you just have to go for it. There are really good things out there. Especially light fixtures. I found two really good ones on this site. Since the original dining room light fixture was not centered over the table, I wanted to find one with a long chain and electrical cord. That way the base of the new light fixture could still be connected to the electrical box in the ceiling but, I could use a ceiling hook to direct the light over the table. They probably wouldn’t have been my first choices in finishes but the price was even lower than I thought I would find any fixture. The two fixtures I bought of this site would easily have cost 6-8 times the amount I paid.

The before
The after… and yes, it was only $15.00 and the location was close to my house so I didn’t even waste fuel.

The first light fixture I bought off FBMP was actually the one that I ended up installing in the laundry room. I really would have loved using it over the table but the chain/cord wasn’t long enough to direct over the table. It did end up being perfect for the laundry room. The first place you enter from the lake is the laundry room. It has never been updated and still has the original wallpaper. Luckily, I will build on the impact the light fixture has already made. It is quite the statement light fixture. Just take a look at this unblemished perfect stainless steel beauty that I paid $30.00 for.

While I was very lucky shopping on a budget and collecting the items.

3. The third and last place I found light fixtures was actually in my main home. A few years back, I had bought two different clearance light fixtures. I paid $15.00 a piece for them. They served their purpose well but I had to extract them from my regular house. It all started because I had bought two matching light fixtures a few days earlier at Lowe’s (like I said it has the best clearance light selection). I would have loved for them to work but, it was before I had taken note of the fact that the lake house ceilings were on an angle. My regular house just has the traditional flat ceilings of a 1960’s ranch style home. The new light fixtures had a metal shaft that would not have allowed the fixture to hang correctly. However, they were such an awesome light fixture at such an unbelievably low price, I hated to take them back. I noticed that I had a hall light fixture and a bathroom light fixture (the ones I bought a few years back for $15.00 each) that both had a flexible short cord that would be perfect for our new place. So we ended up making the swap and it couldn’t have worked out better. It allowed me to update two homes with one purchase!

Yep… You are seeing it right. That is the price I paid to swap out and upgrade my regular house fixtures and ultimately end up with the perfect light fixtures for the lakehouse.
The swap out light fixture from my regular house laundry room to the kitchen was perfect.
Pardon the mess as we paint but, the light fixture is perfect for this small guest bath.

So roughly this is how I figure it all went down and the minimal impact on my budget.

  1. Light fixture for the hall $2.51 for the glass dome and $13.59 for the pendant cord ($17.42 including tax)
  2. Light fixture for the dining table $15.00 FBMP
  3. Light fixture for the laundry room $30.00 FBMP
  4. Light fixture for the kitchen … I’ll say $21.61 to include tax for the price of the new fixture to replace the $15.00 original fixture I exchanged it with just to represent fairly as I might not have exchanged them at all had I not stumbled across these.
  5. Light fixture for the guest bath $ 21.61 – ditto above

And the grand total is……. $105.64. Yes I am quite proud of my frugal shopping. Light fixtures can really transform a room and when you purchase them inexpensively, you don’t have to worry whether or not you will even see a return on your investment. You just get to enjoy the transformation. It definitely helps you to SEE all of your improvements from that point forward as well. Bragging rights should come from how well you steward your money and not how extravagant you pay for an item in my book! I am one happy, happy transformer! And I am going to stay happy as I transform an entire home and stick to my budget.

(Note: a brief update… originally my husband and I decided that I would have a $5,000 interior budget and he would get a $1,000 exterior budget. However, after careful inspection, he wanted to assure that I transformed the guest bathroom by replacing the shower/tub and so he gifted me the remaining $780.00 of his budget. Another Yay Me!)