I will soon be moving to an apartment that has no ceiling lights. Unfortunately installing my own is not an option, it needs to be reversible. There may or may not be a switch wired to an outlet.

I am looking for recommendations on alternatives to ceiling lights. Or really, in result, an effective way to light up a room.

At the moment I am aware of these options: swag light or torch lamp

I like the idea of a swag light because it can be placed in the middle of a room. Though I have not used one so I am not sure how well they disperse light. The downside with a torch light is that it cannot be placed centrally in the room.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  • A swag still needs an anchor or hook in the ceiling. This could be pretty small, but depending on the texture still could be problematic. The other two options are table and floor lamps other than torchiere style.
    – Tim B
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 2:13
  • 4
    With your personality?
    – DA01
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 17:22

2 Answers 2


Usually in this situation, people tend to use lamps. There are two common types of lamps, each available in various styles to fit your tastes.

Floor lamps

These are meant to stand on the floor, and are typically tall.

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Table Lamps

These are meant to sit on a table, and are typically short.

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Both types of lamps are typically powered through a cord and plug, and have some form of on/off switch built in.

If long range control of the lamp is desirable, The Clapper can be installed.

The Clapper


If you have light-coloured walls, using a spotlight or other high-intensity light indirectly may work well for your purposes.

I've personally improvised one using a cheap desk lamp (like this one), fitted with a 200W-equivilant (45W actual) CFL and pointed at a corner (it's clipped onto the shelving of my desk) to supplement a rather anemic ceiling light in my basement.

This is basically the same method as a photographer's umbrella lamp and gives a nice diffuse light.

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