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15 Must-See Attic Lighting Ideas

attic lighting ideas

Most of us DIYers have repainted, remodeled, and restyled every room imaginable throughout their lifetimes.

From updating the kids’ rooms to tearing out (ugh!) and remodeling that much-needed bathroom makeover, from reorganizing the bedroom closet to changing the color of the walls in your kitchen, no room could possibly be left unturned, right?

Well, there’s probably one more room left.

You know, the one you get to by pulling the string on a panel and being greeted by a nasty, dusty ladder like some trap door in a movie?

Yes, we’re talking about the attic, that dusty place where no one goes except the spiders, and who knows what else is up there.

And it’s saying to you that it’s high time to give it some TLC. A great place to start is to actually be able to see inside the attic with good lighting. And boy, are there some good attic lighting ideas to share.

These tips work great too if you have an attic that’s already finished, and you now want to change things up. Take a look and get your inspiring hat on!

Our Favorite Attic Lighting Ideas for Finished and Unfinished Spaces

1. Behold, the Rope Light!

attic rope ligh diy

Mandi from Vintage Revivals shows you exactly how to make one of these for your attic

“To boldly go where no light has gone before…” that’s the amazing ability of lighting on a rope!

Attics with electric wiring already installed particularly benefit from this type of lighting, and it looks great wrapped around exposed pipes rafters in attic living and dining areas where other types of lighting would be too awkward.

It provides a great modern, nautical feel.

If your attic does not have wiring, you could try installing attic lighting after a good bit of careful reading.

If you don’t want to deal with the code (or getting shocked), hire an electric installer to do the hooking-up part. 

2. The Good Ole’ Hard-Wired Light Fixture 

antique lantern hanging

Sometimes all you need is a good old-fashioned light fixture to do the job.

Maybe it’s to shed some light on that nook in the corner, or for that personal collection of Christmases past in safekeeping.

Disclaimer: comes with no guarantees of warding off ghosts for Scrooges.

3. The Thomas Edison Style 

vintage attic light

Check this out at Home Depot

Do you need some classy attic lighting ideas faster than the Polar Express on Christmas Eve?

A stylish Thomas Edison style light could be just the trick, especially for attics with hard wiring installed and ready to use.

If it doesn’t have wiring, simple fixtures like this are pretty easy to figure out with a few basics.

Install it near your attic entryway to provide safe attic storage lighting and visibility for basic tasks. 

4. LED Attic Lighting for the Money Wise 

3 bulb attic screw light

See at Wayfair

With more models now available in LED, it’s even easier to add lighting to your attic with a touch of style that fits your tastes without having to worry about the heat output — or the electric bill.

LED comes in almost anything from strip lights to pendants to reading lamps, and they last a long time.

They are also less likely to burn things that could catch fire. 

5. The Grand Chandelier 

light for living room attic

A great option for finished attics, chandeliers add a bit of class and charm that brings ample light and coziness to an attic nook.

They’re especially beautiful at night, making them a natural transition choice from daylight to evening if you have attic skylights.

6. Billiard Lights Get You in the Game 

lighting above game table

Dreaming of transforming your attic into a fun lounge room?

Try a swanky billiard light fixture. With just the right lighting for a game of pool or foosball, it’s a fun alternative to typical attic lighting.

Different colored light bulbs can create a different mood for any occasion.

Watch how quickly your quiet attic will become the popular place to hang out! 

7. A Fun Twist to the Dependable Clamp Light 

light clamped to rafters

These dependable fixtures provide lots of focused, clean light where you need it.

You can also style it your own way for only $15 per fixture. 

They can output significant heat, so check the watts first before installing them in an attic.

LED options are especially handy for areas where work lights function best. 


8. Classic and Functional Attic Skylights 

skylight in attic

Skylights are a classic look in attic rooms for the obvious reason, but they have an additional advantage here than in most other rooms in the house — they can be easily opened to escape heat and improve air circulation.

The sky is, well, quite literally the limit when it comes to the ways you can install skylights in your attic.

Ask your favorite installer what options are available. 

9. The Pendant Light, a Stylish Multitasker 

diy pendants inudstrial attic look

Check out Robert and Lauren’s project over at Bless’er House for more info on this fun project!

More decorative and less energy-consuming than a work light, the versatile pendant light can be installed in various awkward areas.

They also add a great pop of texture and color to otherwise boring places, such as a nautical pendant light.

Check the directions first to ensure you have everything you need before installation. 

10. Wall Sconces for a Touch of Drama 

diy sconce cage light

Check out Janice from Sawdust Sisters and how she made this simple but elegant sconce cage light

If you’re looking for ways to brighten up dark spots, try wall sconces.

You can easily make them yourself with a few tools.

They can help soften any shadows in vertical areas of your attic space, even knee walls.

They also look pretty rad if you plan to turn your attic into a private theater room.

Doesn’t it feel like a scene from Sherlock Holmes should come on any time now…?

11. Or, Create Drama of Your own 

Hard-pressed to get electrical wiring installed in your attic? No problem.

There are a number of fun battery-operated fixture styles in the market. They are easy to attach to walls and ceilings and typically operate with the push of a button.

Or, you can create a portable LED light of your own like this one!

This light panel transforms ordinary attics into photography rooms for studios and rainy day delight. You can position it wherever you want. 

12. Windows Make a Difference for Attic Loft Lighting 

attic windows letting in light

Skylights aren’t the only option for opening up an attic to the outside world. With a little clever architecture, regular-sized windows and even round ones can be installed as well. This option is obviously a little more extensive.

But if you’re ambitious, the rewards are well worth it. If you decide to go with a custom shape, think about how easy it may or may not be to replace in case it gets broken. Ask your contractor for options available to you. 

13. Floor Lamps Make Lighting for a Bedroom Attic Convenient 

homemade wooden floor lamp

See this unique design on Etsy

Does your attic bedroom feel like it could use more lighting oomph? Try a floor lamp or two.

Their long-length cords can help shed light in spots that are awkward elsewhere, and they throw lots of it for easier visibility.

They are also a quick and simple type of lighting to find.

There are often floor lamps in local department or furniture stores. Or, you can get inspired by creating your own with a little whimsical woodworking.

14. Handmade Lamps Provide Creative Lighting in Work Areas

Plan to turn your attic into a swanky studio or office? Nothing beats a table lamp with personality. Several of them help reduce eye strain, especially in large attic rooms.

Nowadays these lamps come in different styles and metal finishes to coordinate with your professional furniture decor.

Or, you can custom create a lamp all your own to reflect your personal style.

All you need is a little know-how and imagination. If your lamps can support CFL and LED fixture options on the market, even better. 

15. Night Lights Provide a Fun Campy Feel

battery powered designer lights


See these over at Wayfair

No, I’m not pulling your leg. Chic lighting is great for the attic and all, but sometimes…

There are moments that call for a mysterious adventure in the attic.

There’s nothing quite like night lights for setting the mood and blowing the dust off of an amazing book that was probably forgotten, or even forbidden.

A must-do activity on your bucket list for those Neverending Story moments with the kids. 

Some Lighting Installation Tips

If you decide to install the lighting yourself, here are some basics for unfinished attic lighting ideas to keep in mind:

  • Most attics have at least one hardwire circuit, including unfinished ones. DIY-ers with a little experience can easily install a basic light themselves by tapping into the circuit’s wiring (which is usually exposed). If you’re starting from nothing, contact your electrician to partner with you to run wiring appropriately.
  • When installing a fixture, choose one that is LED or takes low wattage bulbs if possible. These prevent heat buildup in the attic. Try to add a timer on the fixture to turn it off when you’re done. 

Ready to make your dreams come to life in the attic?

With these fabulous ideas in tow, you’ll be certain to transform your attic into the place you’ve always wanted it to be.

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