Moving into a dorm can seem daunting, especially if it's your first time leaving home. Likewise, when you're renting an apartment and you have no rental history, you're not always going to find the cream of the crop.

Suffice it to say, your dorm or apartment will need some touch-ups to reflect your personality and make it feel more like home. One way to do this is to find lighting options that match your style and add a little more brightness to your space. Here are some ways you can do that on a budget.

1. Create a constellation on a piece of art. 

What better way to light up a drab space than with some stars? This cool constellation project is simple to make and can be completed in a weekend. To get started, all you'll need is a canvas, black paint, a silver marker and a strand of twinkle lights.

If you want to get creative, customize the canvas with your star sign or other favorite celestial formation. You can even choose multi-colored lights to give your dorm or apartment more flair.

2. Brighten the corners

Every room has its nooks and crannies where light can't reach. If you want to make your new space feel a bit bigger, bring some light into those dark corners.

Consider attaching lighting fixtures to the undersides of your shelves or cabinets, providing more light in otherwise dark spaces. If you don't like the circular style, you can opt for LED strip lights, which you can find in most hardware stores.

3. Capture Some fairies

With this lighting project, you can create the perfect decor to make your dorm feel cozy and warm, just like home. They've been dubbed fairy lights due to their mystic, magical appearance.

These lights are simple to make and can be completed in about 30 minutes. To get started, you'll need a small glass clock case or a cute jar. This will be the outside of your light fixture. Then, fill the inside with a set of string lights.

4. Think about neon

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If you want a groovy dorm or apartment that can speak to your style, consider adding a neon light that makes a statement. There are plenty of styles and designs to choose from to match your current decor.

Not only is neon lighting unique but it will also provide color that will spice up your room and make it feel more your own. While you can buy new, used neon lighting is also available online and at flea markets.

5. Project the waves

A light projector is a great way to instantly set the mood, whether it be calm and relaxing or bright and cheerful. What's nice about these projectors is they encompass an entire room, with plenty of light generated from just one bulb.

This specific light projects ocean waves, something that can help college students stay relaxed and feel more at home in their new space. There are also models that feature stars and other designs.

6. Consider going bohemian

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If your style is described as boho, consider a chic chandelier to show off your personality and light up your new space. Whether you want to buy premade or create your own, these lights will make a great addition to your dorm or apartment.

Boho chandeliers come in a range of styles, made with wicker, hemp, beads, bamboo and more. Try to find one you know you'll enjoy for years to come.

7. Double the desk

When you're a college student, your desk should be a sacred place. It's where you study, cram for tests and attempt to meet essay deadlines. It's also a space that needs plenty of light.

There's nothing more disheartening than a dim room, so consider doubling up with two table lamps. This is an easy way to brighten up your space without much extra effort. As a bonus, there are hundreds of style and design options available online and in stores to choose from.

8. Think future tech

Everyone wants a unique space — one that reflects their personality and makes them feel at home. If you're a tech-junkie keeping on top of the latest trends, then check out these futuristic hexagon lights.

What's nice about this lighting feature is the touch capability. Just swipe your hand across and you'll be lighting up your dorm room with style.


When you head to college or get your first apartment, it can be hard to make your new space feel like home. However, there are ways to utilize lights to brighten things up and bring out your personality.

Not only will these lighting ideas highlight your style but they'll also wow anyone who steps through the door.