Ever notice how having the right winter lighting in your home can turn a chilly winter evening into something special? It can make staying indoors feel more enjoyable- like you’re choosing to have a cozy night in rather than trapped inside from the winter cold.

Your winter decor can be completely transformed with the right lighting. And guess what? You don’t have to spend much to get there. Check out these budget savvy winter lighting ideas and tips for some inspiration.


The best light bulbs for winter

So, let’s talk bulbs. Not all light bulbs are created equal, especially when it comes to warming up your space. Mixing different types of lighting, like ambient and task lights, can really set the mood. LEDs are your go-to for saving energy, but if you want that cozy glow, incandescent bulbs are your friend. Remember, it’s all about that warm, inviting light – think soft, not stark! Can’t decide? There’s always color changing bulbs so you can decide to switch it up for whatever your needs may be!

product image of color changing bulbs
Photo source: Amazon

For an in depth overview on types and the various brightness levels of light bulbs, Wayfair has a very helpful guide.


Light therapy for SAD

Feeling a bit down with the shorter days? You’re not alone- seasonal depression affects___.  A lot of us get the winter blues, whether it’s SAD or not. But there’s a hack for that – light therapy! The goal with these lights is to mimic sunlight- what your brain and body have been missing since the days got shorter. They’re like a little slice of sunshine, tricking your brain into thinking it’s basking in the great outdoors. Seriously, they can be a game-changer. If you think you need something specifically to tackle SAD, check out this article by the Mayo Clinic for guidance on choosing one.

Another new, trending sun-mimicking option is a sunset projection lamp. These do not offer the proven benefits of light therapy boxes, they definitely level up the cozy winter vibes of a room. 

four different colors of sunset projection lamps
Photo source: Etsy


Decorative winter lighting ideas

Some of these simple decor swaps or additions can make a big difference in the ambiance of your home. I wanted to focus mostly on swaps that are simple and easy to install. Some are temporary, while others could stay up all year long for any time you need a little extra coziness in your life.

String lights

Who says string lights are just for the holidays? Drape them around your bookshelf or mirror, and watch your room transform into a magical space. 

mini string lights draped over some small home decor
Photo source: Wayfair

Here are some of my favorite string lights for a warm and cozy ambiance in winter.


Lanterns and candles

Nothing beats the classic charm of lanterns and candles. They’re like a warm hug on a cold night. Learn to make your own candles and you’ve got yourself both a fun winter craft and decor!

DIY Candles - Candle Making How-To's for Beginners!
Photo source: Love and Renovations


DIY lighting projects

On your mission to transform your home’s ambiance for winter, consider taking the opportunity to create your own DIY light fixtures. For a super simple project, turn to a thrift store find into a cheap light fixture to upcyle into a beautiful candle holder like this one.Thrift Store Upcycle - Light Fixture Turned Elegant Candle Holder


DIY fireplace

The best lighting in winter time comes from a fire, hands down. If you have one in need of a bit of facelift, check out our diy fireplace makeover ideas here. If you don’t have a fireplace, learn to create a fake one and create the same great fireplace ambiance with our easy DIY fireplace project.

DIY Faux Fireplace


Install LED strip lights

And let’s not forget LED strips – they’re super versatile and very trendy right now. Under the cabinets, along the stairs, behind the TV – you name it. Here’s a quick guide on installing LED strip lights to get you started. While this teal blue is a fun pop of color, a warm white will help transform your space into a cozy winter sanctuary.

How To Install LED Light Strips


And for even more ideas to cozy up your lighting this winter, have a look at these awesome tips from Apartment Therapy and HGTV

Embark on your own cozy winter lighting journey

Alright, now it’s your turn to play around with these lighting ideas. Mix and match, try something new, and see how it changes the feel of your space. Whether it’s the romantic flicker of a candle or the practical glow of an LED strip, there’s something for every nook and cranny of your home. And hey, if you’re looking for more ways to cozy up your place, why not check out these cool posts on DIY Chunky Throw Blankets, Zero Dollar Decorating, and Home Coffee Bar Ideas? Go ahead, make your winter a little brighter!

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