Tiny House Lighting Ideas That Make A Statement

tiny house lighting ideas


Lighting in a tiny home is really the unsung hero. It’s often an afterthought, but in such a small space, you need to make sure you have the right lighting fixtures in your tiny home so it doesn’t feel too dark.

While natural light is great, at night you’re going to need to consider how to light your space. There are many options when it comes to lighting from styles to technologies to installation methods.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

When I built my tiny house, a goal of mine was to have built in lighting for everything. This let me light my tiny home well, but also keep it tidy. What I didn’t realize was how much time I’d spend planning my lighting, but I’m glad I took the time!

ryan mitchell simple living expert

I figured I’d try to shed some light on this topic — here are some lighting inspirations for your tiny home. Whatever you choose, make sure you take the time to plan it up front, as it will pay dividends later.

Lighting Ideas For A Tiny House

Lighting can be expensive, with a seemingly simple light fixtures costing a crazy amount, but if you look around you can find some good deals. In a tiny house, it’s often a good idea to have one main statement piece. For example, a nice-looking chandelier in the center of your living room can bring a lot of personality to the space.

tiny house lighting design

This modern bronze star burst lighting fixture brings a lot of personality and light to this otherwise pretty plain room. It draws your eye and adds design flair to the space.

mason jars as tiny house lights

These simple DIY Mason jar lights in this tiny home on wheels is an affordable way to bring some light to the space without breaking the budget. You can buy a flat of Ball jars for about $20 and the lighting fittings can be had for about $30.

tiny house chandelier light

A simple chandelier in your tiny home can dress the place up pretty quickly. This light fixture wasn’t cheap at $450, but the black metal light fixture against the white shiplap makes a major statement.

tiny house lighting styles

This modern balsam wood sphere lantern brings interesting texture to the space and at night casts interesting shadows from its light bulb.

Tiny House Lighting Tips

Having built my own tiny house and then having gone on to help 3,000 others build theirs, I’ve learned a few things about lighting. I thought I’d save you the hassle with some hard learned lessons when it comes to lighting a tiny home.

  Plan For Power At Each Light

The biggest difference between good lighting and bad lighting is planning. You don’t always need really expensive fixtures to make a space — an affordable light executed well will go a long way. Think about where you want lights and make sure there is power wired there for them.

Avoid Lamps Where Possible

I don’t have anything against lamps, but in a tiny house, they take up valuable floor space or table top space, both of which are at a premium. They also have cords, which can contribute to a cluttered look in a small space. Built in and wall or ceiling mounted lighting is the way to go in a THOW.

Plan Your Switches Carefully

Not only do you want to make sure you have power where your lights are, but you also want to be sure to put switches where you’re going to turn them on from. This often means near the front door, in the loft, and in your kitchen and bathroom.

Don’t Forget About Three Way Switches

A three-way switch means you can operate it from two locations and is very practical. Three-way switches in a tiny house are great for your loft so that you can turn on the lights whether you’re in bed or downstairs.

Consider Cable Lights or Spot Lights For Critical Areas

Having light right where you need it is very handy. For me, I wanted to be able to sit in my chair and read a book without having to squint to read the words on the page. In my kitchen, I wanted my counter to be well lit while I cooked. Think about things you’ll be doing in your tiny house and where those things will take place, then light those areas well.

Consider Soft Lighting To Wind Down

In my sleeping loft, I wanted a light that was bright enough to see and read a book, but still softer and warmer in tone than the rest of the lights of my house. I also wanted built in lights that were on at night that would light my way to the bathroom without being so bright I’d start to wake up.

Consider Motion Sensor Switches, Timers, and Dimmers

A simple choice like putting a motion sensor in a place so a light comes on automatically can be a big improvement. Timers are great for things like bath fan lights, so they’ll run for 30 minutes then turn off. Dimmers also can help you set the mood you’re going for.

Tiny House Light Fixtures

Choosing light fixtures should stem from your house’s style. Choose a home style and then follow that throughout, including the light fixtures you choose for your tiny house on wheels.

light fixtures in a tiny home
tiny house light fixtures
tiny house ceiling fan fixture with light
tiny house.hanging light fixture

Ceiling Lights For Tiny Houses

Ceiling lights are great in a tiny home because they don’t take up any floor or wall space. I was surprised to find in my own tiny home how little wall space I had, so a central ceiling light really helped me light my tiny house living room.

tiny house ceiling lights
tiny home hanging light
ceiling lights in tiny house kitchen
ceiling light in tiny house

Light Fixture Types For A Tiny House

There are several types of light fixtures you can consider for you tiny home or small house on wheels. Here is a quick guide to a few common types.

tiny house recessed lighting

Recessed lighting

Recessed lighting is lighting built into the ceiling that either does not protrude or barely protrudes from the surface. It blends right in and offers a wide range of lighting effects when you utilize different bulbs and filters.

track lighting for tiny house

Track lighting

Track lighting consists of an electrified track that comes with attachable lighting elements. Track allows for a flexible approach to accent and display lighting since you have the ability to place lighting elements wherever you choose on the track.

LED light strip for tiny homes

LED lighting strips

LED lighting strips have become very popular for their low power, low heat off put, and ability to fit into small spaces. The low-profile strips can be installed directly into ceiling coves, cabinets, or built-in bookshelves for discreet accent or task lighting.

tiny house chandelier lights

Chandelier Lighting

A chandelier is a hanging fixture that has several light sources within it. They are often used as a focal point in foyers and dining rooms, and help establish a room’s tone and style.

pendenat lights for tiny house

Pendant Lighting

A pendant is a hanging fixture with a single, central decorative lighted element. Pendants tend to be smaller and less formal and are often hung side by side or in conjunction with overhead lighting.

tiny house wall sconce

Wall Sconce

A sconce is a wall-mounted light fixture for wherever you need lighting. Sconces can be used in nearly any space, but are often found in hallways, living rooms, dining rooms, and bathrooms.

ceiling light for tiny home

Ceiling Lights

Ceiling lights can be very useful to provide ambient light in lower-ceilinged rooms. They can be mounted flush or in lower-hanging varieties.

floor and table lamps for tiny houses

Floor and Table Lighting

Floor and table lamps are standalone, portable light fixtures that provide localized task or ambient lighting. Some lamps have shades to diffuse light, while others are designed to light a specific small area.

Tiny Home Ceiling Fan Lights

Ceiling fans that also have lights built into them are very practical. The toughest part is finding fans that are small or low profile enough to fit in your tiny house. Because the ceiling typically angles down, you can’t have large blades on your fan. Luckily, I was able to find a good fan light combo at a store near me that matches my style.

Tiny Home Ceiling Fan Lights
Tiny house Ceiling Fan Lights

tiny house electrical

Small Home On Wheels Lighting

Taking the time to find the right light fixtures is totally worth it. I had to hunt around for my main light and wall sconces in my bedroom, but they are great ways to add design to a simple space.

small home on wheels lighting
tiny house on wheels lighting

tiny house design ideas

Efficient LED Lighting For A Tiny House

One of the best decisions I made around lighting was going all LED lighting. There are so many options today, and where a light doesn’t come out of the box as an LED, you usually can find a bulb to retrofit it.

Long gone are the days of weird lighting from LEDs. Now they have great affordable LEDs that come in every color tone, temperature, strength, and so much more. They even have LEDs that work with dimmable light fixtures.

Efficient LED Lighting For A Tiny House
Tiny House Efficient LED Lighting

Tiny Homes With Recessed Lighting

Recessed lights just look very clean in a tiny home. I would avoid old school can lights, as they require a lot of space and there are so many really great LED pancake options out there now.

Tiny Homes With Recessed Lighting
Tiny House Recessed Lighting

TIny House Interior Lights Cost

For your tiny house lighting, consider budgeting around $500 for your light fixtures. That’s about what I spent for just the fixtures themselves, plus a few odds and ends like light switch plates. This can vary a lot if you splurge for a focal piece like a chandelier, because those can get expensive quickly.

Don’t forget to shop online and look for deals in used marketplaces and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. You can often find a great deal on lighting if you’re willing to shop around.

Your Turn!

  • What tiny house lighting are you considering?
  1. That’s a great find. I like the color changing LEDS now. Each color has is use and I use them all now. The fan is a great bonus for the same fixture. Thank you.

  2. Thank for the info! Arrived on day that builder wants my lighting preferences!

  3. Great info on tiny houses thanks so much, keep up the great work Ryan.

Leave a Reply