The 12 Best Plug-In Lighting Options of 2023

Our top pick is the Taylor Mini Pendant from Possini Euro Design

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Best Plug-In Lighting Options

The Spruce / Amelia Manley

If your space doesn't have adequate lighting from overheads, a plug-in light source can be the perfect solution.

"Plug-in lights are a great option for renters or anyone who cannot hardwire in the place they'd like to install their lights," says Sheva Knopfler, co-founder and creative director of Lights.com. The right lamp, sconce, or fixture can not only enhance your decor, but also provide multi-directional lighting to fill out the shadows created by overheads.

Keeping usefulness, design, cord length, and versatility in mind, we've found the best plug-in light fixtures for every room and budget. Our top choice is the Taylor Mini Pendant from Possini Euro Design, a sleek and versatile light with a generous 18-foot cord.

Read on for the best plug-in lighting options.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Possini Euro Design Taylor Plug-In Swag Mini Pendant

Taylor Plug-In Swag Mini Pendant
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Lightweight

  • Sloped-ceiling adaptable

What We Don't Like
  • Bulb not included

  • Only comes in one finish

The Taylor Mini Pendant from Possini Euro Design has a milk-white opal glass shade with your choice of a tarnished steel or antique brass accent. Despite being billed as a "mini" fixture, it's an ideal size to hang in the corner of a room, over a bed, above a desk, or in a breakfast nook. Its simple yet elegant design lends it to various decor styles, especially modern and contemporary. At under 10 pounds, it's super lightweight, too.

Thanks to the 18-foot power cord, you can hang this light fixture from almost anywhere—even a sloped ceiling. This plug-in light takes a standard bulb up to 100 watts (sold separately), and swag hooks are included to make installation even easier. Extra points for the white power cord, which won't stand out over your decor.

Price at time of publish: $80

Dimensions: 12 x 8.5 inches | Material: Metal, opal glass | Bulb Type: Type A 100W

Best Budget

Globe Electric 64413 Amaris 1-Light Plug-In Pendant

64413 Amaris 1-Light Plug-In Pendant
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Comes in various finishes

  • Easy to install

  • Versatile

What We Don't Like
  • Plastic lampshade

  • Bulb not included

For something more wallet-friendly, consider the Globe Electric Amaris Light. This pendant has a simple frosted white shade with a metal accent in bronze, white, or brushed steel. Unfortunately, you can't choose the color of the lampshade, and it's crafted from plastic, so it won't have a particularly high-end look or feel. Still, it's durable and minimalist enough to last for years and match various decor schemes.

The lightweight material makes it easier to hang, and thanks to the 15-foot power cord, you can install it nearly anywhere in your home. The power cord is white, so it should blend seamlessly with your home decor. When you order this lamp, you will also receive swag hooks to install it. The brand notes that it can be installed on sloped and vaulted ceilings, adding to the pendant light's versatility. It takes a 60W Max E26 bulb, which is sold separately.

Price at time of publish: $19

Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 inches | Material: Metal, plastic | Bulb Type: E26 60W

Best Splurge

Pottery Barn Capiz Pendant

Pottery Barn Capiz Pendant

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

What We Like
  • Adjustable height

  • Capiz shell design

  • Handcrafted

What We Don't Like
  • Bulb not included

  • Not compatible with sloped ceiling

For a luxe display that will surely be a conversation starter when you have guests over, the Capiz Pendant from Pottery Barn is a great choice. The light is handcrafted with cream-colored, translucent capiz shells (a renewable resource) giving you a pop of sustainable beauty in any room you decide to display it.

In addition to its aesthetic appearance, it has a practical and versatile cord length of 15 feet, and the height is adjustable too, so you can hang it according to your exact preference. It's worth noting, however, that it should not be hung on a slanted or sloped ceiling. The other detail to keep in mind is that it doesn't come with a bulb, so you'll want to be ready with one when it arrives, so you don't have to delay a minute before you start displaying it.

Price at time of purchase: $399

Dimensions: 15 x 15 inches | Material: Brass frame, capiz shells | Bulb Type: 60W type A standard bulb or LED equivalent

Best Pendant

Wade Logan Black Hanceville 1

Wade Logan Black Hanceville 1

Courtesy of Wayfair

What We Like
  • Contemporary glass shade

  • Adjustable hang height

What We Don't Like
  • Bulb not included

Available in black or brass, this schoolhouse pendant from Wade Logan is stylish and sleek, while still subtle enough to blend in with multiple decor styles. We love the globe shape of the glass shade, and could see it fitting in well in a living room, den, bedroom, or office (or maybe all of the above). The dark cord also serves as a contrast to a light-colored ceiling or wall, and brings an extra design element, too (if that's not your preferred style, you might want to consider a cord cover).

Plus, unlike some styles, it can be mounted on sloped and slanted ceilings, and the hang height is adjustable, too. Just make sure you have an extra bulb on hand (E26 40W) since it doesn't come with one.

Price at time of purchase: $50

Dimensions: 9 x 8 x 8 inches | Material: Metal base, glass shade | Bulb Type: E26 40W

Best Sconce

World Market Glass Globe and Brass Wall Sconce

Glass Globe and Brass Wall Sconce
Courtesy of World Market.
What We Like
  • Easy-to-access power button

  • No hardwiring necessary

  • UL listed

What We Don't Like
  • Assembly required

  • Only comes in one finish

Not all sconces have to be hardwired. In fact, an exposed power cord can have an intentionally industrial appeal. We like the Glass Globe and Brass Wall Sconce from World Market, which features a clear glass globe and a brass-finished metal arm and bracket. It has a black power cord that's equipped with an easy-to-access power switch, so you don't have to go far to turn it on or off. However, the exact cord length isn't listed, so it may be worth emailing the brand before purchasing to ensure it reaches the outlet you plan to use.

Partial assembly is required, but it should be pretty quick. All you have to do is mount it to your wall, screw in a bulb, and plug it in—no electrician is needed. We also appreciate that it's UL listed for safety. It takes a Type A 60W bulb, which is not included. Pair this with vintage, mid-century modern, or industrial decor.

Price at time of publish: $70

Dimensions: 12 x 10.5 x 8 inches | Material: Metal, glass | Bulb Type: Type A 60W

Best LED

IKEA KALLBLIXT Wall lamp with LED bulb

IKEA KALLBLIXT Wall lamp with LED bulb

Courtesy of IKEA

What We Like
  • Bulb included

  • Constructed with mouth blown glass

What We Don't Like
  • 7-foot cord may be too short for some

  • Dimmer kit sold separately

Don't let the low price point of the Kallbixt Wall Lamp from IKEA deter you. Despite a number small enough to rival our Best Budget pick, this contemporary light has plenty to offer. The minimalist design and bubbly oval shape will seamlessly blend into a variety of spaces, and the white, mouth-blown glass diffuses the included LED light and creates a calm and cozy vibe. The pull-cord switch is right on the light itself, so no bending or reaching for the cord, either.

One downside we can see to this option, however, is the shorter cord length. Seven feet may make placement tricky based on your home's layout. And while it is compatible with a dimmer switch, the kit is sold separately.

Price at time of publish: $22

Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 11 inches | Material: Steel mounting bracket, glass shade | Bulb Type: E26 LED

Best Bedside

Franklin Iron Works Easley Matte Bronze Plug-In Swing Arm Wall Lamp

Easley Matte Bronze Plug-In Swing Arm Wall Lamp
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Swinging arm

  • Dimmable

  • Versatile

What We Don't Like
  • Bulb not included

  • Cord cover sold separately

"Plug-in wall lights are convenient for bedside lighting," says Knopfler. We recommend the Easley Lamp from Franklin Iron Works for this purpose. It has a brass-finished metal base and a swinging arm for adjustable illumination. The simple off-white shade adds a nice contrast, while a built-in dimmer switch offers easy lighting control. While it only comes in one color scheme, the neutral colors still match various decor styles.

You can mount the backplate directly to your wall without hardwiring it. This wall lamp has a brown 8-foot power cord, so it's easy to plug in right next to your bed. There is also a handy cord cover to provide a more polished look, but you'll have to buy it separately. It takes a standard 60W bulb, but you'll also have to purchase that separately.

Price at time of publish: $160

Dimensions: 24 x 15 x 12 inches | Material: Metal base, fabric shade | Bulb Type: Standard 60W

Best Arched

Crate & Kids Single Wall Mounted Adjustable Light

Crate & Kids Single Wall Mounted Adjustable Light

Courtesy of Crate & Kids

What We Like
  • Defined arc shape

  • Lamp neck moves from side to side

  • Bulb included

What We Don't Like
  • One available color

  • Shoppers note that it's lightweight for price

Though this elegant, arched light comes from Crate & Kids, we encourage people of all ages to use it wherever they please. Given the versatility of the swiveling neck, it's ideal for a bedside, reading nook, or office. We also appreciate the clear cord that doesn't stick out against the wall as much as other styles do. What's more, the switch is built into the metal wall plate, making for easy on and off.

The golden metallic color paired with the creamy painted metal shade makes for an elevated vibe—but if that's not the exact color combination you're after, you might want to look elsewhere since no other variations are offered. One other potential downside is that some shoppers did express disappointment in the lightweight construction, expecting more sturdy for the price. Still, for its perfect arch and adjustable neck, we think it's a worthy choice.

Price at time of purchase: $119

Dimensions: 18.5 x 8 x 17.75 inches | Material: Steel | Bulb Type: 13W CFL or up to 60W

Best for Reading

IKEA Nymåne Wall/Reading Lamp with LED Bulb

Nymåne Wall/Reading Lamp with LED Bulb
Courtesy of Ikea.
What We Like
  • Bulb included

  • Affordable

  • Dimmable

What We Don't Like
  • Only comes in one finish

  • Screws not included

We also like IKEA's Nymåne Lamp. It's made of powder-coated steel and aluminum, so it's durable enough to last for years. Designed to be mounted to a wall with the cord exposed, no hardwiring is necessary, but you'll have to get your own screws. While it only comes in white, it's still a versatile pick for various design styles. The mini size and minimalist design make it a great choice for a reading corner, bedside, closet, nursery, or kid's room.

This light comes with a long-lasting, energy-efficient LED bulb and has a built-in dimmer switch. Like the light, the cord is white, so it shouldn't take away from the overall decor. IKEA does sell cord covers, so you can find an option to cover it if it still bothers you. It measures 8 feet, 2 inches, so you shouldn't have trouble plugging it into an outlet.

Price at time of publish: $35

Dimensions: 4 x 3 inches | Material: Powder-coated steel, aluminum | Bulb Type: LED

Best Modern

Gantri Studio Elk Arpeggio Wall Light

Studio Elk Arpeggio Wall Light
Courtesy of Gantri.
What We Like
  • 3D-printed

  • Comes in various finishes

  • Dimmable

What We Don't Like
  • Not as bright as other options

Gantri makes stunning modern fixtures, and the Arpeggio Light is no exception. This wall-mounted piece is refreshingly uncomplicated, with a pared-down base and a mug-like diffuser. It comes in three different color options: carbon (black), sand (beige), and forest (green). While we recommend it for modern decor, we also think this would look great in a minimalist home.

While it doesn't provide the brightest illumination, the Arpeggio is an excellent accent light with a built-in dimmer. The white power cord is 7.5 feet long, so it should easily plug into nearby outlets. If not, you can remedy any length issues with an extension cord. While it costs over $100, it's 3D-printed and energy-efficient, making it well worth it.

Price at time of publish: $148

Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 5.5 inches | Material: Plant polymer, thermoplastic | Bulb Type: E12 6W

Best Chandelier

House of Hampton Althena Dimmable Tiered Chandelier

House of Hampton Althena Dimmable Tiered Chandelier

Courtesy of Wayfair

What We Like
  • Luxurious appearance

  • Dimmable

  • Adjustable height

What We Don't Like
  • Beads are not made of glass

  • Partial assembly required

This five-tiered acrylic chandelier is the type of piece that can serve as either a focal point or a supporting piece in your space, depending on your taste and decor style. Center it over a table, nestle it in a corner, or hang one on each side of your bed as an elevated bedside lamp. With an 11.5-inch diameter and a 10-inch height, it's a pretty yet practical size that, despite the extra sparkle it brings, won't overwhelm your space.

Speaking of the sparkle, we do want to point out that the luxe-looking beads are made of acrylic and not glass. This surely contributes to the fair price and lightweight structure of the piece, but it's worth keeping in mind. This is an easy and stylish addition to your home (with partial assembly required), as opposed to an heirloom.

Price at time of publish: $58

Dimensions: 10 x 11.5 x 11.5 inches | Material: Plastic | Bulb Type: E12 40W

Best Industrial

Globe Electric Leila Pendant

Leila Pendant
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Dimmable

  • Easy to install

What We Don't Like
  • Bulb sold separately

  • Not as bright as other options

If your decor taste leans more industrial, the Globe Electric Leila Pendant has your name on it. This bare-bones piece is essentially a 15-foot woven power cord with a bulb socket and an on/off switch. It has a striking black cord that should blend in nicely with industrial, traditional, or modern decor. And at under $50, it's one of the more affordable options on our list, too.

You'll need to buy a bulb separately, and since there's no shade, we recommend finding something relatively warm and dim, like an Edison-style bulb (although this style isn't as bright as other options). It's very easy to install with the included swag hooks, and it can hang on sloped or vaulted ceilings. As a bonus, this light is compatible with a dimmer switch, so you can change the level of light whenever you want.

Price at time of publish: $40

Dimensions: 4 x 2 inches | Material: Woven fabric, metal | Bulb Type: E26 60W

Final Verdict

Overall, we like the Taylor Mini Pendant from Possini Euro Design. The traditional-meets-contemporary design is classy and endlessly versatile, and the lengthy cord gives you lots of flexibility when hanging. But if you're looking for a more budget-friendly choice, we suggest the Globe Electric Amaris Light for its chic and simple design, and universal practically.

What to Look for in Plug-In Lighting

Type

The term "plug-in lighting" covers a lot of ground, from traditional floor and table lamps to sconces, picture lights, and more. In this roundup, we focused specifically on units that you would expect to be hardwired but are actually powered by your standard electric outlet. "These are great alternatives if you cannot or do not want to open up walls to obtain access to power," says interior designer Alex Epstein.

Cord Length

For the best results, ensure the cord on your plug-in light fixture is long enough to reach an existing electrical outlet. You can always add an extension cord if it's too short, but this can quickly create unwanted cord clutter—leading to a trip hazard or an unappealing look.

When it comes to safety, however, plug-in lighting rarely presents a hazard. "As long as your wires are not exposed and your outlet is safe, you should not have any danger," Knopfler says.

Cord Color

When buying a plug-in chandelier, pendant light, or sconce, keep in mind that the cord will be visible. Pendant lights with visible cords can become a design feature that lends a graphic or industrial look to your space, with black cords strung up and draped or knotted stylishly on a swag hook.

Wall sconces hung on white walls might look best with white cords that will blend in and keep the focus on the light fixture. Or you can look for plug-in lights with customizable cord options in metallics and bright colors.

Versatility

Plug-in lighting is less of a commitment than hardwired lighting, since it doesn't need to connect to an electrical box and can transfer to other places easily. Epstein says this makes it "especially helpful in a temporary residence." With that in mind, look for plug-in lighting versatile enough to use in another location so you can take it with you when you move.

FAQ
  • Can you hardwire a plug-in light fixture?

    Yes. It is straightforward and safe to hardwire a plug-in light fixture. Similarly, you can convert a hardwired light fixture into a plug-in. "Carefully cut the plug off and hardwire as normal," says Knopfler. "Remember you still need to have a junction box and electrical power in the wall or ceiling." And don't hesitate to hire a professional electrician if you're not up for it.

  • How do you install a plug-in light fixture?

    A plug-in light fixture plugs into a wall outlet—no hardwiring or special installation is necessary. "But make sure you have a canopy or backplate to install into the wall or ceiling," says Knopfler. 

    If you're installing a sconce, you'll need to mount it to the wall before plugging the power cord into an outlet. You might add a ceiling medallion to give a plug-in chandelier a more polished finish.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This roundup was written by Theresa Holland, a commerce writer specializing in home improvement, design solutions, and decor. Theresa has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019. She also consulted two experts for this story: co-founder and creative director of Lights.com, Sheva Knopfler, and lead interior designer Alex Epstein, of Purple Cherry Architects. With pointers from these pros in mind, we considered dozens of plug-in lighting options, narrowing them down to functional, versatile designs for every room and budget.

The Spruce's Dena Ogden contributed additional research. With nearly 10 years of writing under her belt, her specialties include lifestyle, commerce, and culture topics.

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