How Do You Brighten a Dark Classroom Without Spending Too Much

Bringing light to a dark classroom quickly enlivens the entire space. Of course, renovating or buying lights quickly comes to your mind. But how do you brighten a dark classroom without spending a lot? Are there tricks to dazzle up in a budget-friendly way?

Read on we have 13 interesting ways to breathe new life into a dark classroom.

a painbrush and natureThe Power of a Happy Classroom

Your classroom should be a positive place for your students to come to. When students feel happy and comfortable in their learning space, their brains perform with glee that influences learning success.

Too dark lighting can make it difficult to study, impairing brain attention and visual clarity when reading. It can also have a negative impact on psychological well-being over time.

Overly bright and fluorescent lighting, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to contribute to off-task behavior and exacerbate hyperactivity.


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So How Do You Brighten a Dark Classroom?

Here we go…

Every classroom gets natural light from the windows. To capture daylight, do everything to clear the window area from anything that can block natural light. But if your room remains dull, check out these tricks:

1) Replace bulbs with full-spectrum LEDs

white pendant lamp

Ordinary or classic bulbs produce light energy by heating a wire filament to a temperature that emits and directs light into a beam. These bulbs (fluorescent or incandescent) give more heat in the room and are higher in terms of operating costs.

Full-spectrum LED bulbs, on the other hand, use filters that copy all of the colors of the white light from the sun. LED bulbs in general are designed to last up to 50,000 hours. That means it is 50 times the life of a regular incandescent bulb and 5 times that of a typical fluorescent lamp (CFL).

If you are a practical user, that could be years of using it in your classroom. Simply running a LED bulb for less than 10 hours per day, even if you use it every day still could last for more than 10 years. Super light and supersaver in one!


2) Consider other ambient light sources

Since ceiling or wall light fixtures can be expensive, consider other ambient light sources. Not only will they make your classroom area shine, but the right luminosity creates a positive ambiance. Anything that gives off light is great, but do it safely and responsibly: 

Remember, both you and your students will feel better with good lighting. Below are the types of lighting you can use in classroom spaces:

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Track lights

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Table lamps

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Fairy lights

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Task lighting

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Lightboxes

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Light tables

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Pendant lights

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Three-way lights

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Fiber optic lights

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Battery-powered candles

Use natural and energy-efficient sources as much as possible. Low-heat lighting is enough to illuminate a classroom in an environmentally responsible way. Look for low-wattage and soft lighting ideas. For example, outdoor bulbs can perfectly create a reading-conducive area, however, they are too bright for children.


3) Disguise fluorescent lights

While it’s perfectly okay to expose your fluorescent lights, hiding them creatively lessens the glare coming from the bulbs as it provides a cool effect. Design your own disguises by upcycling unwanted pieces into something that will bring a new level of brightness.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Hide the harsh glow of fluorescent light with a plastic cover like frosted or prismatic fixture covers.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Use a wide-brimmed hat, colored fabric, or customize a lampshade effect using bond paper, newspaper, or any art supplies you have.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture You can also buy fluorescent light filters to block fluorescent lighting and provide some coolness in the room.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Translucent boxes material filters the light in different directions, giving the room subtle lighting.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Another trick is the soffit. Here you will be getting a ledge that works as a lowered section of the ceiling to provide a secret slot for lighting. This may require more budget.


4) Put up fake windows

two windows

Utilizing large fake windows instantly brightens and makes the whole place feel more spacious. This idea is especially true if your classroom doesn’t have large windows for natural sunlight.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Mount a customed-made window frame with fake hanging plants.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Hang a portrait of clouds, or a garden, for an illusion of the outside.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Use window-themed wall stickers or decals. Choose your style.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Place mirrors across from the window to reflect natural light and fake more windows.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Design artificial LED lighting to give your room the appearance of natural light.

Teachers and students attest that classrooms with large windows and views of nature instantly boost the mood. The calming scene of the environment inspires one’s inner self.


5) Mimic natural light to plants

While hanging plants on fake windows can beautify, artificial lights over the plants mimic natural sunlight. As if the plants are outside, free, and exposed to the air and daylight.

Use fluorescents. They are the best artificial lights for plants and are about 2-1/2 times more efficient than incandescent. Since they are cooler in terms of light energy, they are less expensive to operate.

Space the plants nicely in a way that allows light in-between. Aim the lights toward your plant either above or behind them to make it appear like in the outdoors under daytime light. Try incorporating a mirror or other reflective surface to reflect light back up onto the foliage.


6) Hang lovely prisms

Crystal, Heart, Mirror, Shine, Prism

Prisms, also called suncatchers, typically come in a faceted lead crystal sphere with a little hole used for hanging it. Use a long-enough ribbon to hang prism crystals so they are free to spin and dance in the air. Triangular forms with refracting surfaces and acute angles can separate white light into a spectrum of colors.

The shiny surfaces are great in reflecting light. Indulge a glossy finish on a wall, corners, paint, floors, and bookshelves. The sheen that prisms emanate is enough to provide some glow on each surface.

For the full rainbow-like effect, hang prisms where they are reached by the rays of the sun. When sunlight hits them, they will cover your whole space with rainbow brilliance. You and your students will enjoy gazing at the little rainbows all over the walls.


7) Reflect light and color

Mirrors have the ability to make and reflect light by tricking the eye into thinking the room is brighter and larger. But in order for it to create the light you needed, think of where to place the mirror best. If you get it right, you will enjoy as much light in the classroom as possible.

The best arrangement is opposite the window or directly next to it. You will love how the idea doubles the amount of sunlight as it bounces off reflective surfaces. Mirrors also reflect and spread large patches of color and light from around your room.

Try a large mirror on a big bare wall, or place two mirrors behind or near lighting to double the amount of light. This angle will deploy any obtainable daylight. The bigger your mirror, the brighter light it can capture and the larger the space will feel.

Did you know that glossy walls and surfaces also bounce light? However, careful planning is required to ensure that the glossy effect will not disturb the class.


8) Paint with white or light-colored hues 

To instantly brighten dark space, make it feel sunny. Since light colors reflect light, it creates an illusion of space and helps in brightening the room and making it appear bigger.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Paint the ceiling a fresh coat of bright white, or why not the colors of the sky? If the blue skies brighten our world, it can do the same to your classroom ceiling.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Paint your walls with light tones and maximize the effect of natural light. The lighter the color of your walls, the more light is spread.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Try adding a punch of light color on one wall to add luster and glow to that spot. This is in contrast to dark shades which absorb light and makes an area appear faded.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Create an illusion of daytime by drawing nature on your wall. Light and cheerful colors quickly pop up dull walls.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture If your classroom still has an old wooden beam, lighten everything with a subtle accent.


9) Indulge in picture lights

Picture lights are picture frames that are mounted on the wall with a light source so close to it. Typically the lights used are very low low-wattage bulbs or lamps just enough to provide a sense of cool lighted art that gives light and luminosity to the room.

The goal of this lighting concept is to spread light evenly over the entire picture. Simply place the picture light centrally above the picture. Sunrise, mountains, or garden scenes are naturally uplifting. To minimize spending for installation and serviceman, choose battery-operated than its hard-wired option.


10) Display light-colored details

a preschool classroom with pink curtains

Go easy on the furniture by opting for lighter colors. There’s no need to buy new decor pieces. Refresh any existing artwork you have.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Cover floors with a large, dainty-looking rug. Layering an area rug with light color patterns is worth trying.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture Even light-hued posters can help do the trick.  Combining airy-colored art paper can form one big poster of an art piece.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture A bold yellow painting or turquoise portrait pops against an old wall can energize and give an entire classroom instant voice.

Dots, Dotted, Yellow, Background, Template, Texture If you’re using curtains, go for pastel-colored ones.


11) Bring in the colors of the sun

It’s tried and tested. Sunny colors like yellows, orange, light greens, and sky blue are colors that associate the mind and eyes with nature, the sky, and the sun. Automatically, it makes a dark space feel brighter.

Paint a bookcase, tables, desks, or chairs with outdoor colors. A large, colorful area rug, again, is an easy way to transform a dark and dreary space by injecting personality into your classroom’s floor.

A touch of something vibrant greatly brightens a room’s spirit, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Just ensure it is not too bold for the eyes but something that will elevate the space. The simple notion that colors lift the mood also facilitates a more luxurious feel. It’s bright!


12) Replace drapes with sheers

If you’re using heavy drape curtains, opt for sheers instead so natural light can diffuse and visually lighten the space. Heavy curtains also make the room look heavy.

Your goal is to turn your room bright and airy, so remain focused on light colors such as soft blue or warm yellow and let them help spread light in your classroom. If you’re comfortable with white curtains, go for it. You might feel sheers are not for you, then go for linen or cotton.


13) Let your windows shine

Clean windows automatically brightness a room. Simple regular cleaning will get your windows sparkling neat. Another secret to unobstructed light is by positioning cabinets, bookshelves, or any partitions in a way not parallel to a window. This allows a smooth flow of daylight and sunlight that you have been dreaming of. In short, don’t block the whole window for light and ventilation.

Do you like more tips for a classroom makeover? Watch this video. Teachers deserve the best classrooms!



Not everyone has the time or money for a full makeover when it comes to brightening up a dark classroom. But, there are creative ways you can use to make your learning space feel open, free, and airy. Since your classroom has limited sunlight, it would be wonderful if you advocate any of the sustainable strategies above.

Improved visibility, atmosphere, mood, and behavior are among the benefits everyone in the classroom will be enjoying under your care. If you put a bright classroom into practice, it makes everything more attractive, your students more active, and you a lot happier.


When it comes to changing light bulbs or enhancing fixtures, make sure to discuss this with your school’s administration first.