Playlist for 10 Stylish Lighting Products for 50 or Less

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    The Stratus single-light sconce from Hampton Bay, The Home Depot’s house brand, offers an inoffensive design and a very attractive price—$16.50. Made from steel and featuring a brushed nickel finish, it comes with an energy-efficient GU24 compact fluorescent bulb and can be used as an up- or down-light. www.homedepot.com.

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    Priced at $50, the 9021 Seaside outdoor sconce from Kichler Lighting is perfect for a cottage near the water. It’s made from aluminum and stainless steel and is 7½ inches long and 6 inches wide. www.lightinguniverse.com.

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    If you can find a cooler and simpler light for less than the Melodi pendant, buy it. If not, investigate this one. The light measures 11 inches in diameter and 10 inches long. It’s made from PVC, polypropylene, and polycarbonate plastic, and costs a mind-blowing $9.99. www.ikea.com.

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    The Nuvo outdoor/indoor caged light is perfect for loft projects or when you want something that has an industrial aesthetic. Priced at about $38, the die-cast aluminum light measures about 9½ inches long and 4¼ inches wide and comes in six colors. www.nuvolighting.com.

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    Yes, we know this schoolhouse light from World Imports is $2 over our budget of $50, but the appeal of the classic piece of Americana is worth the extra bills. Measuring 10 inches by 12 inches, it features a frosted glass shade and chrome fittings. www.worldimportsdesigns.com.

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    We admit that $30 is a lot to pay for a light bulb, but the Plumen 001 is the world’s first designer, low-energy light bulb. Unlike the typical designer fluorescent fixture with tight swirls, this one has a more fluid form, but it will still save your buyers up to 80% on energy bills. www.plumen.com.

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    Though it’s made from steel and paper, this unassuming pendant light would fit right in with a modern, entry-level home or condo. It measures 14 inches wide and costs $24. www.adessohome.com.

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    Priced at about $41, this Forte Lighting bathroom wall sconce features a satin opal glass shade and chrome fittings. It measures 11½ inches long and 4½ inches wide. The product only uses a 60-watt bulb, so remember to install two—one on either side of the mirror. www.fortelighting.com.

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    With its flared-glass diffuser, Sea Gull Lighting’s Gladstone bath sconce is perfect for buyers who prefer a more traditional design. The unit measures 9 inches long and 6½ inches wide, and costs $34. It uses one 100-watt A19 bulb. www.seagulllighting.com.

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    The low-voltage Portfolio path light costs so little there’s no excuse for neglecting your landscape design. Priced at $14, the fixture has a metal body and a plastic lens. www.lowes.com.

If you build high-end custom homes and money is no object, you can stop reading now. On the other hand, if you cater to the millions of middle-class Americans who want houses and products that mix high-style and affordability, this article is for you.

Today’s topic is lighting.

A well-designed house has good lighting in a combination that includes pendants, chandeliers, spot lighting, task lighting, and landscape and exterior illumination. You can pay a lot to get good fixtures from top brands, but there are also ways to save money.

Mix and match. You can use higher-quality products in the main public spaces such as dining rooms and living rooms, and spend less on the fixtures for private rooms.

Know when to splurge. Fixtures installed at eye-level or those that will be touched should be of higher quality than those higher up.

Hit the big box. Large supply stores are loaded with terrible-looking brass fixtures that cost $10. Avoid those! Instead, take your time and look for chrome, brushed stainless, or nickel products in a clean transitional style, which looks good in any space.

Surf the web. Sure, you can buy local and get a good deal, but sometimes that approach is not feasible. The Web, however, offers a world of low-cost, high-style offerings. Try Ikea, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Destination Lighting, Overstock.com, and LightingUniverse.

With that, here are 10 affordable examples that look good but won’t blow your budget.

Nigel F. Maynard is senior editor at Builder.