What Are the Different Types of Attic Lighting?

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  • Written By: K. K. Lowen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2019
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There are many different types of attic lighting. Windows, placed either on the walls or the ceiling, provide natural lighting in many attics. Other forms of lighting use electricity and are similar to lighting fixtures found elsewhere in a house. Attic lighting powered by battery is also a popular choice for those who do not use their attics on a regular basis.

Natural lighting is a desirable type of attic lighting for many people. Skylights, for example, are popular because they provide a significant amount of sunlight and may make a cramped attic space more cheerful. Wall windows also exist or can be installed in some attics. Some people may prefer to use only natural lighting in attics because it uses no electricity, reducing power bills and removing the potential hassle of installing electrical wiring in an attic.

Many other types of lighting can be used in attics. If electrical outlets are available, any type of floor or table lamp may be appropriate. Some people prefer table or floor lamps if they frequently use their attics or designed their attics to serve as guest rooms.


A mounted light fixture, such as a sconce, is another type of attic lighting. This kind of lighting requires a power source which may or may not already exist in an attic. If an attic is not already wired for electricity, some people have the skills needed to wire their attics themselves, but many people choose to hire an electrician to handle the installation process.

Once electricity is available in the attic space, any sort of light fixture can be installed. Some people select fluorescent lights, while others may choose bulb lighting. Lights connected to a switch are common, and the switch typically is located near the entry to the attic. The more basic pull-string light is also a popular choice. Additionally, many people prefer lighting attached to a ceiling fan because attics may become hot and stuffy.

For attics used primarily for long-term storage, some people may find it inconvenient to install permanent lighting if none currently exists. To avoid the installation of electrical wires, some choose to use attic lighting that is powered externally. Extension cords run up the attic stairs or through a hole in the floor may be preferable for those who do not use their attics regularly.

Battery-powered lights also may be appropriate for those who do not use their attics on a regular basis. Some battery-powered lights do not provide a great amount of illumination, but they have the advantage of being simple to use and do not require installation. People may utilize multiple battery-powered lights to produce more light as well.


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