Light reflectors make great lamp shades!

Searching for a decorative, yet not too expensive solution to cover up the lightbulbs hanging from my ceiling, I came across a shop for photography accessories. The reflecting umbrellas and light reflectors seemed like a good solution and you can find them in very low price ranges. Beside the nice designs and colors — normally half-transparent, silver and gold — and the good pricing they are also very light-weight, which makes them easy to install.

I bought myself a pair of 32-Inch circular light reflectors that come with covers in different colors (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002ZIVKAE/). The reflector without cover is semi-transparent, reflecting partly the light to the ceiling and softening the light cone which is preventing the light from blinding. Using the silver or gold cover would absorb the downwards directed light, making it a good indirect lighting solution.

Installation

As mentioned, the reflectors are very light-weight. It’s enough to hang them by a thin string. I used some nylon thread to mount the reflectors roughly 20 centimeters below the bulb. Mounting it lower gives a better softening effect, but also reveals more of the cables and would probably move the bulb in the field of view from the distance. To attach the cord you can use for example some paper fasteners. I would avoid poking holes in the reflector since these could enlarge over time and tearing it up.

Nylon thread and paper fasteners

I attached the thread to three sides of the reflector, making it easier to give it some tilt when installed. Connecting four sides would make it more stable and balanced. A tripod helped me to find the correct placements for the fasteners.

The result

My living room is around 25 square meters, illuminated by two remote controlled LED color lights. Without the reflectors the bulbs blinded from the ceiling, casting sharp shadows. With the mounted reflectors, the bulbs give the room a very soft lighting with a higher amount of indirect light from the ceiling and walls.