Boob Lights Be Gone: This Is the Best Renter-Friendly Hack for Hiding Them

Do you remember the first time you saw a set of boob lights? For me, it was probably during a party inside a gross apartment off campus during my college days, but that’s all a beautiful blur. When I moved into my first apartment in New York City, I couldn’t have cared less about the overhead lighting—I was so excited to be living in a space of my own, sans roommates. But when I upgraded from a studio to a one-bedroom a few years later, I couldn’t help but notice the harsh glare of not one but three boob lights on the ceiling. Not only were they a major eyesore, but they completely killed the vibe that I was trying so hard to intentionally curate. (It was quite literally obstructing my vision.) Every morning when I woke up and made my way from the bedroom to the bathroom, I scowled at the ghastly sight of the boob lights mounted above me.

Whenever you ask any person with an eye for interiors what the most important element in a room is, the first words out of their mouth will always be lighting. As a renter, there are many cosmetic changes that I’m forbidden from making, and lighting replacements are toward the tippity top of that list. I know this is a minor inconvenience, but when you live in a home like mine that is decorated with an assortment of beautiful objects, boob lights have a way of really standing out. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve fantasized about installing a chandelier, but since I’m not planning to stay in this apartment forever it hasn’t felt worth the expense. So when I received an email about Tulip, a newly launched line of naturally dyed linen shades designed to block your boob lights, I was eager to see if this alternative could be the solution for my problem. The start-up company currently offers three styles to choose from (Drum, Gem, and Lamp) with a variety of color options (natural, terracotta, sunlight, and lilac), starting at $135.

BEFORE: This boob light is hard to ignore because it greets you right when you step through my front door. Shield your eyes!

Photo: Sydney Gore

AFTER: This terracotta shade really spices up the entrance while complementing the warm wood features that can be seen throughout the apartment.

Photo: Sydney Gore

Once my Tulip order arrived in the mail, I was ready to get to work. I’m not a DIY’er by nature, so when it comes to building or installing things I’ll usually phone a friend (or hire a TaskRabbit) to handle all the heavy lifting. Since I was told that the Tulip shades are extremely easy to install and don’t even require tools, I challenged myself to do it solo. After unboxing my shades and watching a quick how-to video on Tulip’s website, I carefully stuck on all of the Command strips where instructed. Though I was able to use a foldable step ladder for the light in my kitchen and had no trouble sticking the rim in place and then securing the magnetic attachment, I needed to borrow a taller ladder from my landlord to reach the other lights in the living room. (I’m lucky to have such high ceilings, but during moments like this they can be a real pain if you’re a 5’4″ person with tall energy.) Any fear of heights that I previously had was quickly brushed aside as I climbed to the top of the ladder to finish the job. I’m happy to report that the reward of this visually appealing alternative was worth the risk of potentially falling.

BEFORE: Another ugly boob light awaits in the entryway to the bathroom.

Photo: Sydney Gore

AFTER: The mood is no longer “bummed out” with the flip of a switch.

Photo: Sydney Gore

The fact that a product like this didn’t previously exist is pretty mind blowing to me because the concept is genius. What was once an obtrusive lighting fixture has transformed into a lantern that emits a sexy glow in the atmosphere. I’m amazed by how something so simple could have that huge of an impact. The vibes in here have shifted so drastically that now I never want to turn off the lights. (This is the next best thing for feeding my lamp obsession.) Given that Tulip is just getting started, I can’t wait to see what the brand rolls out next. Until then, I’ll be customizing my shades with the help of some friends in the art world. As for my overhead ceiling fans, I’ll have to let that slide for now—that’s a design dilemma to save for another day. Let there be light!

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