Get Steakhouse-Style Lighting at Home for $15

published Jan 31, 2017
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Oleg Mikhaylov)

What makes a steakhouse dinner so darn romantic? It’s not the old-time vibe, the dark wood, the leather, or the music. Yes, all that helps, but what’s really key is the lighting. It’s always soft and never harsh. And it’s super easy for you to get the same look at home — for less than two 10-spots.

(Image credit: Home Depot)

All you need is a dimmer switch, which you can pick up for around $15 at a home-improvement store. (Note: You can certainly spend more than double that on a fancier option, but you certainly don’t have to. It’s just a personal preference.)

To install, simply turn off the power to the room and replace your toggle switch with a dimmer, following the wiring instructions on the switch. If you can use a screwdriver, you can do this easy DIY project.

There are a few things to note, though. After all, this is electricity we’re talking about here.

  • If your dining room light fixture has filament light bulbs, you’re good to go. If you’re using LED bulbs or another type of bulb, just check the packaging to see if it says the bulbs are dimmable. If they’re not, you’ll have to get new bulbs.
  • If your dining room light has two light switches (maybe the room has two entrances and there’s a switch by each door?), you’ll need to get a three-way dimmer.
  • Be sure to check the wattage on the package of the dimmer box. If the dimmer says it can handle 600 watts and you have three, 60-watt light bulbs in your fixture, you’re golden. You just never want to pull more watts than the switch can handle.

If this all seems too scary or like too much effort, check with an electrician. Or just turn the lights off entirely and round up every non-scented candle you have. The flickering of candle light can guide you through your meal.

Read more:

5 Tips to Bring the Steakhouse Experience Home for Valentine’s Day