How to Cover Fluorescent Lights with Fabric: Step by Step Guide

Welcome to our How to Cover Fluorescent Lights with Fabric Step by Step blog post!

The fluorescent lamp in your house is a low-pressurized mercury vapor gas-discharge light that uses fluorescent for producing visible light.

The commonly used luminous working efficiency of fluorescent lighting systems is 50-100 lumens per watt.

Fluorescent lamps are generally for both homes and businesses. But it is also used in public places, schools, hospitals, waiting rooms, etc.

Compared to an incandescent bulb, the fluorescent bulb has more working efficiency because an 18-watt fluorescent bulb can produce the same amount of light as a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb produces. But this high efficiency can sometimes cause a lot of ugly fixtures.

How to Cover Fluorescent Lights with Fabric

For example, fluorescent bulbs not only hurt your eyesight but also emits UV radiation if the bulb is not appropriately covered. Another safety precaution that you may hasn’t thought about is the risk of bulb shattering as fluorescent bulbs are too fragile.

If you ever had the chance to replace one of these bulbs, you may know about this. They can easily crack when you do hold not them carefully. So that’s why covering those fluorescent lights are essential.

Fluorescent light covers not only protect your skin and eyes from UV radiation and glare but also serve as a barrier between you and the tiny shreds of glass in case the fluorescent bulb breaks. We have to cover these fluorescent lights with fabrics, durable plastic lenses, diffusers or reflectors, etc.

But because of those ugly fixtures of fluorescent lights, you don’t have to stop using fluorescent lights. Instead of blocking using fluorescent lights and without spending a considerable amount of cash, hide those ugly fixtures with a little fabric craftwork, and create a space that will seem to be visually pleasing. This idea will upgrade your room interior satisfyingly at the same time.

How to Cover Fluorescent Lights with Fabric at Home

Method 01: Using Fabric to Cover Fluorescent Light

Well, it’s a lengthy process but worth trying.

Materials Needed:

  • Table cloth
  • Curtain Rod kit
  • Binder clips

Step 01:

Start by taking the measurements. Then create the layouts. After that mount, the cleats with the three screws they provide and use drywall anchors for extra strength.

You need to do this for 4 locations, so do the rest of the three using the same method. It’s your choice about using those drywall anchors, but I will suggest using them.

Step 02:

Thread the rod into the cleat that you placed. After making sure that it’s secure, you can slip the finished hardware over the cleat.

Now put the cable into the rod’s attachment part, and to fasten the line uses an Allan screw. Do the same process with the three other locations.

Step 03:

After that, you have to cut the cable length and the coupling hardware that is in the unthreaded situation all the way. Next, attach the cable.

Step 04:

To make sure that there is no slack in it, turn the coupling hardware. It will tighten the cable.

Step 05:

Now that both are secure and tight, you can cover your fluorescent light with fabric according to your choice. Use binder clips to hold your material.

It will be better to let you know that you can choose any texture, pattern, color, or fabric type you want. You don’t need to worry about using any specific type.

But to let you know that, if you don’t want to dim the light too much, using sheer fabrics to cover the fluorescent lamps is your best choice.

In case you want a cozy and warm appearance, choose primary colors like yellow, blue, green.

There are other alternatives for covering fluorescent lights rather than only using fabric.

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Method 02: Some Alternative Ways to Cover up Fluorescent Light:

1. Cover Fluorescent Light with Diffusers:

The best option for covering a fluorescent light is to place a diffuser over it. Diffusers are sheets of translucent material that scatter and spread the light and create a soft glow for you, which hangs below the light from a chain.

It allows the light to filter through at the same time hiding it inside of that diffuser. Some diffusers are attached to the ceiling and act as a lampshade or as a ceiling light.

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2. Use Reflectors to Cover Fluorescent Light:

Reflectors are somewhat working like a suspended diffusers. Unlike diffusers, instead of filtering light through, they reflect the light in the ceiling and create a soft glow.

But like diffusers, reflectors hang below the fixture and attach to the top. You can buy a diffuser or a mirror that’s up to your choice. You can also create your diffuser with your creativity using wood or fabric, glass, or hanging a solid piece of metal from chains attached to the ceiling.

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3. Cover up Fluorescent Light with Rice paper:

Rice paper also works as a cover for fluorescent lights acting as a lampshade. However, rice paper cover for fluorescent lights works as a temporary solution.

First, to cover the fixture, made a frame using wood or wire. Then affix the rice paper to the edge. You can attach it to the ceiling, wall, or even to the fixture itself. It’s your choice to connect to which will serve you the best and also concern your need.

I will suggest using rice paper instead of using a diffuser because rice paper shades will give you much more flexibility than diffusers.

On the other hand, diffusers only cover the light from below, while rice paper is used on wall lights and on table lights that you can mold to dim the lights from any direction you want. That’s why I prefer using rice paper to cover fluorescent lights.

4. Use LightBox:

Lightbox is of translucent materials, which allow light to filter out from different directions. These light boxes were built in the 1980s, quite backdated, right? Back then, these boxes are familiar, mostly in the kitchen.

But nowadays, these fluorescent light boxes are made from lightweight, sleek, etc. They look at a wide variety of shapes and colors. These modern lightboxes will give you a cover from fluorescent and increase your room’s interior design.

5. Soffits:

Soffits are the most common method for covering fluorescent lights. Soffits are ledge that acts as a dropped portion of the ceiling to create a covering hidden space for fluorescent lighting.

You don’t need to build this soffit at the beginning of building your house; you can do it around your existing lighting afterward to create a high lightness in the ceiling’s border.

However, it’s your wish if you want to develop soffits at the center of your roof or in a particular location.

Typically soffits are made up of drywall or wood farming. But for a temporary solution using soffits, it can also be built from plastic or lightweight wood or metal frame.

6. Alternative Lighting: 

This method process the idea of not using fluorescent lights at all. Instead of using fluorescent lights, you can use designed floor mats, and hanging table lamps that will provide you with enough lighting and give your room a decorative look.

But depending on the room’s size, you can use two or three lights in your room.


Where can I get the best fluorescent lighting covers:

You can find the best fluorescent lighting covers at a fluorescent gallery. At that gallery, they will offer you a wide variety of fluorescent light covers, from stained glasses to classic designs, from acrylic to durable plastic ones.

If you give them the size of your fluorescent light covers for the perfect fit, they will provide you with that custom design for your preferable body.

Are the panels easy to attach to the wall?

The panels are flexible, and you can carefully attach them to the wall without any worries. If the panels are measured entirely, they can be set smoothly to the ceiling grid.

In case you have suspended ceiling light troffers, remove one of the corner screws in the frame. This process will easier your panels attached to the wall.


With the progress of technology, it is beyond telling that there are many methods of covering fluorescent lights with fabric in your house or office.

However, the techniques that I have mentioned above are undoubtedly the cheapest and most useful. That’s up to you which one will give you the best result and serves you right.

Hi, I'm Robert Jameson. I'm a textile engineer. As a textile engineer, I design & create fabric. When I'm not busy with my family members, I research, write, and edit content for Fabric Fits.

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