Let’s be real here: we all love candles. We all love taking artsy, aesthetic pictures with candles and books and mugs of hot beverages, and why shouldn’t we? Unfortunately, because dorm life crowds students so closely together, candles are often banned as a fire hazard. However, there are plenty of alternatives that can produce the same effect, either by providing light that’s softer than dorm lamps or scents that make a crowded, messy room smell a bit better. Try these out, and see which ones you like the best.
1. Fairy lights.
If you want additional light in your dorm while still keeping the room warm and cozy, fairy lights are a perfect idea. Place them as high in the room as you can, to allow light to spread through the entire room, drape them over the backs of your furniture or wrap them around your curtain rod.
2. Electric candles/tea lights.
This one’s a pretty obvious replacement for candles, but there are a surprising number of people who don’t realize that these exist. Powered by batteries, these look very similar to actual candles and provide light while also giving a similar aesthetic. Unlike actual candles, these can also be left on when leaving the room or sleeping.
3. Clip on book lights.
These have been a godsend for me. If your roommate goes to bed early and you still want to work without leaving the room, clip one of these onto your book or desk - it gives a small amount of light in a very defined amount of space. Like a candle, a book lamp provides a small amount of light, allowing your workspace to be visible, but it’s steadier than a candle, and doesn’t need to be closely monitored.
4. Reed diffusers.
Reed diffusers, like air fresheners, spread scent through a room without any need for heat. Scented oil is poured into a small glass pot and thin reeds are stuck into the pot, through which the scent of the oil is spread.
5. Oil warmers.
Oil warmers are small dishes that small amounts of essential oils are poured into. The oil is then heated by either battery or power cord, and as the warmer heats the oil scent spreads through the room. Like a scented candle, oil warmers provide the room with a pleasant smell, but because they contain no open flame, they’re not a fire hazard.
To purchase: Amazon
6. Wax warmers.
Similar to oil warmers, wax warmers contain a small dish that is filled with scented wax, and then powered by battery or power cord. The wax is melted as the dish heats, and the scent diffuses through the room without an open flame.
7. Air fresheners.
If you’re buying candles to make your room smell better (because let’s be honest, you haven’t cleaned since move-in day), air freshener will spread scents just as easily. They can also be left activated even when you leave the room, so the fresh smell won’t go away.
8. Perfume on the lightbulb.
This one is a bit less well-known, but it works surprisingly well. If you have lamps with bulbs, spray a bit of perfume on the bulb and turn on the light. The heat will spread the scent of the perfume through the room, making it smell nice whenever you turn the light on.
Just because your dorm room has restrictions doesn’t mean you can’t make it as cozy as you want! And the wonderful thing about most of these options is that they are constantly reusable, meaning that you’re saving the environment and money when you purchase them. Happy decorating!
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