How to light a living room

Provide a carefully planned lighting for everyday living

Living rooms are areas where friends and family come to relax, read, watch TV and be entertained. Living rooms are multifunctional areas because they are used for a variety of activities, so the lighting must be adaptable to any changes in mood. Living rooms come in various styles and often contain features such as a fireplace, table or bookshelf. This article will highlight key features to look for when choosing lighting as well as any possible difficulties.


Decorative/Ambient lighting

Decorative lights are an important part of interior decoration as well as an important source of ambient lighting. When installing or thinking about getting decorative lights, you need to make sure the light produced by the fitting is going to be effective enough to light the room effectively. If the feature is not going to be used to light the area, but is being used to create an effect you will need to make sure you have additional lighting methods in the room. A way to use ambient lighting is to either include a chandelier, some table lamps or a few wall lights in the area.



Colour temperatures

It is also vital to have the perfect colour temperature in your living room as you wouldn’t want the lights to be too jarring as you walk in or out. Regardless of the lighting used, make sure you have a dimming system so the lighting is not too bright for the room when it gets dark. With the dimming, you would be able to set the appropriate ambiance for any purpose, such as work, watching movies, or playing games. Another technique to provide more mellow lights is to select a fitting with frosted glass, this helps diffuse the light as it exits the fitting.


Lamps and accessory lights

For table lamps and wall lights, the colour of the lampshade is as important as the light itself. Solid linings direct light up and down but not sideways. In addition, sideways lit effects can be used to create a dramatic feel in contrast to an up-down light. A combination of effects is beneficial to achieve different lighting effect. Another crucial factor when using lamps is the colour temperature as a 2700K light is a warm light so may need to work with cooler style interior or with the gold lining or reflector. If needed you can have a warmer light using dim to warm technology.

Another consideration when using lamp lighting is their placement, which should ideally near a socket. The lamps will usually be controlled by a single circuit so that they can all be dimmed at the same time. Another option is to put them into a power outlet and turn them on and off separately. If you have furniture in the middle of the room, try to ensure that there are switched floor plugs in easy to reach locations; otherwise, the centre of the room will be dark because the light will be concentrated around the perimeter.



If you only have a small space in your living room, then ambient lighting would be used in this situation. Downlights might be a possible solution, as their direct light would be flattering for the area. Even though downlights light the room generally, it is difficult to create an interesting focus and can be uncomfortable to sit under. A better solution would be to use up lights, or wall wash, or use coves in the ceiling or grazing to highlight texture on the walls. Grazing is not appropriate if art is being displayed as it will light only the top of the painting creating a shadow.


Accent lighting

Accent lights are an important lighting technique for your living room. This form of lighting can be used to highlight artwork and other characteristics of the home allowing you to create lighting layers and a balanced appearance. Recessed downlights, strip and spots can all be used to add accent lighting to the perimeter. When you add accent lighting, you add layers of light that wouldn’t be present if you only used a centre light, which might make the centre area appear flat. When using fittings other than the main pendant, you’ll need to install separate remote drivers so you can simply control the lights. Furthermore, having the lights on separate drivers makes it easier to regulate them because you can alter the illumination throughout the day.


Task lighting

Task lighting in living room is often needed for reading. This is because you would not want to sit directly under a downlight from the ceiling as the light can be too intense. However, reflected light from an adjustable downlight can work as it wouldn’t be as intense.


Overall, when it comes to successfully lighting a living room, there are numerous factors to consider. You should think about the room’s dimensions such width, the decoration, point of attraction and furniture positioning. All luminaries are different shapes and sizes, but they all perform equally effectively. The challenge is finding the perfect match for the area, and making sure that the lights can be transformed easily throughout the day.

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