Stylish Living Room Lighting Guide
Creating a dreamy space doesn’t have to be difficult, especially with this handy living room lighting guide.
The living room is one of the most frequently used spaces in a home—where the family gathers for conversations, entertaining, games, and a whole host of other activities. Since it also happens to be one of the first rooms guests typically enter, the living room can set the tone for the rest of the home. When it comes to creating a well-lit environment, however, homeowners often spend more time choosing a sofa or décor than selecting living room lighting fixtures. While furniture and accessories are always important, this can be a critical oversight in a space where lighting serves a vital purpose in both the function and the look of the room.
In an ideal world, a homeowner’s goal should be to create a warm and attractive environment. Toward that end, a good lighting scheme should use different types of lights, at multiple levels, to help transform the entire atmosphere. From wall sconces that serve as terrific decorative accents to stand-alone lamps that illuminate key task areas, here are some living room lighting ideas to help inspire you when choosing the best designs.
It’s a good idea to have a few table lamps scattered throughout the room to provide lighting for everything from reading a book to hosting game night. For a formal look, place matching lamps at either end of a console or on end tables. For those who aren’t into symmetry, it’s perfectly fine to split up a pair of table lamps and use them in different spots. You even can use mismatched lamps to achieve a more eclectic look.
Don’t have a table surface? No problem. Floor lamps are ideal for maximizing lighting and minimizing clutter. Try using them in dark corners; they don’t take up much space and are great for distributing light in tricky, out-of-the-way spaces. Other common spots to add floor lamps include next to a sofa or console.
Wall sconces are great for adding ambient light. Sconces also make great decorative accents when mounted at eye level on either side of a mirror, artwork, or fireplace. But when it comes to providing light, they likely won’t be enough. You’ll want to incorporate other sources of light as well.
Consider using stylish chandeliers and pendants to add a fun artistic touch, draw the eye upward, and offer a nice overall glow and decorative spark. Whether the style is modern, rustic, or classic, hanging fixtures not only fill a void between the living room space and ceiling, but they also can soften shadows and serve as the room’s main source of light.
Accent lights are ideal for highlighting certain features in your living room, including a fireplace, textured walls, or a favorite painting. For example, recessed, adjustable lights can be directed to points of interest, while under-cabinet lighting in a display case can highlight selected objects. It’s important to remember that for accent lighting to work properly, it needs to supply about five times as much light on the focal point as the surrounding general light.
Finally, one of the best things you can do is to add a dimmer switch to every single light in the living room to soften or brighten the light and completely change the mood. Dimmers are an affordable way to make a big difference. You also might want to consider taking advantage of the newer, more energy-efficient lighting solutions, including halogen and LED fixtures.