Living Room Lighting: A Guide

The living room is a very meaningful part of the home. It’s usually the place where people come together to talk, share their day, or just kick back and relax. So many things happen in a living room; in most homes it’s a multi-functional space. That’s why proper lighting in this area is essential and, depending on the room’s primary use, your living room may require a few different kinds of lights.  

Despite the living room’s obvious significance in the home, the lighting in this room is often sub-par. Some living rooms are built with one central light that does little to brighten up the room, while others don’t have built-in lighting at all. If you’re looking for new lighting for your living room you’re sure to find a huge assortment of choices. To help guide you through the options, here is some information about several common living room lighting choices and how they are best used in the space.

Chandelier

If you want to make a statement with your lighting, a chandelier may be the way to go. Chandeliers are bold and cast a warm glow over the entire room. Since they’re available in a wide variety of styles and colors, you’re sure to find one that matches the aesthetic of the room. Keep in mind, however, that a single chandelier is unlikely to provide proper light for activities such as reading or playing games. If you’re going to use the space for more than just entertaining, you’ll probably want to have other light sources in the room. If you have an overhead fixture, step it up a notch by installing a dimmer. In doing so, you can set different moods and save energy.

Accent

If you’re in love with certain features of your living room and want to play them up, accent lighting may be a good option. Accent lights are unassuming and meant to highlight a certain feature of the home. Typically built into the ceiling, wall, or a cabinet, accent lights shine down (or up) on an area of importance, such as a fireplace, a special piece of artwork, or a unique architectural feature. In order to create a focal point, accent lights tend to be significantly brighter than the other lights in the room.

Task   

If you plan on doing any reading in the living room or sometimes host neighborhood game nights, then task lighting should be a serious consideration. You want to have good, focused light for such activities, so you don’t strain your eyes. This brighter lightcan be in the form of a floor lamp with a swinging arm next to a comfortable chair or a directed light source over a desk. When choosing task lighting it’s important to keep in mind that furniture sometimes gets moved around. Consider whether or not this lighting will still work if furniture pieces are in a different place in the room.  

Table and Floor Lamps

Table lamps, floor lamps, and other kinds of decorative lighting are handy for a few reasons. For one, they’re portable, so when furniture gets moved around they can move with it. They also add some personality to the room as they come in countless shapes, colors, and designs, and they add extra light where needed. In addition, with this kind of lighting you have the option to include some lamps that cast light up and some that shine down, which adds visual interest and highlights different areas of the room.

Once you’ve chosen the types of lighting you’ll put into your living room, you still have to consider the space overall. Personal style and room size should factor into your choices. Be sure to pick fixtures that fit your space and that set the tone you want for your home.

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