How To's

How to Properly Illuminate a Living Room

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Ingo Schaer
Written by Ingo Schaer

Style and function. That is what makes you decide on a lighting piece that immediately attracts you for your living room. The best thing about proper lighting is how its diffusion allows you to sit back comfortably and relax. A living room that has the right illumination would play with your more sensitive nature by encouraging you to linger and enjoy an inviting environment.

A majority of living rooms tend to be entertainment centers beside the general lounging arrangement. Lighting becomes an important feature of your interior design since it influences the psychological connection a person builds with a room. While having an abundance of natural light pouring in is a blessing, this selection can make up for any shortcomings. For your guests and for family, your living room is one place you should pay special attention in terms of its lighting.

Lighting it the proper way includes the placement of your fixtures considering the activities you will be engaged in. Besides this, the type of fixture you chose could become a unique art in itself too. You would also like to consider one that is both within your budget and is versatile enough to work out with for a long period of time.

What style elements would liven up my living room space?

Interior-Deluxe: For an individual style, find fixtures that you could personalize and proudly make a statement with. Light up your living room with a fixture that is able to draw attention not only to its source but favorably highlight your favorite area or furnishing as well. Explore unexpected places for your lighting. You can further try mixing old classic light with your rather contemporary update. Choose bulbs that deliver accurate colors and observe an extra sparkle.

Use repetitive style in your lighting design if you want to fashion a unified space around your living room. Changeable LED lighting is the latest in trend that could liven up your room in unusual corners with your choice of color. Or you may well have fun checking out different yet brilliant lampshades that makes your fixture more adaptable.

If your large, open place used to be lit by table lamps and recessed cans, incorporate the different styles of architectural lighting. Include valences covering any two parallel walls, a lamp near a reading chair, and a singular soffit fixture above a fireplace. Control them through the preprogrammed settings of a keypad that covers your reading, entertaining, an all off and an all on mode. Another option that simultaneously lets you be energy efficient and versatile in terms of mood, event, or time of day is that of a dimmer instead of a wall switch.

How can I work out ambient illumination in my living room?

ID: Ambient lighting is favored by some people who desire a sense of brightness in their living room, one that they live in for longer periods of time doing all sorts of activities like watching TV, playing games, or being engaged in conversation. Taking into account the fact that looking up suits us better than looking down in the vertical plane of visual perception, ambient lighting is the best solution that we have.

The desirable amount of ambient lighting in a living room is measured to be around 1500-3000 lumens. Illuminate with the valance and/or cove forms for indirect lighting. Where valance lighting is mounted high on wall or above a window, located in a metal, wood or glass horizontal shield (valance), cove is integrated into the room’s structure on a shelf, ledge or recessed high on the wall.  This could work by placing a linear fluorescent behind a millwork integrated into an entertainment unit or maybe a bookcase.

Second, keep a note of the paint in your living room – the darker colors absorb your light while the lighter ones reflect it. You can wash them with the soffit and/or valance lighting either through track or recessed fixtures directed towards wall or with the translucent globes of your plug-in floor lamps that face upwards.

What types of lamps are ideal for lighting in living room?

ImageID: Lamps with their bases and shades are essential ingredients of pattern and color in the room. Placed close to a game table or a reading corner, LED or incandescent bulbs are favorite in an apothecary-style adjustable lamp. Have these table lamps scattered throughout – on shelves or on sideboard. Placed on end tables or in different spots in the room, a pair of matching lamps can successfully get you a formal look. Different lamps located asymmetrically provide an informal one of relaxation and spaciousness. On the other hand, floor lamps don’t consume a lot of space and, used in corners where there are no table surfaces, they distribute light in a wonderful manner.

In case you are missing an overhead fixture, your lamps will play a significant role then in the overall lighting scheme. Make them smarter by including accents with spotlights on artwork or plants, above casework or behind a chair.

What should be my approach to adding layers of light in my living room?

ID: From central lights to wall-mounted, track and recessed lighting, it is crucial to layer your lighting throughout the room. Where recessed is a great choice above your chairs, a sofa or a coffee table, wall sconces enable you to create interesting backdrops on the wall section. Shades matter too when you have to deal with floor and/or table lamps providing you quality task lighting. You can install track lighting in your living room over special spots or on a painting or place uplights on floor near a sculpture or plant to help you accent those architectural elements. But then you have to be careful with the heat and the brightness the lighting generates over the art collection.

Illuminating with layers eliminates any shadows lingering in the corners of your living room.
ImageSo, localize your source of lights. A chandelier, apart from being visually appealing, would supply lighting in general since they are more or less centrally positioned to be available directing above the primary seating area. They fill the empty space and, since they are usually multipoint, they are able to illuminate any highlights you’ve got in the room. Use this as your main light only if you have a high ceiling. In a similar fashion, pendant lighting can supply character to living rooms while paper lanterns in globular shapes can be preferred too for effective as well as pleasant lighting.

Moreover, where a scrolling lamp on the floor can contribute to task lighting around your seating arrangement, nothing can beat the virtually invisible lighting sources that recessed bulbs are. Whether it’s just a downward, focused beam or overlapping in the overall lighting scheme, they enhance the overall environment especially when they work from a glossy ceiling. The diverse designs and materials of floor lamps, however, allow them to be a part of balancing light in any décor that you have set up.

Coming to sconces, they can define a particular area such as that around a mirror, above a mantelpiece, over each bank of built-in shelving or on the sides of a fireplace. Their glass diffusers or shade equipments enables them to shed a soft glow especially as they are installed (in pairs) near or at the eye level. Their presence gives you the complement of accent lighting. Need a low light level on occasions such as after-dinner hosting or wish for a symmetrical enhancement with their texture, shape, and contrast to walls? Perch these angels. But they definitely cannot be used as a source alone.

ImageWith track lighting, you can have a one system to serve all purposes. They are flexible in that you can influence the direction and location of the individual fixtures for your respective arrangement. They can act as a flood light, an accent, a spotlight, a downlight, or, given that it has enough fixtures, can also give the overall illumination in the room. They are practical but not exactly suitable for every living room.

Another innovative trick that most people find tempting is fan lights. The varieties include mini contemporary-style spotlights and numerous lamps on the arms of your ceiling fan. And finally, make the most of your firelight to infuse the air with romance and coziness. A blazing hearth accompanied with candles in your living room will complement your lighting.

A blend of strategically-based lighting that is functional, controllable and adaptable around the natural light streaming in through windows and skylight beside the furniture is said to be efficient. For a passionate glow in the illusion of different spaces within this one room, you need to assess and evaluate the area and activities for the types of bulbs used and the light effects thus created. Do you need help planning an affordable yet extraordinary transformation? Ask our experts who can guide you in achieving a flattering impression.

About the author

Ingo Schaer

Ingo Schaer

Ingo has been in the lighting business for over 20 years. He regularly blogs about trends and tips in the industry while running one of the most complete contemporary lighting ecommerce sites on the net. Please take a moment to browse his website and feel free to contact Ingo for all your lighting needs.

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