Here are some questions / requests that I receive from the to time:
How can I light a living room?
I need lighting ideas for a small living room.
How do I get good lighting in my living room?
How can I light my living room with no overhead lighting?
I’ll try to answer some of these here to give some useful tips for lighting living rooms!
Some general points to make:
At least 3 or 4 different sources of light in different parts of the room, - some high and some low to give balance and move your eyes around the space.
Some lighting facing the walls some up or down to give variety and therefore allow the space to feel more personal.
A good tip is to make sure that you have one general light (normally a central pendant or spots); one floor lamp and one wall lamp or table light. That way you’re likely to have 3 different heights and if they’re placed in different areas of the space that’ll keep it interesting.
Keep curtains open and windows clean - I know, mine always end up rained on or streaky too. If you manage though... this will increase the natural light in the space during the day, which is not only great for health but also feels lovely!
Keep your 'lampshades’ (otherwise known as ‘diffusers’ as they normally diffuse/spread out the light) to mostly white or warm colours in relaxing rooms. Have blues and greens in some spaces too if you like as there are some lovely blues and greens which give a super cool crisp look, but as main central lights, and in the spaces where you’ll look at others try to avoid making them too green! If you do have a beautiful teal lampshade (I know that I love them, I make and sell them for goodness sake!) Use a really warm bulb in it so that if it has an open base at least there will be warm light sneaking out.
Use larger-than-life (50cm-100cm) pendants and floor lamps to give excitement and drama to your space, or go for tall thin pieces in order to show precision and care… modest sized (20-40cm) rounded forms tend to keep quiet and let the rest of the room speak while they stay in the background, and then spots give useful light while giving off an aesthetic of clinical (recessed spots) or industrial (small steel spots) efficiency.
Decide on the look of your space - it might be relaxed with natural fibres, earthy with solid stone details, crisp and clean with fine lines and sober colours, romantic with flowing materials and elegant decorative lines, traditional, space age… or other! You’ll be able to find lighting which embodies the style you enjoy most as long as you know what that style is to start with.
How to light a living room with no overhead lighting:
If you don’t have ceiling outlets for your lighting that could be a great thing for your living room! Ceiling lighting is often not that comforting a light source, - light coming up from seat height or shoulder height has a much calmer and more uplifting feel. Just make sure that you have at least 3 (my favourite is 4 or 5) different lights. One in each corner or each wall of the space, and at different heights to help keep a non-regular balance keeps the feel interesting and human.
Is that enough for the old living room ceiling lighting ideas? Would you like to know how to plan your living room lighting specifically? Send me an email with a plan or some photos and the measurements for the length and width (plus ceiling height if possible) and I'll send you back a sketch or plan with suggestions! Do you have living room lighting ideas you'd like to share with me? I can add them to this blog and credit you if so! Just send any questions or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org - thank you!