The living room is the place where we spend most of our time during the day. A lot of time is usually spent on choosing furniture, colours and accessories for this area of the house. To maximise the effect, the right lighting is crucial.
This room has many functions and should be lit in several ways. There may be a space for the children to play, a place for socializing and a corner to relax. One central light should be avoided as it creates hard shadows. It seems to be a better idea to use different light sources to make an interesting effect.
The place where you read should have an adjustable light behind the chair.
It’s worth putting two or three table lamps on the table or furniture as it will make an impression of a bigger room. To illuminate pictures, bookcases or other objects, use Picture Lights or halogen Spot Lights.
If you want to increase the level of illumination in the living room, use wall lights and pendants on a dimmer switch. If they are installed too high, though, you may have the glare effect.
Floor lamps are a good solution whenever it is not possible to fit other types of lighting. They come in many guises and will add some illumination to the dark areas. Floor lights give a bright wash to the ceiling and some have a flexible arm for reading. Floor lamps can also be used to highlight large plants. The best effect is achieved if you place the source of light behind the plant. It will create a nice effect of a silhouetted feature.
If your living area is quite small, lighting the entire wall will make it feel bigger. Recessed light fittings mounted on the ceiling will do the job. For the best effect they will need to be an equal size from the wall. You can also create the impression of a larger living room if you light you garden, shrubbery and water features that are visible from the window.
Another interesting idea is to highlight the fireplace. If you install recessed down-lighting in the ceiling, it will create a grazing effect across the surface. If the effect you want to achieve is draw attention to the fireplace or you just need a general lighting for this area, use wall sconces on both sides on your fireplace.
If you have got glass cabinets in the living area, the right type of lighting can make your collectibles look amazing. Recessed adjustable light fittings with low voltage halogen light bulbs are the best solution.
It’s important to have the living room lit properly to watch TV. If the light is too generous, it will be too difficult to watch your favourite programs but if it’s too mean, it can induce headaches or result in eye strain. The light should be put behind or beside the TV to achieve a low level ambient light.
If you want to create an interesting atmosphere in your living area, why don’t you look at our Coloured Lights section. Just below, Daylight and Craft Lights are to be found for the best effect in your living room.