The living room is probably the most used space in a home. It’s a place for watching TV, reading and entertaining. If you’ve got an open plan living room-diner, it’s also where you eat your meals. Seeing as the living room has so many functionalities it requires multiple light sources and possibly also multiple light zones. As a rule of thumb, you need roughly 5-10 light sources in a living room.
Switchontolighting.com recommends to measure the size of a room in square metres and multiply this by x25 for incandescent light bulbs, x15 for halogen, and x19 for compact fluorescent lamps. This will equal the total amount of wattage required to light up that room. You can then break it down by the different light sources and the wattage they require.
Living room lighting ideas
The first thing to look at however, is whether your living room has dark or light-coloured walls. Dark colours absorb light, whereas light colours reflect. Needless to say, if you’ve got a navy-blue living room, you’ll be needing plenty of lights. A solution for small living rooms is to place an uplighter in a corner, to create the illusion of space. Spotlights directed towards a wall or ceiling can open up and make the room look brighter.
Task lighting, such as floor lamps and table lamps, should be placed so you don’t have to strain your eyes. For a reading corner, a lamp should be placed so the light is shining from behind the reader’s shoulder. The TV however, shouldn’t be too brightly lit up as this will reflect the screen. If you tend to sit with your laptop on the sofa, you’ll need task lighting for that too.
To highlight artwork, a fireplace or architectural details, accent lighting is key. Direct spotlights towards the item you want to accentuate. Recessed light fittings above the mantelpiece will achieve the desired effect when illuminating a beautiful fireplace. Wall sconces, placed either side of the fireplace will help to establish the room’s focal point. Accent lighting is usually needed for the walls and outskirts of a room.
Ambient lighting will create the mood of the living room. It might not necessarily be needed if your living room isn’t big enough or is bright, however, if you’ve got space, LED lights around panels/ceiling, as well as chandeliers and statement lamps over dining tables, really can make a difference. Ambient lighting is the opposite to stark fluorescent lighting and it should be as inconspicuous as possible. Diffused lamp shades and the trusted dimmer switch will help to get the right touch.
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