5 Tips on Planning Your Living Room Lighting

Regardless of the size of your living room, it is important to invest in good lighting. So many people take the lighting of their living room for granted. You shouldn’t do so considering you spend a lot of time here.

To create a practical and stylish living room space, you have to put in some effort into your lighting. In this guide, we will look at the type of light to invest in for your living room. We will also consider where to place the light and other key issues.

Types of lighting for the living room

The best time to judge the beauty of a living room is in the night because of the lights. Generally, we rely on three kinds of artificial lighting which are:

  • Task
  • Ambient
  • Accent

Let’s discuss each of these briefly below:

Task light – In layman terms, it is known as focused light. It may be in the form of desk lights, bright ceiling downlights, or a reading lamp.

Ambient light – Usually, this resembles natural daylight. You can create this feel using lamps, pendants, and even wall lights. The idea is to create soft lighting that gives a relaxed atmosphere.

Accent light – This kind of light is created using uplights, spotlights, and downlights. These days, several other styles of lighting are used in this regard. Accent lights, as the name prescribes, are instrumental in highlighting design features like artwork or alcoves. The same effect can be created using table lamps to give the impression of zoned light pools.

Planning your light based on the use of your living room

Before you even choose or begin to design a lighting scheme for your living room, checking for practicality is important. To this end, let us take a look a few factors to consider in this regard below:

Natural daylight – The amount of light a room gets is determined by the room setting. Here’s a relatable example. A room that is facing the southern direction is bound to have more natural light than one facing the north.

Room proportions – This is another factor that affects the lighting of a room. How high are the ceilings? What surfaces are present and what surfaces will you fix in the living room? Usually, brightly-colored walls, furniture, and flooring will bounce light around. This makes extra artificial lighting unnecessary.

The use of the room – At what time during the day do you use the room the most? How do you use the room? These questions will help you figure out how to fix and adjust ambient light in the room. The kind of light you put in will determine whether the room will be relaxing or functional.

Eliminate dark spots – You should also consider natural dark spots. An example is the deepest part of your kitchen extension is likely to lack natural light. So it will need lighting, even in the day time. Before getting lights, you can fix your lighting problems using glazing, roof lights, and bi-fold doors.

Highlighting features – After sorting your task and ambient lighting, you should focus on accent lighting. This will help you get creative and show off all the beautiful features in your living room. Try lighting up crevices like under cabinets and alcoves. You may also want to consider lining architectural details with lights or go retro with British style living room wall lighting.

Consider the controls of your lighting

Now that you know the kind of effects you want to create with your lighting, consider its controls. Usually, this is where you spend the most money. If you are doing a renovation of your home, then you probably should speak to a lighting designer. This is necessary to get advice on the best and affordable control options.

Usually, it is expected that you round up fixing the design before you put in your first electrics. The reason for this is to ensure that you integrate it all into your room’s architecture and joinery. It is important that you work with details regarding where you’ll place furniture and decoration.

Let’s be sincere with you, using one light switch does not give you the best from your lights. You need more than one light switch. This will enable you to put your lighting on a variety of circuits. Here are some factors to consider:

The number of circuits – Usually, a living room should have a minimum of three circuits. One for the wall lights, another for the table lamps, and the third for the central pendant or downlights.

The number of zones – If you are using an open plan for your living room, you should use more circuits. An open plan is a living room that has a kitchen and dining space attached. In this wise, you must treat the lighting of the different zones separately.

Setting the mood with dimmer switches

This is a cheaper option if you want to design a living room with a cheaper budget. Dimmer switches aren’t expensive and can help to change the mood of a room easily. There are a plethora of dim switches, it all depends on the one you prefer and can afford.

You cannot use dimmers with energy-saving bulbs. However, by dimming the light, you can save energy. To dim a halogen bulb is possible with a higher wattage dimming switch. Any qualified electrician can help you fix this.

You may need to be wary of LED bulbs if you want to achieve the dimming effect. This is because they could end up overheating or flickering. When this occurs, it is possible that the lamp cannot be dimmed or the dimmer can’t work with such products.

Choosing the right bulbs

Beyond the positing and the fittings, you must consider the types of bulbs. This has a major impact on the kind of light in your living room. Types of bulbs include:

Tungsten bulbs – Not too energy efficient as they produce instant warm light. They last about a thousand hours but they can be dimmed.

Halogen bulbs – Gives very bright white light that can last up to 2,000 hours. They can also be dimmed and get very hot when in use.

Energy-saving bulbs – These can last for over 8,000 hours and they produce white warm light. They are not dimmable even though newer versions are beginning to be.

LED bulbs – LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and they could last beyond 20,000 hours. There are dimmable versions.


There is so much to consider when it comes to lighting up your living room space. We have shown you a few in this post. What other things do you think you should consider?