Living Rooms are such multi-functional spaces in a home that multiple levels of lighting options are a must. Your lighting requirements for movie night will be much different than those for a family game night for example. The best way to meet all of these different needs is to use three to four layers of light. Namely, recessed lighting at the perimeter of the room, a central decorative fixtures, wall sconces for mood and accent, and table and/or floor lamps for task lighting as necessary. Avoid using recessed lighting over seating areas, and be sure to use dimmers whenever possible for maximum effectiveness of your light layers.
A key accent point in many living rooms is the fireplace. A fireplace with exposed brick can be illuminated, creating drama and impact. Small 3 inch or 4 inch recessed lights with adjustable trims installed near a fireplace can also be aimed to effectively illuminate a work of art or other pieces on or near your mantle.
Reading requires task lighting that comes from behind and to the side of the reader’s shoulder. This can be accomplished by placing a floor lamp either at the right or the left of the reading chair. The bottom of the shade should be located at eye level to avoid glare.
TV viewing requires dim and indirect light sources, best provide by sconces and lamps. Having these light sources on a dimmer is extremely helpful as it will allow you to match the light level to your person preference for TV viewing.
Suggested Light Layers for Living Rooms:
- Ambient – Recessed Lighting
- Decorative – Chandelier and Wall Sconces
- Task – As Needed on/near Furniture
- Accent – Wall Sconces, Picture Lights, Directional Recessed or Track Lighting, Lamps