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12 living room lighting ideas

  • lighting
  • style
  • tips
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Antonio Wedral
light grey sofa

While furniture is of course one of the most important features of any living room, no space can truly look its best without well designed lighting. Good lighting can help a room to look just as good at night as it does during the day. Creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere and attractive aesthetic, lighting can make a huge difference to your nocturnal interior design.

What is the best type of lighting for a living room?

Living rooms often benefit from having a few various light sources dotted throughout the space. So, rather than having one bright ceiling light, think about installing standing and table lamps around the room to create pools of light and make your lounge feel more comfortable.

One of the main benefits of having a number of different lights is that you can turn bulbs on and off to get the perfect level of illumination. This can help you create a living room that’s cosy, intimate and perfectly lit for night time.

How do you light a living room?

Because they’re designed to be relaxing, social spaces, rather than practical ones, the lighting in a living room can be darker than the illumination in the rest of your home. Though you may want a bright ceiling light for occasional use, in general, living rooms look better when fitted with lamps and other diffuse sources of light.

When designing the lighting scheme for your living room, think about how you’re going to use the space. You may want to place a bright standing lamp close to your main sofa seating area to provide illumination for reading, chatting and socialising. Alternatively, if you know you’re going to watch a lot of movies, you might want to keep the lighting in your seating area to a minimum.

1. Go modern with LEDs

LEDs are one of the most versatile and environmentally friendly types of lighting around. When you look at LED lighting ideas for living rooms, you’ll see that these tiny bulbs can be used to illuminate virtually any space in any way.

Place strings of LEDs under your shelving units to light your living room from below. You can also integrate LEDs into your furnishings or use these tiny bulbs to highlight the cornicing in your ceiling or living room alcove. Because LEDs don’t heat up in the same way as standard bulbs, they can be used safely all around your living room, allowing you to create a truly bespoke lighting scheme.

2. Introduce some Scandi style

Gold hanging lights

With many in Scandinavia living in almost total darkness for much of the year, it’s no surprise that people in the region know a thing or two about living room lighting. Often, Scandi-style lounges have a low-hung ceiling light at their centre. Low ceiling lights allow you to add illumination to the space while keeping it cosy, something that’s ideal for dark Scandinavian winters.

When looking for Scandinavian-style living room pendant light ideas, keep your eyes peeled for lights that combine wooden and metallic elements. Introducing light-coloured wood into your design will definitely help to maximise your Scandi feel.

3. Create pools of light with standing lamps

Whether you’re looking for large or small living room lighting ideas, one thing that always works well is the standing lamp. Also known as floor lamps, these lofty lights can add visual interest – as well as illumination – to your living room.

Standing lamps are available in a huge choice of styles. From classic to contemporary, it’s easy to find the piece that complements your home and your furniture perfectly.

Place a large standing lamp at one end of your living room sofa to light your seating area and create a nocturnal focal point. Alternatively, locate your lamp in the corner of your room to illuminate your bookcase, feature plant or favourite furnishing.

4. Go dark, moody and mysterious

Dark, moody lighting can look fantastic in both small and large spaces. Use a bright ceiling light or standing lamp to highlight your main seating area and then use minimal lighting in other parts of the room. Not only will this draw attention to your focal point, it will help to take the eye away from any mess or clutter in the rest of the space and make your living room look fantastic.

5. Embrace your low living room ceiling

If your living room has a low ceiling, it can be tempting to try to create the illusion of height with a few clever lighting tricks. Things like installing LEDs in the cornicing and uplighters against walls can help to elongate the walls and make the room feel higher.

However, while living room lighting ideas for low ceilings can work well, you’ll often find that you get a better look by embracing the natural proportions of the space. A low ceiling can make your living room even cosier, so why not design your lighting to reflect this intimate feel and create a space where everyone will feel at home?

Again, a few lamps will help to make the space feel attractive and welcoming. If you want a pendant lamp in the middle of the room, why not hang it low over your coffee table? This will create a stylish focal point and make for a fantastic central seating area.

6. Keep it festive year-round with string lights

string lights

While string lights may be most closely associated with Christmas, there’s no reason you can’t use this attractive and versatile form of lighting throughout the year. Hang string lights from your bookshelves or use them to decorate your walls. If you have a small outside space off of your living room, hanging outdoor string lights can be a great way to merge the interior and exterior of your home and make the area more usable.

7. Illuminate your small living room with wall lighting

In small living rooms, floor space is often at a premium. If you don’t have room for standing lamps, side tables and other extra furnishings, you can still achieve the cosy living room lighting you want with a few wall lights.

When looking at wall lighting ideas, living room options are generally fairly modern. You’ll see a lot of glass, metal and geometric shapes as well as some older style brass and pleated fittings.

Selecting pieces that reflect modern living room lighting ideas will help you to create a contemporary lighting design in your small space. Place your wall lights behind your sofa to highlight your seating area or install them on different walls to spread the illumination around the space.

8. Mix it up

A good way to create a unique and successful living room lighting design is to keep things varied. Having different bulbs at different levels will layer your light and help to keep your lighting interesting.

9. Keep it modern with minimal lighting

Although lamps can work well in both contemporary and classic interiors, if you want a very modern feel, you may want to opt for something a little brighter instead. A lot of modern living room lighting ideas incorporate powerful ceiling lights and LEDs. This light is whiter and clearer than the yellower tones of more traditional bulbs.

Often, the key to making modern, bright living room lighting ideas work is keeping your lounge clean and clutter free. Invest in adequate storage so you have plenty of places to put your belongings, and make sure your sofa and other furnishings are contemporary and in keeping with your lighting design.

Model 04

10. Warm it up

Whenever you buy bulbs for living room lights, make sure they’re at the ‘warmer’ end of the colour spectrum. Generally, ‘warm white’ bulbs are the best choice for cosy interiors. These days, it’s possible to get almost all bulbs, including LEDs and energy saving bulbs, in warm white, giving you a great choice of lights for your living room.

11. Go Green

Buying energy saving bulbs for your living room lamps will help to minimise your electricity bills and make your home more environmentally friendly. There’s now a fantastic choice of energy saving bulbs on the market, so you should be able to find these eco-alternatives for every light fitting in your home.

12. Make your ceiling light into a focal point

While you may not want to switch your ceiling light on when you’re curled up watching a film, pendant lamps can still form an important part of living room decor. Even when turned off, a well chosen ceiling lamp can add a sculptural element to the space and help to draw the eye to your room’s focal point.

To make your ceiling light into a feature, choose a piece that’s large and eye-catching. Hang it low over your coffee table or seating area to ensure it’s the first thing friends and family see when they walk into the space. If you don’t want one large light, you could look for a piece made up of a few separate bulbs. This will diffuse the light a little and help the pendant to fit in with your interior décor.

If you want to have your pendant light on in the evenings, look for living room ceiling lighting ideas that will cast a warm glow over your seating area without dominating the space. Low-wattage bulbs and warm light tones are normally the best ways to achieve this.

If you’d like more living room lighting ideas, or would like to find out how to make your lounge feel bigger, take a look around today. To find the perfect piece for your home, browse our full collection of Model 01, Model 02 and Model 03 flat-packed sofa, and our Model 04 sofa bed range.

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