How Important Is Light in the Living Room?

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How Important Is Light in the Living Room?

The living room: it’s the place where you curl up with a good book, gather with family to share stories, and enjoy a little TV when the mood strikes you.

The living room is the heart and soul of your home. Make it the best it can possibly be. To do that, one aspect you must get right is the lighting in the living room.

Why lighting in the living room is important

The living room is consistently rated as one of the most important spaces in the home, according to a survey by Realtor.com.

This means you must pay extra attention to lighting. A poorly lit room doesn’t make anyone happy (unless they’re trying to take a nap). As the main gathering space of your home, it has so many uses.

In short, it’s absolutely essential that lighting in the living room be excellent.

As research from Philips shows, proper lighting can have a huge effect on the wellbeing and productivity. Whether you’re reading, working, or chatting with guests, executing effective lighting in the living room will ensure you get the most out of this important space.

Here are four ways you can ensure your living room has great lighting:

1. Create layers of light

If you use your space for board games, working on a laptop, or reading a book, chances are you need the lighting in the living room to be superb. Layering light is a great way to do just that.

To layer light, Melisa LaBancz-Bleasdale, an award-winning interior designer, recommends using a mix of floor and table lighting. She also advises hanging overhead lighting that functions as a focal point, but isn’t the sole light source. With the ceiling, you can also use a mix of pendant fixtures, paper lanterns, and recessed lighting to produce a layering effect. Adding accent lighting, like wall sconces, gives another layer of lighting in the living room as well.

2. Utilize track lighting in combination with task lighting

Track lighting with dimming capability gives your living room exceptional versatility when it comes to lighting. You can direct the track lighting towards the wall to provide ambient lighting, or towards the gathering spots like the sofa to provide lighting where it’s most needed.

To bolster the flexibility offered by track lighting, add in task lighting in the living room to further enhance the space. For example, place an adjustable floor lamp next to a reading chair or table lamp on the game table.

3. Enhance natural light

How do you get natural light into a dark room? You tear down walls and build windows. Okay, you don’t necessarily want to do that without the help of professional home remodelers. But you get the idea.

Large windows—like those awesome ceiling-to-floor windows you see in the ads—are ideal for maximum natural light. A skylight also helps improve lighting in the living room (again, this requires professional capability).

You can also try the following methods for enhancing natural light:

  • Use mirrors: Mirrors on the wall just don’t tell you who is the prettiest on the wall, they also reflect light. This means mirrors help light bounce from wall to wall.
  • Paint light colors: Think eggshell blue, white, or cream. These reflect sunlight better and will improve natural lighting in the living room.
  • Make a path: Make sure furniture and other decor doesn’t block natural light. Make a path for sunlight to enter.

4. Use the best light bulbs for each light

This is worth emphasizing, because too often people buy the wrong bulbs. And they’re left wanting more from a bulb that was never designed to deliver.

For task lighting in the living room, like a desk lamp, consider halogen bulbs or LEDs, both of which provide bright light on specific areas. For overhead lighting, such as a chandelier or ceiling fan light, use incandescent or fluorescent bulbs (which use up to 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb).

There is also the question of lumens—a measure of the amount of light produced. The more lumens a bulb has, the brighter the light. For lighting in a living room of 25 square feet, experts recommend 5,000 lumens for the primary light source, along with 30 lumens per square foot for tables and 50 lumens per square foot for task lighting.

Getting the lighting right in your living room

You don’t have to settle for poor lighting in the living room. By getting natural light into a dark room and using the lighting tips here, you can improve your living room design and environment.

This way, next time you enter the living room, you’ll literally step into the light. Contact us to hire a professional to enhance lighting in your living room today.


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