Essential Tips for Lighting Your Living Room

Your living room is likely one of the most frequently used rooms in your home. From relaxing with family and friends, to watching television, to reading a good book, this room serves many purposes, and proper lighting is key to making your space multi-functional.

As with every room in the home, layers of light are crucial. To get the most use and enjoyment in your living area, be sure it has all three main layers of light: ambient, task and accent.

Ambient lighting provides general illumination to a room, allowing you to use the space. Task lighting is needed in the working areas of the home. In a living space, this may be next to a reading chair, or over a coffee table. Task lighting should be bright enough to allow you to see without straining your eyes. Accent lighting is the final requirement to a properly lit room. This lighting draws attention to artwork or architectural details.

Lamps are a common element in a living room lighting design. Both table and floor lamps are often utilized next to sofas or chairs to provide task lighting or overall illumination. Consider the size of the living space and other furniture in the room when determining the proper scale for your lamps. To create a dramatic flair, incorporate different styles of lamps in the same space. If a lamp is being utilized for a task, such as reading, position the light so that it comes from behind the shoulder. For floor lamps, especially in higher-traffic areas, make sure the lamp is heavy and sturdy enough to withstand minor bumps.

Many people want ceiling fans in their living space as well. Today’s fans come in a variety of styles and finishes to fit every aesthetic, and many have built-in light sources. To ensure the best airflow in a room, a fan must be hung at the correct height from the floor. A good general rule is to set the blades 8 to 11 feet off of the floor, depending on the ceiling height.

Even with all the proper layers of light in a space, your living room will not achieve ultimate functionality without the use of lighting controls and dimmers. Consider placing every light in your living room on a dimmer. Today’s smart controls allow users to adjust every light in their home from their smart phone. If you’re using LED bulbs, make sure the bulbs you’re using are dimmable, which should be noted on the bulb package.

These are just a few of the key tips for making the most out of your living room with proper lighting. Visit your local ALA-member showroom for more information and the largest variety of high-quality lighting fixtures, ceiling fans and controls.

Photo by Lutron Electronics Co.