The living room is often the largest room in the house, making it ideal for gathering as a family to play games, watch movies, or simply spend quality time together. At Dulles Electric Supply in Sterling, we know how important family time is, and if you’re hoping to spend more time in your living room, we can help you find the right lighting options for the space.
As with any room in your home, the living room needs the right blend of ambient, accent, and task lighting. You don’t want the space to be too bright or too dark, and you want to make sure each area, or “zone,” of the room has adequate lighting. Our team of experts can help you find everything from a new chandelier or ceiling fan to new table and floor lamps. Visit us now to get started!
Ambient lighting is mostly provided by your living room’s overhead light fixtures. The central ambient fixture is often the largest light in the room, and it can be a chandelier, a ceiling fan, or a pendant light. Your personal preference will play a part in choosing which central light you want, but what’s most important is that it fits within the space. For example, if the ceiling in your living room is eight to 10 feet, then you might not want to install a grand chandelier in the middle of the room. A smaller, more compact light or ceiling fan will probably be a better option.
You’ll also want to take the square footage of your living room into account when choosing new ambient lighting. These fixtures should illuminate the majority of the room, and if you don’t have enough fixtures or bright enough bulbs, you could be left with shadowy corners and dim edges in your living room. On top of the central fixture in the middle of the room, you can look at installing recessed lights around the perimeter of the room, providing more ambient light where you need it most.
The accent fixtures in your living room should bring the lighting to the middle layer of the room, near to eye level. While your ambient lights will reach most of the space, it’s the job of your accent lights to highlight and accentuate the design of the room. Wall sconces and floor lamps can cast light both upward and downward, bringing attention to the color on the wall or an area of the room that’s designated for sitting and relaxing.
When choosing your accent lighting, keep in mind how much natural light the room gets. You likely won’t need to place sconces on the same wall as your living room windows, but installing some lights on the opposite wall can make the space feel more inviting once the sun has set. If your living room has a fireplace, consider putting small lights on either side of the mantelpiece for that perfect lighting design touch.
Your living room might be set up for a variety of “tasks,” from reading your favorite books to playing board games with the family. Task lighting is key when it comes to these activities, as you want to have plenty of light to see by and that will also help you combat eye strain while you read or play. Floor and table lamps are often the go-to source of task illumination for the living room, and you can get creative with how you use these lamps in your home.
If you have a favorite chair in the living room where you like to sit and read, then set a lamp next to it for adequate task lighting. You’ll want to be sure that the light comes from above so that you can see what you’re reading, but try to avoid placing the light directly above the chair. Doing so can cause your head to cast a shadow on whatever you’re reading, and that’s never a good thing. Light that comes from above and to the side of wherever you’re sitting is often the best solution.
As we mentioned above, your living room might be split into different areas, or “zones.” Each zone is designated for a specific purpose, such as watching TV or playing games. If your living room is divided like this, then you can think about each zone having its own ambient, accent, and task lighting.
Home Theater Zone
For your TV or home theater zone, the ambient lighting will likely come from recessed fixtures. A hanging light can create unwanted glare on the screen, so it’s best to avoid such fixtures in this zone. For your ambient lighting, add sconces on either side of the screen for that true movie theater feel. Table lamps can provide adequate task lighting, and you can turn them on or off as needed while the movie is playing.
If you have kids, there’s a good chance that part of your family room is used for toys and games. This zone might have a table for puzzles and board games, and if so, you can install a small pendant or chandelier above it. You likely won’t need any lamps for task lighting, but wall lights for accent illumination can make this zone feel more complete. Above all, your game zone should feel fun and inviting, with plenty of light for hours of play.
Living Room Lighting Controls
Once you’ve chosen your new chandelier, ceiling fan, pendants, and wall sconces, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper lighting controls for each fixture or set of fixtures. You don’t want one switch that controls everything, and our team can help you choose the right options. If you have your living room set up in zones, then we can show you the ideal switches and dimmers for each area. You’ll want the recessed lights in your home theater zone to have their own dimmer, while the pendant in your sitting area has its own switch. You’ll also want the dimmers and switches to be near their respective zones so that you don’t have to walk across the room just to turn on the light you need.
Find Your New Living Room Lighting
The living room is one of the most important rooms in your home, and if you’ve been thinking about updating the lights in the space, let Dulles help you find the perfect fixtures. We can take the dimensions of the room, including the length and width, plus the height of the ceiling, and recommend the best ambient, accent, and task fixtures. If you have a certain lighting style in mind, such as Art Deco or Industrial, we can provide examples that give you ideas and inspiration on how to light your home. When it comes to choosing new lights, it’s worth it to consider all of your options. With our years of knowledge and experience, we can help you choose amazing fixtures that you’ll love for years to come.