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Living room lighting tips

You do a lot of living in your living room—entertaining, watching television, reading, relaxing, working, playing games, and cleaning up after it all. Different activities present different lighting challenges. To make the most of your choices, Kettler Forlines Homes has these living room lighting tips.

Layer #1: Ambient Lighting

The foundation of your living room lighting comes from the general or ambient sources. This layer includes natural light streaming through your windows, along with other fixtures that provide basic sources:

  • Overhead lights, including chandeliers, track lighting, recessed lighting, and ceiling fan lights 
  • Wall sconces placed throughout the area in order to provide substantial light
  • Torchiere lamps, which can light up large area 

The goal of ambient lighting is to brighten the entire area, creating usable space in general. Keeping it warm, like natural light, contributes to the overall atmosphere.

Layer #2: Task Lighting

Maybe you want to sit and read in a corner, work on a puzzle or play a game with others, or get some work done in one area. That’s where task lighting becomes essential, providing the additional brightness you need for a specific area. Fixtures that work for task lighting include:

  • Table and desk lamps
  • Directed track lights
  • Floor lamps
  • Pendant lights

Look for fixtures that are adjustable so that you can move the light toward the area where you need it.

Layer #3: Accent Lighting

Think of this as mood lighting. Accent light fixtures contribute to the living room’s atmosphere more than brightening up the space. You might use a fixture to highlight a painting on the wall, for example, or within a display case or bookshelf. The goal is to bring attention in a fairly subtle manner.

Consider these sources for accent lighting in your living room:

  • Candlelight, including battery-operated, flameless candles
  • Wall sconces that light up small areas 
  • Directed track lights
  • Bookcase and display lights

You can utilize your ambient light fixtures as accent lighting by adding a dimmer switch. Turn it down to soften the mood and then back up to full power when you need general lighting in your living room.

Where to place your living room lights

In addition to these living room lighting tips, think about the right place for each fixture, based on the purpose when designing the room.

Remember that lights often reflect off the television screen, which can be annoying to those who are watching. When situating a lamp or other fixture, check how it impacts the screen.

Notice how the natural light works through your living room. Is there a time of day when it is particularly brilliant? Sometimes, late afternoon sunlight can be overpowering. If so, use shades at that time of day to protect the living room furniture (and for your own comfort), and count on your general and task lighting as a good substitute.

Pay attention to the corners in your living room. When you brighten them up, the room looks larger. In addition, you might discover those areas are more useful when they are lit well.

When you’re ready to make significant changes in your home or to build a new one, Kettler Forlines Homes would like to help. We’ve been a luxury homebuilder in the DC Metro region for more than 40 years, as well as a home remodeler. Contact us to reimagine your living space!