Living Room Lighting Guide

The living room is a place to relax, unwind and spend time with the family. It’s where you snuggle up with a good book, host parties, watch a film and open presents on Christmas and birthdays. The room is multi-functional, so your lighting needs to be too. This guide will tell you everything that you need to know about lighting in your living room.

You need to have three types of lighting in your living room – ambient, accent and task. Ambient lighting is designed to provide the room with its overall illumination, task lighting is for the different ‘work zones’ i.e. reading, and accent lighting is for highlighting design features. For a great living room lighting scheme, you need a mix of different lighting around the room. This could be table lamps, wall sconces and a ceiling fixture. You can experiment with your living room lighting and find a scheme that works best for you and your family’s needs.

Types of Living Room Lighting:

Arc Lamps
Arc lamps are a brilliant idea if you don’t have a central ceiling fixture. It’s a style of floor lamp, where the shade arcs over your seating area to provide a bright, focused light. This style of lighting works best if your lounge space is quite contemporary.

Pendant Lighting
Pendant lights are perhaps the most popular form of ceiling lighting and you can use them to really make a statement. You can hang them in the centre of your seating area to make it look welcoming. You can combine your pendant light with a dimmer switch so that you can control the level of lighting according to what the room is being used for. Pendant lighting also works really well in a kitchen/dining space, either over an island or to light up your eating area, take a look here for some inspiration.

Accent Shelves
If you use shelves in your living room to display items, why not highlight them even more using lighting? You can buy adhesive LED strip lighting to run across the length of your shelves, giving them a soft glow that also makes for ideal atmospheric lighting when the main light is switched off.

TV Backlighting
One affordable way to add statement lighting to your living room is to add colour changing backlights to your television. You can do this by using strip lights at the back of your TV. It will wow your guests and your children will have fun changing the colours of the lights.

Spotlights might be more suited to kitchens and bathrooms, but you can still use similar types of lighting in the living room. Recessed pot lights look brilliant spread across the ceiling, just remember to use a dimmer switch with them so that they are not too bright when you’re trying to relax.

Table Lamps/Floor Lamps
If you don’t have an end table at both ends of your sofa, don’t panic. You can use a table lamp on one side and a floor lamp on the other. This way, the people sitting on the sofa get an equal amount of light without compromising on space.

Top Tips:

  • Layer the light using different fixtures and dimmer switches.
  • If you have an empty wall, use a sconce to liven it up.
  • Multiple ceiling lights work best if your room is not blessed with natural light.
  • Highlight architectural features such as fireplaces and mouldings with lighting.
  • Simple designs often look the most striking.
  • Create a reading corner with a floor lamp and an armchair.
  • String fairy lights around frames and canvases.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. 



  1. August 13, 2018 / 6:24 am

    Thanks for this lighting guide! I’m planning of what kind of light fixture should I buy since I’m pretty bored with my current white light. This is really helpful! Thanks 🙂

  2. Li
    September 2, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    Thanks for the tips. My living room will never be the same again.

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