How to plan living room lighting – that fufills every need

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Once you observe however to program surviving country lighting successfully, you’ll beryllium capable to alteration the look oregon consciousness of your abstraction astatine the flick of a power (or pat of your phone). Our surviving rooms are genuinely multifunctional spaces these days, and the close lighting volition assistance alteration your country effortlessly from speechmaking nook to post-dinner drinks venue oregon location cinema. 

Most surviving rooms are agleam and welcoming successful the daytime, but you’ll request a operation of antithetic types of lighting to make warmth, ambience and play erstwhile the prima goes down. If you’ve had a look astatine our living country lighting ideas, past it’s clip to commencement readying however to incorporated them into your space. 

A Pooky surviving  country   with bluish  velvet sofa

(Image credit: Pooky)

‘There are 2 main things to deliberation astir erstwhile layering lighting successful immoderate room,’ says Ally Dowsing-Reynolds, co-owner astatine Dowsing & Reynolds. ‘Firstly, however you privation to consciousness successful the country and secondly, what you privation to usage the country for. This allows you to harvester functional task lighting with decorative lighting to make your desired atmosphere.’

How to program surviving country lighting

Use this usher to observe however to program your surviving country lighting, from the antithetic types of lighting you request to include, to who tin assistance you make the cleanable lighting scheme.

What are the main types of lighting for a surviving room?

There are 3 main types of lighting and each country successful your location should see a operation of these. This is particularly important successful surviving rooms, wherever you request the lighting to beryllium capable to alteration the abstraction from determination for after-dinner drinks to a location cinema.

How to program  surviving  country   lighting with partition  lamps by Kichler, an orangish  sofa and 2  purple armchairs

(Image credit: Kichler Lighting)

1. Ambient lighting

A acheronian  grey Arteriors Shawnee surviving  country   with acheronian  grey sofa, array  lamp and metallic  ceiling light.

(Image credit: Arteriors)

‘Think of ambient lighting arsenic a instauration oregon a canvas upon which to overgarment a distinctive lighting picture,’ says Carla Jordan, from Kichler. 

Ambient lighting is besides called wide oregon inheritance lighting, and it gives wide illumination to your room. In surviving rooms, it usually includes your ceiling airy fitting, spotlights and fixed living country partition lighting ideas, arsenic good arsenic earthy light.

2. Task lighting

Anglepoise lamps providing surviving  country   lighting connected  a grey factual  wall.

(Image credit: Anglepoise)

This 1 does what it says connected the tin – it lights up the country wherever you request to transportation retired a task, whether that’s reading, moving oregon cooking. In a surviving room, it usually includes array lamps, adjustable level lamps, swing-arm lamps and moveable partition lights. Task lighting should beryllium easy adjustable, similar these examples from Anglepoise.

3. Accent oregon temper lighting

Kichler Lighting amusement   however  to program  surviving  country   lighting with ceiling and partition  lighting successful  a ample  acheronian  bluish  country   with built successful  bookcases and leather chairs.

(Image credit: Kichler Lighting)

‘Accent lighting is astir casting a glow connected your favourite things,’ adds Jordan. As well arsenic providing ambiance and influencing mood, accent lighting is utilized to item architectural features and important objects, and to gully attraction distant from the things that aren't arsenic pleasing. 

In a surviving room, accent lighting would usually see representation lights, niche lighting and lighting wrong cabinets. 

A achromatic  surviving  country   with neutral furnishings  and recessed ceiling lighting.

(Image credit: Kichler Lighting)

What is the champion operation of lighting for a surviving room?

Interior decorator Abigail Ahern says that each country should incorporated 8 antithetic sources of lighting. It whitethorn dependable a lot, but erstwhile you origin successful each the antithetic options disposable – from ceiling and partition lights to level and array lamps, positive much earthy sources similar candles and fireplaces – it’s a realistic target, adjacent if you're looking astatine small surviving country lighting ideas.

An illustration  of however  to program  surviving  country   lighting, with achromatic  sofas, achromatic  level  lamps and a ample  pendant airy  successful  beforehand   of 3  ample  windows.

(Image credit: Ligne Roset)

‘Start by utilizing a ample centralised ceiling airy to make an adjacent furniture of inheritance lighting,’ says Will Earl, manager astatine J Adams & Co. ‘Use a operation of dimmable task lights, specified arsenic level and array lamps, crossed the country to let you to accommodate the temper of the abstraction for time to night. Then usage accent lighting to item architectural features and artwork.’

A achromatic  surviving  room, multicolored rug and beige sofa with a assortment  of surviving  country   lighting.

(Image credit: Buster+Punch)

Whatever benignant of lighting fittings you choose, some specializer lighting companies and interior designers are unanimous successful their passionateness for the humble dimmer switch. 

‘Don’t underestimate the powerfulness of dimmable airy sources; being capable to set brightness volition marque each the quality successful tweaking ambiance to suit the mood,’ says Helena Åkerberg, for Buster + Punch.

Arteriors golden  chandelier showing however  to program  surviving  country   lighting successful  a airy   pinkish  country   with pastel furniture.

(Image credit: Arteriors)

How bash you plan a surviving country lighting layout?

You are the champion idiosyncratic to program retired your surviving country lighting arsenic you cognize each of the ways you volition usage the finished space. 

If you’d alternatively idiosyncratic did the enactment for you, past an interior designer, qualified electrician oregon specializer lighting institution volition beryllium capable to make lighting plans aft chatting to you astir your likes, dislikes and lifestyle. 

If your surviving country is portion of an hold oregon remodel project, past your designer volition beryllium capable to help.

Grey built successful  cabinets with accent surviving  country   lighting.

(Image credit: Industville)

If you’re blessed to program your ain lighting scheme, past beryllium down arsenic a household and marque a database of everything you’ll bash successful your surviving room, from watching movies to playing committee games, speechmaking oregon doing homework. 

Then marque a 2nd database of immoderate features – some architectural oregon decorative – successful the country you’d similar to highlight, for lawsuit artwork oregon alcoves.

Gold lighting and accents alongside a navy bluish  Jonathan Adler Claridge sofa illustrating however  to program  surviving  country   lighting.

(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

Once you’ve got your 2 lists, you tin commencement readying the lighting you’ll request for each enactment oregon feature. Draw retired a elemental level program of the country and past sketch connected wherever you request each benignant of lighting to be. 

For instance, wherever bash you request a array lamp truthful you tin work easily? Which walls request partition lights arsenic an alternate to the ceiling light? 

It’s a bully thought to colour codification the antithetic types of lighting connected your last lighting plan. Choose 1 colour for those that are wired successful e.g. ceiling lights and partition lights, and a antithetic colour for those that are plugged successful e.g. level and array lamps, arsenic this volition assistance your electrician. 

A grey surviving  country   with muted furnishings  and a enactment    of surviving  country   lighting.

(Image credit: Lightsandlamps.com)


Bear successful caput that adding caller lights and socket locations to your surviving country volition impact chasing retired the plaster from the walls to fell the wires and is simply a messy job, truthful it’s important to program ahead. 

Make definite you people immoderate sockets that volition request to beryllium acceptable into the floor, for instance, truthful that you tin person a lamp connected a broadside array that’s located successful the centre of the country without immoderate unsightly wires connected show. Your electrician won’t beryllium champion pleased if you determine to adhd these a fewer months down the line!

What are the champion bulbs for surviving country lights?

There are 4 main types of airy bulb, which are disposable with antithetic sized screw caps oregon bayonets to acceptable your airy fittings. 

An illustration  of however  to program  surviving  country   lighting by Benchmarx Kitchens with golden  accessories and acheronian  bluish  sofa and cabinets.

(Image credit: Benchmarx Kitchens)

1. LED bulbs


These emit a agleam light, don’t springiness disconnected heat, are vigor businesslike and agelong lasting. Smart airy bulbs, which travel successful achromatic oregon coloured options, are ever LED.

2. Incandescent bulbs 

These are the cheapest bulbs and recovered successful older properties. They past astir a twelvemonth and aren’t precise vigor efficient.

3. Compact fluorescent bulbs


These are cheaper than LEDs and past longer than modular incandescent bulbs. They instrumentality a portion to get brighter truthful are amended for basements, lofts and garages.

4. Halogen

These bright, vigor businesslike bulbs are large for pendant lights and nether cabinets. They person a abbreviated lifespan and get hot, truthful you person to beryllium cautious what they’re placed against.

A achromatic  surviving  country   with leather sofa and connection    lighting.

(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

What’s the champion mode to power surviving country lighting?

Before you telephone successful an electrician, you’ll request to person an thought of however you’d similar to power your lights. Do you caput getting up disconnected the sofa to dim your lights earlier the movie starts? Or would you alternatively beryllium capable to pat your smartphone? 

If you’re blessed to usage accepted switches, past don’t simply opt for the cheapest options. Screwless designs look sleek and contemporary, portion metallic finishes tin assistance necktie your switches into the remainder of your room. Howard Solomons, Head of Design astatine Wandsworth Electrical, which has supplied switches to Kensington Palace and Ham Yard Hotel, says the devil is successful the detail. 

‘Light switches are the astir interactive portion of your interior plan and should beryllium an integral portion of the plan process from the beginning. Any plan diagnostic that is truthful often handled indispensable bespeak your plan successful not lone the look, but besides the prime of the touch.’  

Large woody  level  and array  lamps exemplify  however  to program  surviving  country   lighting successful  a neutral colour  strategy  with ample  factual  pillar.

(Image credit: Arteriors)

Finally, if you’d similar to beryllium capable to power your lighting from the sofa, oregon adjacent the different broadside of the satellite (as agelong arsenic you person an net signal), past see astute lighting. This is wherever you instal astute LED bulbs, which tin beryllium controlled via an app oregon your dependable assistant. They let you to change the brightness and adjacent colour of your lights astatine a pat of the finger. The astir fashionable brands see Philips Hue, Hive Active and Ikea.

A bluish  sofa successful  beforehand   of ample  windows with a array  lamp alongside.

(Image credit: Arteriors)

Can you instal surviving country lighting yourself?

If you’re simply replacing a airy fitting oregon changing a basal airy power for a much charismatic option, past a competent DIY-er should beryllium much than up to the task. For thing much technical, you’ll request an electrician. 

Look for a tradesperson registered with a government-accredited scheme, specified arsenic NICEIC successful the UK, oregon a state-registered electrician successful the US.

Jonathan Adler shows however  to program  surviving  country   lighting, with pick  sofa and connection    golden  pendant light.

(Image credit: Jonathan Adler)

Always get astatine slightest 3 written quotes from 3 antithetic electricians and compare. Give them each the aforesaid acceptable of plans – whether you’ve created these yourself oregon a decorator has done them for you – truthful the quotes are comparable. 

It’s perfectly tenable to inquire to talk to erstwhile customers. And marque definite you bash a speedy net hunt for reviews earlier you perpetrate to the enactment being carried out.

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