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Relaxing and Cozy Living Room Lighting Ideas

Living Room Lighting Ideas
So here are some ideas and pictures on how to light up a family styled living room. Not those huge living rooms, or the ones that are never used. These ideas are for rooms you always use – to watch tv, read, and relax in.

Let’s talk first about the more interesting living room lighting ideas, and then get into the more functional ones later. First up are some accent lighting design ideas (or what I like to call “style lighting”). If you want a well designed space, you need to layer the lighting in the room. Just using ceiling lights doesn’t cut it. You need to mix it up a bit, a ceiling light along with a floor or table lamp. Here are some other style lighting ideas that will help mix it up and layer the lighting in the room.

Style Lighting Ideas

Display Lighting: As the name suggest, this is used to showcase items around the living room. For example book case lighting. Or how about cabinet lights shining onto media players and their controls. These lights do make it easier to find the right book and use the media players – but they are mostly for design and style.

How about shining a light onto shelves to highlight family pictures. Or if you have art work – use a gallery light (hung onto the wall above the art piece) or just a side table light pointing up onto the art will work.

If you have an accent wall, one wall that is painted a different color or wallpapered differently than all the others to create a focal piece in the room, then this can be lit up too. The best way to do this would be with ceiling lights – like down lights that can be angled towards the wall, just like in picture (1).

A simple way of adding some accent lighting to your living room is to back light your TV, just like in picture (2). Adding this soft glow creates a relaxing ambiance in the room – and it also reduces eyestrain if you like watching TV in the dark. Another way to add a nice soft glow in the room is to put lights behind your couch, shining up onto the wall.

Mood Lighting: A great way to be in complete control of your living room lighting is to hook up your ceiling lights to a dimmer switch. This way you can instantly switch from a brightly lit living room to a more romantic one. Another way of adding mood lighting is to use a mood light, like the one in picture (3) (which can be bought here). If you want to create a romantic setting, then turn the mood light to a dark blue or purple. Or if it is a dark and dull day, with little sunshine outside, set the mood light to a bright green or yellow.

If you want to create a cozy vibe in the living room, avoid lighting the ceiling. Turn off your ceiling lights and use your table lamps and display lighting. Here are some other cozy inducing lighting ideas for a living room:

  • Floor lamps work well to create that cozy feel, but they can be placed next to the couch and also be used as reading lights
  • Use string and rope lights if you want to create a more enchanting feel – just like in picture (4)
  • A DIY idea would be to find a bunch of long branches, spray paint them, and then wrap string lights around them to create a soft glowing floor lamp (5)
  • Or for a more bohemian vibe, place some lanterns on the coffee table (6) and on the floor (these can be candle or battery powered)

Standard Lighting Ideas

When it comes to the standard light fixtures in your living room, a popular choice would be recessed lighting. These lighting fixtures are fitted into your ceiling, so everything is hidden creating a clean and modern looking living room. If you have a high ceiling, then pendant or track lighting will work best. Track lights are a great option because they only use one electrical outlet in the ceiling but you’ll have a number of lights. These individual lights can be pointed to different areas of the living room.

For a more creative ceiling lighting idea, have a look at cove lighting. Cove lighting is when you have a drop down ceiling, and lights are hidden away in a cutaway section. The light softly bounces off of the ceiling and walls and into the room. Another version of cove lighting is when you fit crown molding a few inches below the ceiling – lights sit on top of the molding, creating a soft glow in the room just like in picture (7).

For a beginner’s guide to home lighting design, have a look at my post here: The Simple Guide: Home Lighting Design Basics.


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October 23, 2013 in Lighting, Living Room

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