Lighting Style Guide: Lighting in Your Living Room

Today’s post is one of a 4 part series on lighting in the major rooms of your home; your living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom.  They’re written by lighting expert and blogger Emily Widle, a representative of Pegasus Associates Lighting and contributing blogger on their company blog.  We’re thrilled to host her insights on lighting here, and we know you will all find these tips useful …


You probably already have general lighting installed in the living room, either with recessed lights, ceiling fixtures, or wall sconces.  If you’re still trying to light the entire room with a series of table or floor lamps, you should seriously consider installing a more adequate form of general lighting!  Regardless, don’t forget about these important areas in the living room that benefit immensely from additional lighting.

Picture lighting to accentuate artwork

Artwork: Add emphasis to paintings, framed photographs, quilts, and other wall art with halogen lights.  Halogens emit a crisp white light with excellent color rendition, providing the best possible illumination to showcase the details and colors in your wall art.  A spotlight effect works well for individual paintings, with one halogen display light focused on each item.  Picture lights or display lights can be wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted.  If you have a particularly large wall art item, consider using a wall washing effect by placing each halogen light two to three feet apart.

Fireplaces: To create a dramatic effect, add recessed downlights in the ceiling directly over the mantle.  The light will fall over the surface of the mantle, creating shadows that will draw attention to the fireplace.  Wall sconces placed above the mantle on either side of the fireplace also add an aesthetic effect.

Reading areas: Be sure to incorporate adequate task lighting near coaches and armchairs.  Ideally, reading lights should be placed behind the reader’s shoulder, to the right or left.  A floor lamp, table lamp, or a wall mounted reading light are all great options.

TV area: The glare of the TV screen at night can be straining on the eyes.  Since the light levels are constantly changing, your eyes continually have to adapt.  Incorporate low-level general lighting near the TV to solve this problem.  If you have an armoire or TV stand, you can add mini puck lights under the shelves.  This also creates beautiful accent lighting.  If your TV is wall-mounted, consider placing a floor lamp nearby with a low level of light.

Cove ceiling: For a unique effect (and if your room allows for it), think about using cove lighting to bounce light indirectly off the ceiling.  The accent lighting will provide a soft, warm feel to the space.  The top of the cove should be located about 10-14 inches from the ceiling and designed to allow light coming from the cove to wash the ceiling with light.


Thanks Emily!

Stay tuned everyone for the next installment in the series: lighting guide for your bedroom!

For more lighting information, follow Pegasus Associates Lighting on Twitter and ‘like’ the Pegasus Associates Lighting Facebook page.



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