Lighting in the living room

Tips for the right atmosphere

Tilt pendant lamp with golden shade by Nyta

Watching television, receiving guests or reading a good book with atmospheric light - the living room is used in many ways. The living room lighting requirements are accordingly high. Only several light sources add structure and atmosphere to a room and its facilities. Keyword: accent lighting! Your living room in the right light with out tips! What it is necessary to keep in mind? Luminous flux, light colour and the right living room lamps.

Overall, a living room of approx. 20 square meters should have three to five light sources depending on the shape of it. Start with the basic lighting.

Carronade series by Le Klint
Louis Poulsen - PH 4/3 Table Lamp
Flos - IC Standard Lamp, brass

Basic lighting at the living room's ceiling

Basic brightness is given by spotlights, ceiling lights and pendant luminaires. Spotlights and flat ceiling lights can be placed in the middle of the room, or spread across the ceiling spread. Pendant luminaires have their place on top the coffee table: They will be properly emphasized here and the table will be embellished too without the danger of bumping against the light with the head. Take care of chosing a dimmer with spotlights and spots. That's the only way of adapting the mood of the light.

Extra soft and diffused light

Produkttipps für Deckenbeleuchtung: - Reef ceiling lamp in white
Foscarini - Caboche Ceiling Light, transparent
Artemide - Empatia 26 Soffitto LED Ceiling Lamp, white
Artemide - Droplet Soffitto LED Ceiling Lamp, chrome / aluminium grey
EOS Up Ceiling and Wall Lamp by Umage in Cream
Artemide - Teti wall and ceiling lamp, anthracite grey
Flos - Moni 2 Ceiling Lamp
Annex Ceiling Lamp

Ambient lighting does not mean that there must be direct light. A diffuser spreads the light and distributes it evenly in the room. Diffuse light is soft and therefore more comfortable. For example, the Glo-Ball pendant lamps by Flos work with such a diffuser: This opal glass breaks the light and spread it evenly in the room. Pendants can be a real eye-catchers. They will give a completely different look to the room depending on the shape, color and material. Vita provides a hint of romanticism with the lamps EOS and Silvia, the pendant lamps by Tom Dixon convince with their elegant metallic industrial charm. The point is to meet the style of your living room furniture.

Pendant Light from Christiansen
Cast pendant luminaire from Menu
Klein & More - Snowflower - living room

Create more light sources and accents

A light source is not sufficient to meet the diverse requirements of a living room. Accents can be set with a table lamp, floor lamps and wall lights. Create a reading corner: Free-standing luminaires can be individually adjusted by flexible joints and a tiltable frame and thus provide sufficient light for reading. A lampshade opened downwards collects the light and focuses it towards the book. Take care of lamps with a dimmer for the regulation of the light's intensity depending on the time of the day and to avoit glaring. Avoid strong contrasts of light while reading: In addition to the reading lamp, there should be sufficient basic brightness in order to avoid your eyes from getting tired too quickly.

Product tips for the reading corner:


Wall lights add more mood their selective light provides an interesting light-shadow game. This is even reinforced in combination with mirrors. Small, dark rooms appear bigger and brighter. Larger rooms with large, empty walls receive a welcomed break. Pictures, sculptures, shelves and cabinets can be emphasized with wall lamps or selectively installed ceiling spotlights.

Product tips for wall lighting:
Ingo Maurer - Lucellino NT wall lamp
EOS Up Ceiling and Wall Lamp by Umage in Cream
Artemide Mesmeri Halo wall lamp

Table lamps also spread accentuated light as well as wall lamps. On the window sill, on a sideboard, in shelves or on a table - a table lamp is not only a light source, but also a very decorative element. For this reason, it should be quietly striking.

Pulpo - Oda lamp small

Product tips for table lighting:

Make sure that your light sources suit each other. That doesn't mean that all lights must come from the same series or brand. But they should not work against each other. If the pendant lamp is already pompous, all the other lights should stay discreetly in the background. If you installed small spotlights and discreet wall lights, however, there are no limits in the selection of the table lamp. Also consider whatever other setting of your living room.

The lights in the vicinity of the TV should be dimmed for not disturbing the screen with reflections. Indirect wall lighting, for example behind the TV, and diffused light in the middle of the room, for example through dimmed ceiling lights or various accent lamps provide comfortable brightness. When it comes to the television there is something more to note: Large brightness differences between screen and room will make the eyes work a lot.

Lighting design with the right light source

Remember the environment and your walled when choosing the right bulb for your living room. LEDs are more expensive at first but they're noticeable longevity due to the long duration, contrasting energy-saving lamps - and the lower electricity costs will quickly refund the additional costs. The modern bulbs are meanwhile available in different light levels and light colours being just like the warm light of the classic bulbs. The sockets were also adapted in the course of the development: LEDs fit in the standard E27 and E14 sockets of classic lamps. The light source decides on the brightness and the atmosphere, besides living room lamps.

Product tips for LED light sources:
Mooon! Battery LED Lamp H 40 cm by Fermob in Nutmeg

Performance of lighting in lumens

Different rooms need different amounts of light. You won't need that much light in the living room contrasting kitchen and bathroom. The size of the room and the facilities also play a role regarding the illumination of your living room. This is how brightly decorated rooms need less lamps than darker rooms in order to reach the same brightness. Lumen (lm) measure the luminous flux and thus the value for the brightness of a light bulb. Experts suggest 100 Lumen per square meter for the basic illumination in the living room. This is complemented by additional lighting such as table lamps, indirect wall lights and floor lamps. Dimmable luminaires can adapt the lighting conditions.

Smithfield C ceiling lamp by Flos
Gem Table Lamp with dimmer by Foscarini in white

The right light color for your living room

Kelvin (K) describe whether the light of a bulb is yellowish warm or cool bluish. There are three areas:

  • < 3,300 Kelvin: warm white light, relaxing
  • 3,300 - 5,300 Kelvin: neutral white light, activating
  • > 5,300 Kelvin: daylight white, encouraging concentration

While a light colour of more than 5,300 Kelvin encourages concentration, colour temperatures of up to 3,300 Kelvin act relaxing. Bulbs of that light colour shine like the old light bulbs and are reminiscent of the light in the evening hours. Warm lighting is therefore evolutionarily linked to the retreat of the day's work and announces the recovery phase through our internal clock. It radiates cosiness and is therefore perfectly suitable for the living room. Of course, the color temperature as opposed to the luminous flux is above all a matter of taste. A living room can also be sufficiently illuminated with natural white light. A lamp in the higher Kelvin range is recommended for the reading corner.

Product tips for warm white light: the LED superstar classic A by Osram, the energy-saving lamp 001 by Plumen, the first design energy-saving lamp of the world, and the Parathom classic P25 LED bulb by Osram

Plumen - energy saving lamp 001
Lunaire wall lamp by FontanaArte in copper/copper LED
Formakami JH18 Table Lamp by &Tradition

Indirect lighting in the living room

Direct light creates focussed brightness and emphasizes certain pieces of furniture and room, indirect light ensures comfort and mood. The light source is not open, gently shining light upgrades the room. Recessed lamps and LED strips in ceiling corners, behind furniture or murals are modern and decorative. Apart from that, there are various luminaires, which indirectly can illuminate your living room completely without manual effort. The Italian manufacturer Flos offers a wide variety of ceiling spotlights, which are reminiscent of free-standing luminaires and spotlight the ceiling from below. This throws the light back into the room. A very special effect of indirect lighting is offered by the Moni ceiling lamp by Flos: The light is reflected from the diffuser on the ceiling and broken by a special holder base made of cast steel, reflecting radial, geometric patterns on the ceiling. Another plus: Illuminated ceilings seem higher.

Atmosphere image of the Flos Mayday in the living room

Important: Indirect illumination encourages shadow poverty, a diffuse impression of space is created. Demanding visual tasks such as reading, writing and handicraft require direct light.
Muuto - Fluid Pendant LightOur recommendations for you:Pendant LightsView now!

Lighting design for the living-room at a glance:

  • Three to five light sources for an average 20 square meter
  • 100 lumens per square meter for basic lighting
  • Diffuse, indirect light for comfort, direct light for resding
  • Avoid brightness contrasts
  • Warm white light for a relaxed atmosphere in the living room
  • Dimmers are able to adapt the luminous intensity in living rooms
  • Orient the lighting direction to the most common looking direction in order to avoif glaring
  • Keep in mind cables, flexible electricity bars, Cable cords and rod systems when installing lamps.

Article from the 2015-09-10

Tags: LED Ceiling Lights, LED Wall Lamps
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