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9 Best Living Room Lighting Ideas

9 Best Living Room Lighting Ideas

9 Best Living Room Lighting Ideas

What’s the point of having a beautifully designed space if you’re sitting in the dark? Lighting is one of the essential elements of a room and can impact how everything else—from the wall color to the art to the rug—looks. That’s why it’s important to plan your lighting design early and consider all the sources of light you’ll need, whether it’s wall lights over the sofa for reading or an eye-catching chandelier that illuminates the whole room. “A lot of people just think lighting should be done once you know what you need to light up,” David Gray, sales manager of the Professional Division for Lamps Plus told AD. “It’s actually the opposite: You should design the room with lighting in mind. Having your architect draw the lighting in is a great method. If you think of lighting last, you’ve already damaged your possibility to be right. It should be part and parcel of the room, because lighting is an integral part of the room’s look.” If you’re ready to take your lighting to the next level, discover these genius living room lighting ideas that are sure to make your space brighter and more beautiful.

Focus on the Mix

A successful lighting design combines a number of light sources at different levels of the room. Add layers of light from a number of types of fixtures that can be used together or separately for a flexible space.

9 Best Living Room Lighting Ideas
© Condé Nast

Find the Perfect Pair

Table lamps are perfect when you need a little extra light once the sun goes down. And they’re even better in pairs. Set matching table lamps on side tables or on either end of a console to give the space a sense of balance and symmetry.

gray living room with yellow desk

Try Sculptural Sconces

Wall lights or sconces are a great way to add interest to an empty wall or frame the sofa or a work of art. They’re also ideal for small spaces and help free up floor or table space. Try a pair of colorful or sculptural sconces that will draw the eye and illuminate the space, or go for a solo light for a minimalist look.

Contemporary Living Room by Toshiko Mori Architect in Hudson Valley New York
In a Hudson Valley, New York, living room, the suspended sofa by Poul Kjærholm and the Antony sconce by Serge Mouille are both from the 1950s; beneath the framed work, Void by Antony Gormley, is a circa-1940 Penguin Donkey bookshelf by Ernest Race and an African sculpture.William Waldron

Add a Centerpiece

Whether you go for a romantic chandelier or a modern pendant, a striking light fixture can complete a living room. Use the piece to brighten the seating area and create a focal point. Install a dimmer switch to be able to switch up the atmosphere and set the mood.

Brazilinspired living room
Noting her Upper East Side townhouse’s good bones, Barneys New York fashion director Marina Larroudé enlisted friend and designer Giancarlo Valle of Studio Giancarlo Valle to help push her toward an aesthetic that’s both bold and approachable. “Marina and her family are from Brazil, and I wanted to have that cultural influence set the vibe of the space,” says Valle. “We looked at some of the Brazilian modernists and their designs and materials, which are very grounded, but then tried to blend that with a more Pop Art, colorful sensibility.” In the living room, Valle paired a marble coffee table by Mario Bellini with a classic-lined RH sofa, blush velvet Jindrich Halabala chairs, and artwork by Salvador Dalí and Richard Serra for an interesting look that’s not intimidating in the least.Photo: Brooke Holm

Create an Overall Glow

If your room is large or lacking in natural light, a single ceiling fixture may not be enough. Consider using multiple overhead sources, such as recessed lighting paired with a pendant.

Modern Living Room by Emily Summers Design Associates and o2 Architecture in Indian Wells California
A living room in the California desert features a Warren Platner settee, lounge chair, and ottoman, all upholstered in a fabric from Cowtan & Tout, and a wicker chair by Marc Newson; the panels over the fireplace, clad in a hand-painted Porter Teleo wallpaper, conceal a television. Between the glass doors is an Eric Schmitt console, surmounted by a Jim Dine lithograph. The rug is by Madeline Weinrib, and the walls are painted in a Benjamin Moore white.Nikolas Koenig

Brighten the Mantel

If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace in your living room, don’t leave it in the dark! Highlight the architectural feature by installing sconces or adding a pair of small lamps to your mantel display.

9 Best Living Room Lighting Ideas
© Condé Nast

Let Your Art Shine

Your art collection deserves to be displayed with pride. There are a number of options for lighting art, including picture lights, track lighting, wall washers, and ceiling-mounted accent lights. You can also install picture lights on bookcases to highlight framed pieces, objects, and collections.

Contemporary Living Room by Christine Markatos Design and Leroy Street Studio in New York New York
A Veere Grenney Assoc. goatskin ottoman anchors the living room of an 1840s Manhattan townhouse renovated by the architecture firm Leroy Street Studio and decorated by Christine Markatos Design. Behind the sofa, which is covered in a Donghia fabric, hangs a Jesse Pasca abstract landscape; an R&Y Augousti stool is flanked by Paul McCobb armchairs clad in a Claremont fabric.William Waldron

Choose a Lamp with Reach

If you don’t have a ceiling fixture, consider floor lamp that curves over the space. The piece will add light from above without the need to call an electrician.

9 Best Living Room Lighting Ideas

Illuminate a Corner

A lonely armchair instantly becomes a cozy reading nook when you add a floor lamp. Take advantage of an empty corner and create a calm spot that’s the perfect for curling up with a bestseller.

5 Essential Outdoor Lighting Basics

5 Essential Outdoor Lighting Basics

It’s easy to recognize good outdoor lighting when you see it. When the sun goes down, the house looks welcoming – there are no dark shadows, and entrances and the driveway are well-lit, secure and beautiful.

You can create the same welcoming ambiance for your home with a good outdoor lighting plan. Start with a list of your goals for lighting your home’s exterior. Here is a list of five outdoor lighting basics to consider.

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1. Safety

Make sure your entrances and paths are well-lit and shadow-free to avoid falls at night. This includes your front entrance, garden paths, and side doors. Stairs should be included in your plan, since they are a primary cause of injury.

There are a number of ways to light stairs:

  • Individual step lights that are mounted on a post or stair railing
  • Flexible LED strip lighting, cut to size for each step
  • Under-tread lights
  • Standalone bollards or post lights

Depending on the type of stairs – deck, stone, concrete – any of these types of lighting could be appropriate, and would greatly increase the safety of navigating stairways at night.

2. Security

The security and the safety of outdoor lighting might seem to be similar goals, but security also includes when outdoor lights come on. One approach is to add motion sensors to some of your outdoor lighting, so lights turn on when someone enters your property. This includes animals, so you may want to be selective if a bedroom overlooks an area with frequent nocturnal activity.

Generally, it’s fine to turn on the porch or front light at dusk, and to leave it on until bedtime. Turning off a light consistently indicates the home is in use and someone is present.

Another option is to use timers to turn outdoor lights on and off on a schedule. Remember, though, that using a timer set to a consistent schedule when you’re away may not be the best way to secure your home. Smart criminals observe a home before deciding whether or not to act, so it may be better to set an irregular schedule or even skip nights occasionally.

Some outdoor lighting manufacturers now offer smart lighting apps that allow you to control the lighting remotely even when you’re away. Our lighting experts are trained in the latest Smart Lighting products and are happy to show you what’s available.

3. Yard or garden features

The fun part of your lighting plan is deciding which yard or garden features are good candidates for lighting. Do you have a striking tree or an espaliered wall to show off? Subtle uplighting will highlight these features. Outdoor sculptures or terraced gardens are beautiful at night with the addition of lighting.

Water features offer a special opportunity for lighting. The play of water and light at night is magical, and today’s new waterproof LED products are a fantastic way to add drama and beauty to your swimming pool, outdoor pond, fountain or other water feature. Our lighting experts can guide you in selecting subtle but effective feature lighting.

4. Lifestyle

With spring weather, or if you live in a warm weather climate, you and your family will likely spend more time outdoors. Our busy lives make every chance to relax even more important, so make sure your outdoor living space is comfortable and well-lit when you have time to enjoy it.

An outdoor chandelier adds a touch of elegance to any space – and creates a soft ambiance for evening parties or family dinners. Include a dimming system in your plan so you can increase the lighting level for a party or dim it for a romantic evening.

Make your time outside even more comfortable during hot weather with an outdoor ceiling fan. Talk to our fan experts and learn why it’s important to have a weather-resistant or weatherproof damp- or wet-rated ceiling fan for your outdoor spaces. From contemporary metallic single-blade styles to 2017 versions of classic Panama or vintage looks, discover your favorite ceiling fan style.

5. Energy

If you love the idea of increasing the security and beauty of your outdoor space with lighting, but don’t like the thought of a higher electric bill, think again. Today’s outdoor lighting can be incredibly energy efficient if you invest in LED bulbs or fixtures. The savings from upgrading your outdoor lighting to LED is tremendous: In one year, one LED bulb has an average annual energy cost of $1.00 – compared with $4.80 for a traditional incandescent bulb. Multiply that by the number of bulbs in your home, and that’s a significant figure.*

LED bulbs used to be far more expensive, but research and competition have resulted in lower prices, so the time has never been better to make the change to LED.

Complete your outdoor lighting plan with a simple sketch of your home. Bring it in to our lighting professionals for the best advice and product selection. We know light!

*Source – energy.gov

How To Size Your Chandelier

How To Size Your Chandelier

The sparkle and dazzle of a well-placed chandelier defines and enhances the mood of any room. A chandelier that is too large can easily overpower a room and its inhabitants; one that is too small becomes insignificant and decreases the perceived value of the entire space. By following a few interior design guidelines for choosing the correct size, you will maximize the impact of the fixture. Room size affects chandelier size, but the type of space also affects the size.

Follow our simple check list for the perfect fit.

1. Measure the width and length of the room. Add these two numbers together and consider the resulting figure as inches rather than feet. This is the diameter of the chandelier that will best suit the room. Allow 2 to 3 inches of chandelier length per foot of wall height. For example a dining room with 10-foot ceilings, 16 feet wide and 18 feet long, can accommodate a chandelier 34 inches in diameter and 20 to 30 inches in length. This calculation is particularly well-suited to a chandelier hanging in the center of the room and over the major piece of furniture or focal point, as in a dining room.

2. Define the area in a large room of several conversation areas or functions with a table or area rug. Use half the table width as the diameter guideline for the chandelier over a focal point table. Use the length and width of the area rug added together and called inches as the chandelier diameter over a conversation area rug.

3. Calculate the diameter of multiple chandeliers over a focal point by dividing the diameter of the table by the number of hanging chandeliers plus 1. For example, a table 54 inches wide would be best partnered with two chandeliers 18 inches in diameter, hung 18 inches apart over the center of the table.

4. Choose a rectangular chandelier for a rectangular table that is in keeping with the proportions of the table. For example, for a table that is 54 inches wide and 72 inches long, the diameter should be 27 inches. Subtract 27 inches from the length of the table for the result of a length of 45 inches. The rectangular chandelier best proportioned to this table would be 27 inches wide and 45 inches long.

5. Consider that a stairwell has a perceived wall height of two stories and calculate the length of the chandelier accordingly. Two-story entries should be treated similarly.

6. Hang the chandelier so the bottom is no less than 30 inches from the table surface in a dining room and no less than 7 feet from the floor in a hallway or stairwell. These guidelines will affect the length of the piece, so adjust accordingly.