The living room forms the crux for most houses. It’s where you play games, read your favorite books and watch TV with the family. Because of its near-constant use and the many different activities performed within its walls, the living room presents a challenge when it comes to lighting. Dim lighting can strain the eyes, but overly bright lighting can make the room feel oppressive. How do you strike a happy balance so that you and your family can enjoy the living room in the best light? Read on to learn about five ways to improve the lighting in your living room.
Humans naturally seek a higher line of sight, meaning that we tend to look up when we’re in a room. Using this bit of human psyche to your advantage, you can manipulate perception by adding lights where you naturally look. Instead of low table lamps, consider using floor lamps that extend upward. Bounce light off the ceiling by adding a valance or cove lighting to bookcases and the natural architecture of your space. Drawing the eye upward will create a more appealing visual space.
If you don’t have a lot of space, then you’ve probably read up on certain tricks for increasing the visual perception. Adding mirrors to reflect natural light is a great way to fake extra space and lighting, but there are other ways to improve your living room’s lighting even in small spaces. Track and recessed lighting can create the illusion of extra light by flooding your walls. Position those floor lamps so that they direct the light onto one wall, which will open up the space and add extra light into the room.
Avid readers and those who spend extra time in the living room will appreciate today’s modern solutions for energy-efficient bulbs. LED lights provide all the ambient lighting you need without the high-burn effect of traditional incandescent bulbs. Replace your old task-lighting bulbs with LED lighting. This type of lighting offers hours of reading and entertainment enjoyment without the cost or burn of traditional task lighting.
Worried about the effects of all this extra lighting on your wiring and electrical outlets? Adding extra lighting and replacing your existing lighting can all be handled with the convenience of an all-in-one dimmer control panel. These days, you can get super high-tech when it comes to dimmer switches, even setting timers and allotting the light controls to certain functions. From reading to watching TV, you’ll be able to control the electrical output and ambient lighting all from one simple wall panel. This tip is especially for big and luxury homes with lots of lighting units.
For those with small spaces or interesting architectural features, adding accent lighting to certain objects can both highlight their uniqueness and create a better lighting situation. Art collections might be best highlighted by adding track lighting, while plants can be illuminated with the use of uplights built into the floor. Highlighting your unique structural or decor features will draw the eye to interesting places.
Lighting a living room properly might take some trial-and-error, or it may even require the skilled hand of a design professional. If the terms “valance” and “recess lighting” start to overwhelm you, just remember that lighting comes naturally to the human eye. You can tell when your room looks dim, and your natural inclination to flood the room with light means you already know how to make it happen. Just get a little creative and play around with the fixtures that already appear in your space, and soon you’ll have the perfect blend of ambient lighting for all of your living room needs.