In this article we offer living room lighting solutions. We get a lot of questions about how to achieve a specific look while still getting good light. Our living room lighting solutions focus on crystal chandeliers, ceiling lights and wall sconce options. However, keep in mind that the tips are ideal for other styles of lighting as well. Our Ultimate Crystal Chandelier Guide explains the different types and styles of crystal chandeliers which are ideal for living rooms.
The first step, is to determine the use of your living room. Is it an informal family room where everyone hangs out to watch TV, read and play games? Or, is a more formal sitting room? The use of the room will determine the type of lighting needed.
What are the different types of living room lighting?
There are three major types of lighting: Ambient; task and accent. Let’s begin with ambient lighting which is the overall light in the room. It is created by natural daylight as well as artificial light. For example a modern rectangular crystal chandelier would provide the ambient light in the room.
Next is the task lighting. As the name implies task lighting provides light for you to do work; read or watch TV comfortably. You want light that doesn’t cause glare or create shadows. Task lighting includes fixed task lighting such as recessed lighting and track lights. Another type of task lighting is desk lamps.
Last but not least is accent lighting. This type of light helps create interest in the space. Decorative crystal table lamps which are design features of the living room are consider accent lighting. Many crystal lamps are illuminating art. Accent lighting is also used to accentuate artwork. Finally, recessed lighting and track lighting fall into this category as well.
As you can see lighting crosses over into different categories depending on the use. Layered lighting is the important thing to keep in mind. I refer to layered lighting in a lot of our blogs, simply because it is vital to any lighting design. It is especially important to a good living room lighting plan. Mix up different types of lighting to suit your space.
Living room lighting solutions
Many people want to know what is the best plan for their living space. Let’s look at two scenarios, the first is a casual multipurpose living room. The family spends a lot of time in the room watching TV and hanging out. What type of lighting is necessary to make the space work and still look good? We will begin with the ceiling. If the room has recessed lighting, the can lights should be spaced about 4-5 feet apart depending on the ceiling height. That will provide more even light distribution.
Next comes the ambient lighting. The correct fixture width and height is important for room balance. If the living room is large, consider multiple ceiling lights. For example, general lighting with a casual drum chandelier trimmed with capiz shell will also create visual interest. An interesting light fixture helps to set the tone of the room design. Equally important as the design is the light output. Our blog series on light bulbs will prove invaluable when you make your chandelier decisions.
Lastly, comes the accent lighting which in an informal space may be casual floor and table lamps. Another option is sconces. Modern crystal or shell wall lights flanking a fireplace create soft light and add warmth to the wall. By playing up the fireplace with wall lighting, it then becomes a focal point in the living room.
The second scenario is the formal living room. Begin with a dazzling crystal arm chandelier or perhaps a regal empire chandelier. Dress up the walls with simple crystal wall sconces once again adding soft light. The sconces can coordinate with the chandelier or simply mix and match and put your personal stamp on the room design. Complete the look with modern crystal table lamps. Combine modern and traditional elements for a warm and inviting room. The proper lighting design will help achieve that goal.
Mix and match crystal chandeliers
Many of our readers want to know if it’s okay to mix and match different crystal or capiz lighting styles together. The answer is by all means! The important thing to keep in mind is does everything work well to create a cohesive look. For example if you decide on a casual coastal living room, you could start with a rectangular shaded capiz and crystal chandelier. Pair the pendant light with white capiz sconces which don’t have any crystal elements. The common thread is the capiz shell, although the ceiling light is shell and crystal and the wall lights are only shell. If there is recessed lighting, it will blend into the ceiling and not compete with the decorative light fixtures. Complete the organic look with a simple table lamp.
If you want to decorate with a crystal chandelier that has a variety of different shape crystals, you could then pick out one crystal shape as the the trim for your sconces. In this instance if you wanted to highlight the rectangular crystal shapes, then the wall sconces could be modern rectangular cut crystals on a sleek polished chrome frame. It all ties together but it doesn’t look contrived. A modern crystal table lamp can complete the room design.
To sum up
Have fun with your living room lighting. Just keep in mind the room decor and use of the space to determine the type of lighting you need.