How to Select Your Living Room Lighting

Don't know where to start? Our lighting specialists have put together some bright ideas and illuminating thought to help get you started. Would you like to speak directly with our specialists?

Living Room Lighting

Where do you start?

The kitchen is known to be the heart of the home, but your living/family room is the next best thing. It is a place to gather and is a place where memories are created. So many of life's moments happen in the family room. It is a place to relax, to read, to watch tv, to play games with your children, to have Easter egg hunts and where you open presents on Christmas morning. So many of life's precious moments happen here. And when you start planning your living space, try envisioning all of these scenarios. Now, what lights do you need for all of these?

Are you remodeling or in the middle of a new build?

Are your Remodeling? Where do you begin?
Having trouble defining your style and narrowing down what you want your living space to look and feel like? Book a consultation with our lighting specialists to guide you! Bring plans, drawings, and/or pictures from Pinterest with your inspiration and let us nourish those ideas to life. Or come down into our showroom to gather some more inspiration.

Mantle Sconces
What kinds of light do I need


There are three main form of lighting within a home: ambient (general) lighting, accent lighting, and task lighting. The living room does not require as many lumens as your kitchen requires, but it still needs enough. Ambient and task will be your priorities, accent lighting is like the cherry on top here. Basic lighting meets a need. Beautiful lighting creates a mood and evokes a feeling.

Ambient lighting provides a consistent and even layer of light throughout the space. Think recessed lighting, flush mounts and semi-flush mount light fixtures. If you have the space and the height, you may select and install a feature light that adds to your general lighting. These are your main sources of light. Looks wise, they may seem basic, but the truth is that you have SO many options with this. If you are remodeling, but not able to remove existing housing, you have your basic retrofits which will give you incredible lighting and a cosmetic upgrade. But another chic option that creates that loft-inspired modern-industrial feel would be track or monorail lighting. Or depending on the extent of your renovation or new build, you can have complete SMART home lighting which gives you the bright white light needed for tasks in your kitchen, as well as giving you the soft, warm feel of incandescent lights.

Task lighting in your living room would be reading lamps. Without proper lighting, you are susceptible to eye strain which would lead to headaches. Table or desk lamps (or even directional wall sconces) would serve as task lighting. Floor lamps, unless directional, actually do not provide proper lighting to be considered task lighting. They light a general area as opposed to highlighting and focusing in on text in a book or magazine.

Accent Lighting is the cherry on top and takes elevates a standard space to feel high-end, luxurious, and comforting regardless of the size. Size doesn’t dictate luxury. Function and great design create luxury. It’s all in the details. For your living room, accent lighting would be display lighting such as monopoints, picture lights, wall sconces, and under-cabinet lighting (tape or puck lights). Accent lighting highlights the things in your home that you want to draw guests’ attention to, or even your own! It highlights artwork, architectural elements (custom built-ins) or simply offers that soft romantic glow that we all want to unwind with at the end of our long days.

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How do I determine

how much LIGHT my living room needs?

How many lumens does my kitchen need?
For higher ceilings, as long as you have the minimum height for clearance, aesthetics can come into play. Although if you hang it too high, the fan will have to work harder to push the air down and the air efficiency becomes weaker.Your kitchen requires a minimum of 3,000-4,000 lumens.

Generally, your rule of thumb is:
Kitchen (general) 30-40 foot candles x the square footage in your home
Kitchen Stove 70-80 foot candles x the square footage in your home
Kitchen Sink 70-80 foot candles x the square footage in your home

However, there are other factors that may increase/decrease this. Are your ceilings greater than 8 feet? Do you have an open concept floor plan? How much natural light do you have? This is why it is best to consult an expert to help guide you through this decision-making process.

Semi- Flush Mount
Should I consider

lighting controls?

Yes! Another overlooked but vital detail in lighting design are your lighting controls. These are actually just as important as picking the right light! Not all dimmers or sensor lights are compatible with LED light bulbs or integrated LED fixtures. Check out our Lighting Control Guide to get ideas and inspiration. For your living room, consider dimmer switches. These would provide a way for your light to "multi-task". Your general lighting can become accent lighting i.e. by dimming your lights you can create a cozy atmosphere. This is especially great for smaller spaces with limited options for adding all of the layers to your lighting. You generally will always ambient lighting and task lighting (a flushmount and a reading lamp or two). So if you can put those on dimmers, you will have your accent lighting. But, if you do have the space, and you do have wall sconces, display lighting, and/or under-cabinet lighting, dimmers are the perfect mood-setting tools.