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How to Light a Living Room with No Overhead Lighting

Older homes have many charms. Unfortunately, they can also have several design challenges. One common issue is a lack of overhead lighting throughout the residence. If your living room doesn't have recessed ceiling lighting (due to age or another reason), don’t worry. You don’t have to undertake an expensive rewiring to address this lighting issue. Instead, follow these five steps to effectively and efficiently light your living room.

1. Know Your Needs

How you plan to live in your space directly influences the type of indoor lighting fixtures you need. Is your living room a gathering place for a busy young family or a tranquil area for adults to relax? Most living rooms are multipurpose; however, examining your lifestyle, behaviors, and habits can help you create the optimal lighting scheme. More specific questions to ask may be whether you watch a lot of television, read frequently, host social gatherings, and so on.

2. Evaluate Your Space

The size and layout of your living room should also inform its lighting plan. For example, while a large arc floor lamp can be a stylish and all-in-one substitute for an overhead fixture, it may overwhelm a smaller space. Assessing your living room’s measurements, potential space constraints, and furniture can help prevent lighting mistakes.

In addition to size considerations, style is also a key factor. If your living room is rustic and natural, it may call for different light fixtures than one that’s more formal and upscale.

More logistical considerations, including the location of outlets, reading nooks, worktables, and other elements, also factor into where lighting fixtures can and should be placed.

3. Decide on a Lighting Plan

Even if your living room had a ceiling light, you’d still need to bring in other fixtures to create the most functional, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing space. Why? Because optimal lighting plans are made up of three types of fixtures – ambient (or general) lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Each of these types serves a specific purpose on its own. However, together, they add up to a comprehensive lighting plan.

Ambient lighting is typically fulfilled by an overhead light. However, you can recreate the effect of an overhead fixture with the aforementioned large arc floor lamp. One rule of thumb suggests placing a floor lamp in each corner of the room (except the one next to the door). A mix of floor lamps, table lamps, and desk lamps can also achieve the same result.

4. Decide on a Budget

Lamps are available at a variety of price points. When deciding how much you're willing to spend on your light fixtures, keep in mind that lighting is an investment in living well. In addition to helping you and your family live better, lighting also beautifies your living space while creating a comfortable atmosphere. As such, your fixtures should not be a second thought, but rather, a design priority.

5. Start Shopping

Once you’ve determined your needs, evaluated your space, created a lighting plan, and decided on a budget, it’s time for the fun part – shopping.

Again, it’s important to consider both style and substance when selecting lighting for your home. For example, a beautiful floor lamp can become an eye-catching focal point in a room, while a pair of coordinating table lamps can balance out a space. While all light fixtures don’t have to match, choosing pieces in similar styles or with common design features can have an especially harmonious effect.

One last thing to keep in mind when lighting a living room without overhead lighting is that choosing the right light bulbs is also essential to determining a space’s aesthetic. Experts recommend LED bulbs because they’re dimmable, affordable, and efficient.

A lack of overhead lighting in your living room can be a design obstacle, but it’s far from an impossible one. A well-executed lighting plan will provide the illumination you need while simultaneously elevating the look and feel of your space.

Contact Fashion Light Center for More Interior Lighting Ideas

Not sure where to begin when it comes to interior lighting ideas? Fashion Light Center is one of the most trusted lighting stores in CT. Contact us today to schedule a professional lighting consultation.


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