The 3 Golden Rules of Choosing Living Room Lighting

Looking to boost your cognitive performance and creativity? The solution may be simpler than chalking up pentagrams to summon your Muses. Just a little bit of natural light can achieve all of that and more.

In the same vein, lighting choices in the comfort of your home will influence your well-being. How bright the lighting is and what color you choose all factor into the equation. You want to get it right in the place where you spend the most time: your living room.

When it comes to living room lighting, are there any hard laws to follow? Absolutely. Keep reading as we analyze the three golden rules of indoor lighting. 

1. Lighting Depends on Decor

The first golden rule is that every lighting situation depends on the home decor and furniture. Certain spaces and design elements invoke specific feelings. 

Say, for example, your living room has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city. People don’t want to see light-blocking blinds and tinted glass. They want bright, natural light–and less emphasis on floor lamps or fluorescents.

Suppose you have fewer windows to rely on. Instead, you’ve got a stuffy Victorian library vibe going on. In that case, people anticipate yellow table lamps and dull sconces.

2. Balance Task Lighting With Ambient Lighting

There are two types of main lighting: 

  • Task lighting
  • Ambient lighting

Task lighting is pretty self-explanatory. This is lighting that enables you to do something specific, such as reading a book. A desk lamp that brightens your workspace is a task light.

Then there are ambient lights, the ones that illuminate large spaces in a subtle way. An ambient light is the sort that can fill the whole room, even if only dimly. It’s bright enough for general purposes.

Task lighting needs to be carefully considered and purposeful. Don’t include bright lamps around an entertainment center, for example. Let ambient lighting carry most of the weight except when a task light is absolutely necessary.

Don’t confuse situations where one light is preferable over another. Ambient lights are best to illuminate a room for social gatherings, for example. Task lights in the same scenario would feel harsh and overdone. 

3. Include Mood and Accent Lights as Garnish

You have two types of auxiliary lighting, too:

  • Mood lights
  • Accent lights

Mood lights, as you can surmise, set the “mood.” A 70s bungalow with groovy furniture goes best with warm, relaxed lighting. Modern, stainless-steel-lined studios and lofts tend to fit sterile white LEDs.

Accent lights are like stars in the sky. You plant a few to spruce up the existing display. They are not as bright and serve primarily to accentuate what’s already around them. 

Ask your friends and family what a space makes them feel. Experiment with different light types, fixtures, and colors. Although there are three golden rules, this is not a hard science with set-in-stone answers. 

Build Your Perfect Living Room Lighting Display

Perfecting your living room lighting helps complement the architecture and the decor. It’s all a balance of task lighting with ambient lighting, and mood lights with accents. Use these three golden rules as a basis to construct an unforgettable living space. 

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