Living Room Lighting

With living rooms being one of the most used rooms in the house, it's important that your living room lighting reflects the style and atmosphere of the rest of your home.
Collaboration Ina Rinderknecht
Collaboration Michaelis Boyd Associates
Image courtesy of Adare Manor Hotel
Collaboration Ina Rinderknect
Collaboration Enigma Creative Solutions & Austin-Smith:Lord
Image courtesy of Adare Manor Hotel

Living Rooms, if designed correctly, can cater to a variety of different activities and age groups. By day it is a busy communal space used for work, play and enjoyment; by night the focus turns to adult entertaining, cinema screenings or quiet contemplation. Every element is considered during the course of your lighting design consultation, from the practicalities of avoiding screen glare, choosing decorative lighting and illuminating precious artworks.

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Collaboration Martin Brudnizki Design Studio Ltd
Collaboration Richmond International
Living room lighting should feel welcoming and restorative. Particular attention should be paid to the overall aesthetic in this room as it is a space for entertainment and relaxation – often where you display your most treasured belongings. With the help of energy efficient LED dimmers, you will be able to control the intensity of light switching seamlessly from day to night.

Decorative living room lamps, standing lamps, reading lights or wall lights can be a central focus of your interior in their own right and help to dictate the mood of the space. Coupled with clever hidden or overhead lighting, the overall effects can be stunning. Choose warmer halogen or incandescent LED bulbs rather than the cold fluorescent versions on a 5 amp dimming circuit for greater control and flexibility.

If you are using directional lighting, focus them towards curtains or joinery so that reflected light comes back into the room enhancing the feeling of space. Diffused light will bounce off the ceiling during the daytime, whilst allowing a soft glow in the evening. The main consideration is subtle, low glare lighting with excellent colour rendition to accentuate colour and texture within the room.

Many people overlook the lighting of artwork or objects of sentimental value. Shining a beam of light on a precious piece can bring it back to life with the added benefit of becoming the main feature of a room, particularly at night.
A simple spot onto the centre of a canvas can work magic, selected from the many stylish LED picture lights on the market, or a simple adjustable spot. Sometimes simply adding a table lamp nearby can give a painting the subtle lift it needs.

For added drama and depth, important living room features such as alcoves, bookshelves or fireplaces can be discreetly lit with low glare up lights, front lights or down lights to great effect. Clever lighting can create shadow gaps or dramatic silhouettes.

Practical elements to consider include limiting screen glare (perhaps hiding your television), ensuring there are sufficient 5 amp circuits to allow the full range of dimming with less requirement for down lights in this room. If you enjoy technology, you can consider controlling your lighting via Bluetooth or LED dimmer systems via an app. LED lights are 80% more efficient than traditional lightbulbs with better light distribution, lasting six times longer than other bulbs.

Kate and Sam have the experience and technical know-how to guide you through the process of designing an elegant and effective lighting scheme – it can entirely alter your mood or energy. Depending upon your style and desired outcome, they can create a sense of space and calm or colour and energy - working in response to your personal or family needs.

Meet Kate and Sam

Sam Neuman

Having made a career in architectural lighting design, Sam has worked alongside a number of leading practices from Imagination to NDYLight, WSP and more. Sam is an active member of the lighting community and regularly presents lectures and publishes articles around his areas of expertise.

Sam has worked with several leading practices and has dedicated his career to architectural lighting design. He is active within the lighting design community by presenting lectures and publishing articles.

Kate Wilkins

Kate has worked on a number of lighting projects for a wide variety of live performance, architectural and artistic lighting designs since 1991. Fascinated by the way lighting can change our moods, Kate also loves to explore human behaviour with experimental lighting projects.

Kate is particularly fascinated by the mood altering effects of light and the deep connection to our senses. She is currently researching sleep patterns and optimising bedroom environments for both adults and children.


What do I need to consider when lighting my artwork?

The right lighting can totally bring a piece of art to life. You need to think about how the art should be appreciated – do you want the piece to appear flat and uniform or do you want to focus on the detail, texture and colour? Consider the materials and colours of the piece and how they react to light. You also need to think about where the art will be viewed from. The size and shape of the artwork will then determine optimum fitting type. For best appreciation of artwork, we normally recommend that the lights have a colour rendering of CRI 95+.

What is the best colour of light in the living room?

It really depends on how the living room will be used but for general lighting we normally suggest 2700K. Even though compared to daylight, this warmer light can appear yellowish, after dark the room will start to look warm and cosy. For the ultimate fireside glow, we then suggest warmer 2200K/2000K lamps are fitted in the floor and table lamps and with careful balancing of the lighting groups you’ll feel immersed by a warm comforting glow.

What is the best lighting for an elderly person?

It goes without saying that as we get older we need more light. A 60-year-old needs ten times more light than a 20 year old. The aging eye tends to have yellowing lenses so using cooler colour temperature light will help to distinguish colours. The older eye finds it harder to adapt to high contrast so minimising areas of extreme bright and dark will help. Easy to see and operate dimmers should be also used so the lighting can be easily set to meet personal preferences requirements.

Can my lights be controlled with a phone or tablet on the wifi?

There are many systems on the market however the challenge for the lighting designer is to ensure the system can control all the types of lighting on the project (downlights, chandeliers, floor lamps and table lamps etc), is easy to operate and modify by you and your installer is happy to work with that system.

What lighting scenes do I need in my living room?

You need to think about the times and ways you plan to use your living room and how you want the room to look and feel. Once you have sketched out these states, you’ll be able to work out how many lighting scenes work for you.

Will you visit site if I need you?

Contact us directly if you’d like to arrange a site visit.

Kitchen Lighting

Bedroom Lighting

Collaboration Ina Rinderknecht

Bathroom Lighting

Collaboration Iain MacDonald Design

Garden Lighting

“I needed something that really brought the kitchen to life, and I didn't know where to start! Kate&Sam were brilliant at making me feel involved while also using their expertise to push ideas that really worked!”


“Kate totally got what we were trying to do and worked really quickly to provide the information we (and our electrician!) needed. Kate is clearly very talented and experienced, she was recommended to me and I would have no hesitation recommending her to anyone else.”

Vicky C

“I have worked with Kate and Sam on a few projects now. They have been involved in the lighting design from the outset. Their response was always personal, creative and imaginative with options to develop and choose from. They were always available, delivered to the project timescales and I have no hesitation in recommending their services”

Bryn G

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