Tips for lighting up the living room
The choice of floor and wall materials, furniture or decoration usually focuses all the attention when designing a living room. However, there are factors such as lighting that can totally change the image or functionality of a room. Nowadays there are many options to illuminate a space; halogen, ceiling lamps, light spots on the table, LED strips, etc. so before selecting what type of lighting you are interested in, you should ask yourself a question: “What will I use the living room for?”
You have to take into account that this place can become an office – it happened a lot during lockdown -, a dining room, a game room for the kids of the house, a meeting area with friends, a corner to disconnect reading a good book or a space to relax watching TV and even sleep.
Depending on your use, you will have to choose one type of lighting or another. We leave you a guide with examples so that they can help you improve this aspect of your living room.
Take advantage of natural light
Letting sunshine in during the day is a must and you should not neglect it. Natural light is the most suitable for any type of activity so, whenever possible, open up to the outside. How to do this? It will depend on the distribution of the living room, but we recommend that the opening is wide.
This is possible, above all, in those single-family homes that have a terrace or garden. The outside is usually connected to the living room through a large window. Try to avoid too complex structures as these will cause a lot of shadows inside and the light will no longer be practical.
If there are several walls overlooking the garden, one option is to design them all with glass. You will surely get a good light and a modern design as in the living room we show you covered with Madagascar.
In case the sun disturbs you during some hours of the day, you can use some curtains or blinds to regulate the incoming light.
On the other hand, on an apartment you can place a floor-to-ceiling window or a window. In both cases we also recommend that they have the minimum structure possible to focus attention on the glass.
Next to these openings design the rest or meeting area when you receive guests at home. It will be enough to put a couch there (on the side of the window so that your back is not turned to the light), some armchairs or pouffes.
Light near the couch
As we have mentioned before, the living room can have many functions, but most of the time it is used to rest and watch TV. Therefore, special attention must be paid to the brightness of the couch area. Although ideally you should make the most of natural light, the night comes, and you should have light spots so as not to force your sight.
There are several options; standing lamp right next to the couch or ceiling lamps that also fall on the side or in front of the furniture. Remember that if you place them just above the couch it could be too direct a light and bother you to see well.
Both ideas fit perfectly in all kinds of styles so it will depend on your preferences. In the case of our living room designed with the Newport series, the floor lamp was better because the couch is in the center and isolated, while the ceiling lamps enhanced the recollection in the room designed with the Austin collection.
If you have a side table, you can place a low lamp. You have to take into account that these have much less power and will create a dim atmosphere.
In any case, the warm light will be your ally to achieve a relaxed atmosphere.
The dining room area, well lit
If there is any part of the room that has to be well-lit, it is the dining area. In this sense there is not too much controversy; bet on the ceiling lamp with the focus centered on the table.
The aesthetic aspect is very important because a lamp can dress up a whole room and modify its image, but so is the technical part. The main idea is to find the balance between illuminating properly so that the food is well seen, and its colors are not altered and that it is comfortable to enjoy a conversation with friends at the table.
There are some tricks you need to know before placing it: not all heights work. Install it between 60 and 80 centimeters from the table to avoid dazzle and discomfort.
What should this lamp look like? If the table is round, you will have enough with a single centered light, but if it is square it is better to place several lamps with a certain distance between them to avoid producing shadows.
However, if you have a rectangular table, it is recommended that the lamp has the same design to illuminate all points (the size will always be smaller than the table).
As for the type of light, choose softness and warmth so as not to create a cold environment. The best bulbs are LED because they allow savings, are more efficient and have a greater durability. The most suitable shade is the one between white and yellow, but which does not distort the colors (the Chromatic Reproduction Index must be high).
Reading corners with direct light
Reading is another of the most popular activities in the room so, if the surface allows it, design a specific corner for reading. This way, you will have everything you need to avoid distractions and be comfortable.
A large armchair that allows you to relax and a side table to support the book or other object are two elements that cannot be missing in your particular reading space. The next step is to light it up well so you can be there both day and night.
The floor lamp is the most appropriate choice because it will provide close light without being direct (in this case it could cause flashes).
There are designs for all tastes. From the most classic lines with a simple foot and a round screen in a discreet color, like the living room that we show you covered with the Madagascar model, to those curves with a metallic finish. This last idea we have applied in the room decorated in shades of gray and gold with the Indic floor tile (top image).
There are also those with three feet and single color. The most elegant option as you can see in the reading corner where Rivoli has been installed.