There’s a real skill to incorporating the right lighting in a living room, so if it’s something you struggle to get right, Senior Designer at John Cullen Lighting, Rebecca Crawford shares some helpful tips and advice:
When it comes to lighting for a living room, it is essential to think of the furniture arrangement first. Once you know where your key pieces of furniture will be, you can look to position light in order to enhance the space.
Start by looking at the first and most practical circuit. Consider positioning downlights that are angled towards the curtains, artwork and any joinery so that the reflected light comes back into the room, enhancing the feel of space within the room. Always try and avoid a grid of downlights as this only serves to make a room look flat and dull. Use the Polespring LED downlight for its low glare and excellent colour rendition.
Should you be unable to recess into a ceiling or you are looking for the real wow factor, a layer of small discreet uplights such as the Lucca or Luccini can add a magical touch to window reveals or fireplaces. They come in a variety of finishes too so can be suited to any project style.
Don’t be afraid to use these within more period style properties too. Quite often the original design features can be enriched with the simple addition of an uplight, and their discreet size never gets in the way of the main focus.
Then think about adding a layer of warmer lighting in the form of table lamps with shades all plugged into a 5 amp circuit. Try and avoid fluorescent bulbs as these can quite often be cold and produce a somewhat grey feel to the space. The warmer light from a halogen or incandescent lamp is of much more comfort throughout the winter months, and when all dimmed simultaneously on the same circuit, can create a wonderful cosy and relaxed feel to the space. Using 5 amp floor boxes that can be hidden under sofas are an ideal way of hiding any lingering cables too.
It is important to create focus too within any room. Quite often the simplest way to achieve this in a living area is to simply pin point a coffee table or decorative object with a narrow beam of light. The Polespring offers a 10 degree beam of light, ideal for creating a wonderful pool of light.
Joinery lighting is a fun and practical way to highlight the shelving within a space. At the start of a project, you might be unsure of the design of the joinery. Therefore it is essential to leave a supply for you to come back to. Once you are ready to design the shelves, consider the look that you want in the shelves. Front lighting an LED tape such as our Contour HD24 serves well to light both objects and books, or downlighting with the Eyelid Under Cupboard light can create a focused light onto individual items. Back lighting adds a real depth and drama to otherwise boring white shelves and silhouettes simple objects beautifully.
Finally, it is important that each circuit is dimmable within the room. This way you can use the lighting to serve all moods and purposes and you are able to create endless amounts of scenes.