Living room lighting - Get it right!
Lighting can totally change the feel of a room. It can make it feel dull and anodyne, or it can brighten it up to make it/us look, feel and even make us live better. A living room or ‘snug’ space is generally the room we will spend a lot of time in to go to relax or spend time with friends and family.
So what are some of the common mistakes made in living rooms?
1. Flat even coverage
Standard ways to light a room are to have 1 pendant in the middle of the room or a grid of downlights in the ceiling.
The issue with this is that it’s very 1 dimensional lighting. It’s just downward which will create shadowing on your face and gives a very flat lighting effect.
The key is to build the light up in layers – for example instead of having all 4 points of light from downlighters, think about changing them to light from different levels. Turn 1 point into a wall light/backlit mirror etc, turn another into a table lamp etc. The more directions you have lighting from the better the overall effect will be.
Shops will generally use this as they mainly work from downlighting but they will add lower level lighting where they can such as in shelves, LED coffer lighting etc. They will also direct spotlights across the room so that it isn’t straight down – all of which helps improve the look and feel of the store.
2. The ability to create different moods.
Do you ever walk into a room in the morning and think it’s not bright enough, then in the evening it feels dazzling? That’s because throughout the day your eyes are constantly adjusting and work better under different light levels/colours. If possible use dimmers and multiple circuits to be able to achieve this, a switch can normally easily be turned into a dimmer – and an easy way to improve and have the ability to change your lighting is just to plug in a couple of table lamps!
3. Light features not plaster!
If you’ve got a special piece of art/pictures, feature books or shelving - LIGHT IT!
It draws your eye to it, brings out the features and adds to the rooms overall lighting.
Another example would be if you had a feature wall such as bare brick/stone use some linear LED to downlight it. It totally changes the feel of it and can bring out all the rich colours and warm hues to create a dramatic and pleasing effect.
4. Natural light - it's not there 24/7
Everyone loves natural light – it makes us feel better and makes a room feel light airy and bright! However in the evening, the sun disappears! Make sure you have the ability to create the lighting effects you want throughout the day/evening is key.