Should a living room have a ceiling light? Finally, design experts settle the debate – LivingEtc

Whether or not your living room should have a ceiling light is a tricky decision to make. The obvious conclusion might be that yes, your living room should possess a roof light, but in the well-lit lighting scheme, supplementary light sources might do more than your overhead lighting to provide atmosphere.

Answering this question depends on multiple factors – what mood do you want to create? How much are you willing to layer your scheme with extra lighting? How big is your living room? And do you would like to use your lighting in a decorative way or as a functional necessity?  

‘Lighting has always been an art form. Now – more so than ever – it feels like a science – and one that’s quite easy to get lost in, ‘ says Monique Tollgård, head of interior design associated with Tollgård Design Group. ‘In essence, though, lighting is a language. When spoken beautifully, it promotes warmth and communication. It draws focus to what needs in order to be illuminated and creates darker, moodier pools where the eye doesn’t need to be drawn. When voiced badly, this results in grids of downlights and a tone-deaf outcome that lights a room from the particular top down with little regard for what needs to be lit. ‘ 

With this in mind then, we talk to family room lighting specialists to find out what is best with regard to your home.

Oonagh Turner

Oonagh is an experienced homes plus interiors writer and editor. For this piece, she spoke to the various architects and lighting designers in her contacts black book in order to get their top tips on how to beautifully light a dwelling room, plus get their own thoughts upon how important ceiling lights actually are inside a well-lit plan.

Ought to a living room have got a ceiling light?

Living rooms are most commonly lit with a mix of lighting, including over head (or ambient), accent, and task lights, but if the layers of light do a good enough job, roof lights might not be crucial to the structure.  

Ceiling lights are often not the key component within the illumination scheme either, with many designs being about the decorative aspect, rather than lights. Task plus accent light helps create a warm and cocooning feel in your own living room alone.  

‘The living room is a place regarding relaxing, plus lighting will be crucial for creating the right mood intended for this. If the lighting is very harsh and cold, it creates a space that feels unwelcoming plus clinical, ‘ says Will Earl Style Director associated with lighting brand J Adams & Co (opens in new tab) .  

‘Lighting in the living room should be inviting and warm – done correct, it will make a space feel ‘natural’ and allow people to feel relaxed plus happy without them even realizing it. ’ 

This begs the question, do you need in order to have overhead lighting when there are so many other layers that will can give real impact? We weigh up the pros and cons below.

The pros of ceiling lights

A living room with statement ceiling light

(Image credit: Noa Santos)

A ceiling lighting can act as the first layer and foundation in your layered lighting scheme. It’s the place from which to build, supplementing your ceiling gentle with some other forms of lighting within the residing room along the way. Recessed illumination can help to make sure that no part of the living space goes unlit. With downlights equally spaced out throughout the ceiling, and all types of roof lights can be linked to a dimmer, meaning you have control over how much lighting you fill the room with.

What’s more, ceiling lights may add design detail plus personality. ‘I do love a statement ceiling light – a chandelier or even pendant lights idea within a living area can add to the drama, mood, and energy of the whole space, ‘ states Noor Charchafchi, founder plus CEO associated with Celine Interior Design (opens in brand new tab) .  

Monique Tollgård of Tollgård (opens inside new tab) agrees: ‘We are big fans associated with decorative roof lights. They focus the eye and produce an architectural axis or focus point. They generate a reason for something like the dining table to be where it is. Pendants or chandeliers can be used to make soft pools of light rather than pinpoints and can often radiate gentle out from 360 degrees instead than straight down, ‘ she says.  

Lastly, a ceiling lighting can also help develop an illusion of height. A dangling light fixture draws the eyes upwards and may be a clever trick on the eye, while flush-mounted ceiling lights stuck to the particular ceiling can also assist create the feeling of elevation in the room. The particular above statement piece was used in a scheme by interior designer Noa Santos of Nainoa (opens within new tab) to add some real episode and height towards the area.

The negatives of roof lights

A living room without a ceiling light and with a task light

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki. Design: Indie & Co)

Firstly, including a roof light may add ornamental clutter to a living room, whereas not really including a ceiling lighting keeps things visually calm, clean, and inin along with minimalistic inside interior style . To evaluate whether a declaration ceiling light is the good option for you, you need to consider the dimensions associated with your family room.  

‘Choosing the right light depends heavily on the ceiling height and the existing system, ‘ says Noor. ‘A room with a low ceiling is better left without having a central pendant or even ceiling light and similarly, a room that feels quite full in terms of its design and style frequently doesn’t require an additional declaration light as it can create a look that is too busy. ‘

Another common problem with statement ceiling lights is that they usually emit more heat than other lamps. This means they can cause uncomfortable temperatures in high-traffic areas or near windows. Additionally, these bulbs need more maintenance than additional lighting options, which may include changing the bulb every few years or so.

Finally, a statement light might look beautiful, yet consider whether it is a piece of decorative furniture or even if it is kicking out enough light.  

‘Some declaration lights don’t always give a ton of light, so you have in order to be careful to check your needs plus expectations, ‘ says Jennifer J. Morris, home design and principal at  J Morris (opens in new tab) . Consider if this roof light throws out enough light to get you to take on tasks. Equally, a few ceiling lamps add as well much gentle to the particular scheme. Recessed lights can often end up being too bright.  

‘Lighting sndhould not shine directly in someone’s eyes. Ever! ’ instructs interior designer Joy Moyler (opens in new tab) . Combat this by researching how to layout recessed light to avoid the airport runway effect on your own ceiling.

What ceiling lighting options are usually there?

A ceiling light in a living room

(Image credit: Ould – Stathaki. Style: Indie & Co)

Living room ceiling lighting can become statement chandelier-type light fixtures, pendants, flush-mounted ceiling lighting, recessed plus track lighting, or LED strip lights concealed within crown molding.  

The statement or chandelier-type lighting or pendants are very popular within the living room. Chandelier and statement fittings hang straight down from the particular ceiling, dangling in the center and help zone the space and provide a real focal point. They are often found in the particular family room pertaining to design purposes, not necessarily in order to give out the most lighting.  

Pendants typically hang lower than statement lights or even chandeliers and often have the decorative aspect to them too. While they were traditionally reserved for the kitchen – hanging elegantly over a dining table or kitchen island, they are making their particular way into the living space and even bedrooms.

Flush-mounted ceiling lights are another style of living room light fitting, sitting directly on the roof, typically rounded in design, shining light downwards.

Recessed lights or downlighting is usually also commonly found in living rooms. A fixture is definitely installed into a hollow opening within the ceiling as well as the light focuses in a downward direction as a broad floodlight or even narrow spotlight.  

‘Recessed lighting produces a nice still light with out interrupting the clean minimal lines associated with the ceiling, ’ says Alex Terry of  Terry plus Terry Architecture (opens in brand new tab) . ‘When recessed lighting can be laid out and adjusted for that specific space this can produce a well-balanced lighting throughout the particular space. ‘ 

Finally, track lighting is certainly another roof light in the market, giving the mid-century, stylish vibe. Lights are fitted on tracks, and each light may be twisted to face a specific path.  

Exactly what could you have in place of ceiling lights?

Living room in Searle House, without a ceiling light

(Image credit: Natalia Miyar)

Instead of using ceiling illumination, why not go for a layered lights scheme featuring wall lamps , sconces, and a selection of your favorite lamps, as seen inside this design in Natalia Miyar (opens in new tab) ‘s home? There are no hard and fast rules as to how many lighting you should have in the family room , and it is based upon the size of the room, regardless of whether it is open plan or closed off, plus what kind of mood you want to create.  

Task light can assist create a reading nook, whilst a floor light can also add elevation to your scheme and help light up the dark corner. ‘In a living area the use of wall lighting and table lamps are a great alternative to roof light, ‘ says Lesley McClennan of Design Consultant (opens in new tab) .  

What are the benefits having all sources of lighting?

A layered lighting scheme

(Image credit: Soho Home)

Ultimately, the best way to light your living room is to coating using almost all causes of light, including the ceiling gentle. Just be aware of the above potential flaws with ceiling lights, making sure the roof light you choose doesn’t overwhelm the room or create too harsh or as well little light.   Good lighting is all about layering, therefore make sure any over head lighting a person go meant for has a dimmer switch.  

Remember it’s not plenty of to just have overhead lighting, so supplement your own ceiling lighting with task and accent lights dotted around the room, as well walls sconces, plus keep points balanced in the space. If you are coordinating l ighting for an open-plan living room , make use of recessed lighting as well as declaration light accessories.

‘We think in levels of gentle and compose a vocabulary with equal parts associated with light through a low level, high level, from the particular wall and task illumination. We think within terms of functional sculpture too, therefore that the feature pendants or wall structure lights are usually as beautiful off mainly because well because on. And we consider what the lights look like from the particular outside of the house, ‘ states Monique.

Eugene Colberg, principal at  Colberg Structures (opens in brand new tab) sums it up succinctly: ‘It’s not the number associated with light fixtures, but the amount of lights, that matters. ‘

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