What type of lighting is best for the living room?

Lighting is a critical part of any home. Without it, you can’t have the comfort and enjoyment of a home. It does not just serve an aesthetic purpose but a functional one as well. Lighting is crucial for the safety in any home.

The right lighting can either completely transform the look of a room or make it an eyesore no one wants to hang around it. It can really bring out the personality and character that homeowners identify their house with. 

Lighting is one of the most important things to have in your living room. There are many different styles and types of lighting available, and it is important that you choose the right one for your living room. 

And just as important is to make sure your lighting installed properly so that wiring lasts, lights don’t flicker and switches continue to work. This is where a really high quality residential electrician is important. 


What does lighting do? 

The main purpose of lighting is to provide the proper amount of illumination and to help your eyes focus when you are in a dark room. Light also allows you to see your surroundings and be able to function properly in those spaces. 

It is a form of home design that can be used to improve the aesthetics of any room. It can be used to highlight furniture, add a focal point, or soften a harsh room. You cannot fully appreciate the architectural design of a home without lighting. 

Modern lighting is also an invaluable asset. Imagine relying on sunlight and candles to function in any space. Yes, natural lighting has a lot of benefits but it can be harsh and damaging. That’s why modern lighting is needed to offset it. 


Types of Lighting

There are three general types of lighting; Ambient, task, and accent. A mix of all three is ideal to make your home look its best. Our team will outline all three for you so you can decide what type will work best for you in your living room. 


General Lighting (Ambient Lighting)

Ambient lighting is the primary source of lighting for any room, the purpose of which is to broadly light up a space. It's the natural light from your windows, and the lighting that substitutes for natural light. It has a direct effect on the mood and ambiance of a room. 

Although being the main source of light, it is sometimes insufficient to meet specific needs like reading or writing. It is only enough for you to see where you are going and not bump into your furniture. 

What most people don’t understand is that this is only the base of a lighting scheme of a room. General lighting provides the foundation to which the other lighting types can go on. The following are sources of ambient lighting: 

  • Ceiling fixtures such as chandeliers 
  • Lights kits found on ceiling fans
  • Track lighting 
  • Recessed ceiling lights
  • Torchieres


Task Lighting 

This is the second layer needed to really light a room properly. This type has a more specific function, hence the name task lighting. It can be more reading, writing, playing, cooking, applying makeup, etc. 

It is more localized than the other two types and can come from different sources. Its main function is to brighten a certain part of the room with enough contrasting light to make you more productive. 

Our vision deteriorates as we age, which is why task lighting is so helpful in reducing glare and preventing eye strain. Cooking, reading, crafts, learning, and other sedentary activities are the types of workstations where task lighting is most commonly used.

Task lighting examples are: 

  • Vanity lighting 
  • Desk lamps 
  • Range hood lights
  • Pendant lights 
  • Under the counter lighting
  • Reading lamps
  • Swing-arm lamps


Accent Lighting

This is used to make the room aesthetically pleasing. Unlike general lighting, the function of accent lighting is to make a specific area of a room a focal point. It works hand in hand with the other types to create dimension to the room. 

Accent lighting is used to bring attention to unique architectural design, bring out the beauty of artwork of photographs, enhance the texture or color of the walls, or to show off the light fixture itself.

A well-executed accent light will bring drama to the room and draw your eyes to whatever focal point you want to bring attention to. It provides an atmosphere and creates the ideal mood. In some cases it might also draw your attention away from not so pleasant-looking areas. 

Examples of fixtures that provide accent lighting are: 

  • Can lights 
  • Up lights 
  • Candlelight 
  • Spotlight 
  • Picture lights 
  • Chandeliers with dimming features
  • Niche lighting 
  • Wall sconces 
  • Indoor cabinet lighting


A lighting plan to incorporate all three lighting types to form a cohesive feel and atmosphere to any room. It is best to consult with professionals because they have the necessary knowledge and skills required to achieve it.