Lighting a Living Room & Family Room
Thursday, March 18th, 2010
by Littman Bros Lighting
When determining your lighting plan for a living room or family room, you need to think about the kind of activities that take place there on a daily basis. For entertaining and watching television, general lighting is needed. You’ll want task lighting for reading and accent lighting to highlight art and architectural features.
Dimmers are ideal because they allow you to design the lighting to suit each mood and activity. Fireplaces made of brick or stone can be emphasized with recessed down lights installed in the ceiling over the mantle. Wall sconces on each side of the fireplace are a nice addition that draws attention to the fireplace area, while providing general lighting for the living room.
Reading requires task lighting that comes from behind the reader’s shoulder. This can be accomplished by placing a floor lamp either at the right or the left of the reading chair. The bottom of the shade should be located at eye level to avoid glare.
Paintings can be highlighted with low-voltage, tungsten-halogen picture lights. These frame-mounted lights spread a beam of bright, white light across the face of the painting. Bars can be lighted from above with recessed or track fixtures, or with mini pendants that float over the bar. Television, video games, and computers require low-level general lighting that does not wash out the screen’s image nor reflect into the viewer’s eyes. Miniature track lighting can be installed under shelves to provide both general and accent lighting. Choose from accent spots, mini-lights, and compact or linear fluorescent light sources.