Small Living Room Lighting Ideas

3 january, 2019

Whether you live in a flat or a house, there’s a good chance you’ve got a small living room. Lack of optimum light can make a small living room look cramped and cluttered. The easiest way to balance the aesthetics and functionality of a small room is to pain the walls stark white and install adequate numbers of light sources.

Here are top 6 small living room lighting ideas that will help you choose the right lights for your living room.

1. Lighting floor plan

To know how much light you really need in your living room, plan out the activities that normally happen there and consider the amount of light each activity needs. Then you can design a spot for them and install the appropriate amount of light. Don’t forget about mood lighting! It is important to adjust the atmosphere of a living room for every task, mood or occasion.

Tip: Be sure to mark on your floor plan any features that can’t move, like windows, built-in shelves or doorways. Then, if you’d like to move furniture, mark out several options for where your furniture could go to make the best use of the space.

2. High-Wattage Light Bulbs

If your bulbs aren’t already at the recommended maximum for your fixtures, get brighter bulbs. Often small rooms feel small because of inadequate lighting. Brighter bulbs in your light fixtures is a quick way to increase the amount of light in the room. Just be careful not to go over the manufacturer’s recommended highest wattage for your light fixtures since going too high will reduce the lifespan of your light fixtures and pose a fire risk. 

Tip: If your room lacks natural sunlight, swap your bulbs smart bulbs that can easily mimic natural daylight.

Small living room lighting

3. Ceiling-Mounted Lights

Ceiling lamps add more light without taking up precious floor space. What type of ceiling light fixture will depend on how you use your living room. If people spend most of their time in your living room in seats, then a hanging fixture like a chandelier or pendant light is probably safe. But if you need the vertical space for people to walk around, a flush mount light is probably best. Look for overhead lighting fixtures that either cast light up onto the ceiling or that cast light both up and down since indirect light will look more even than direct light alone.

Ceiling-mounted lighting in a living room

4. Portable Light Fixtures

The less you have hardwired into your walls, the more options you have to move things around. Portable fixtures will give you more control of the room because you can swap out or rearrange fixtures at any moment. They’re also easier to adapt and customise since you don’t have to shut off power to remove them.  

Tip: Consider battery-powered portable lamps to enjoy the flexibility of changing the ambience of your living room. 

Couple talking in a living room and Hue Go in the background

5. Wall-Washing Lights

When you do have to use hardwired solutions, try incorporating lights with angling filters on them. The angling filters direct light wherever you choose. Try directing it so the light crosses large expanses of your walls. This is called wall washing light and this layer can add dimension to a room. It can also work as accent lighting when it highlights features on the wall such as art or shelves.

Wall-washing living room lighting with Hue Signe lamps

6. Add Track Lighting

Track lighting is useful because it’s a single fixture that can serve multiple purposes. You could easily have some spotlights acting as wall-washing lights, some as accent lighting and some as task lighting just by angling the heads of the light. Years ago, track lighting got a reputation for being rather dated and unoriginal, but that’s not true of today’s track lighting. You can find track lighting in a variety of modern and elegant aesthetics. It can be as minimal or as bold as you like.

Track lighting in attic room

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and colour ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness