How should I use a ceiling light in the living room?

A living room ceiling light is usually the main source of light in the space — and one of the most visible fixtures in your home. Make sure you choose one that not only complements the decor, but can produce enough light to properly illuminate the room. 

Living rooms generally need about 20 lumens per square foot. For example, if your living room measures 300 square feet, you’d need about 6000 lumens of light in the room total (including the ceiling light, but also any other lamps or fixtures in the room). Use other sources of light, such as table or floor lamps, to create layers of light that complement your overhead lighting.

Types of ceiling lights

When choosing a ceiling light for your living room, it’s helpful to know the most common types of ceiling lights: 

  • Flush-mount ceiling lights: These ceiling lights sit flush with the ceiling and usually have a rounded shape with a cover. 

  • Semi-flush mount ceiling lights: Semi-flush mount fixtures have a top piece that sits flush to the ceiling to cover wiring, but the fixture itself is suspended just underneath.

  • Chandeliers: Often boasting crystal accents, chandeliers often have multiple sources of light and hang lower from the ceiling.  

  • Track lighting: This type of fixture has a long track and multiple lights that you can often adjust and point towards different areas of the room. 

  • Recessed lights: These ceiling lights are often round and sit completely flush with the ceiling, with most of the fixture inside the ceiling itself.

Positioning ceiling lights in the living room

Place your ceiling light in the center of the room. Usually, this is about the same area of the room where the coffee table (which looks great positioned underneath a ceiling light!) would belong. If your ceiling light hangs underneath the ceiling instead of sitting flush, make sure that it’s at a height the people who frequent your home can comfortably walk underneath — normally six to seven feet above the ground. 

Using smart ceiling lights in the living room

From serving as a cinema on movie night to being the gathering point of a birthday party, the living room is one of the most versatile rooms in the house. With a smart ceiling light, you can accommodate all the different uses of this space easily —  you can dim, brighten, change the color, and even automate the light.