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Living Room Lighting Ideas to Make Your Living Space Shine

Living room lighting ideas
(Image credit: John Cullen Lighting)

As the nights draw in, living room lighting ideas become more important than ever, with homeowners keen to hunker down in their cosy spaces, whether that is to relax at the end of the day or to welcome in guests.

Our living rooms are the spaces which we retreat to, sprawl out and relax as a family and generally exhale — and as such they need to feel homely and intimate. However, getting the lighting design right is important for other reasons too. More and more of us are asking our living spaces to multitask these days, as we try to find space for other day-to-day activities, such as working from home and entertaining the younger members of the family. 

Our collection of the best living room lighting ideas around has something for everyone, no matter how you plan on using your living space or the overall interior design scheme you are aiming for. From contemporary lighting ideas to how to create cosy little nooks for reading or snoozing in — we have it all. 

1. Sophisticated Living Room Lighting Ideas

cosy living room lighting ideas

(Image credit: Caffe Latte)

Create drama and glamour with this living room lighting idea. The combination of concealed LED strip lighting within the ceiling recess, artfully positioned floor lamp and, of course, the light given off by the fire, all add up to one seriously intimate space. 

It is worth giving thought to how your living room lighting scheme will work at different times of the day. This scheme looks particularly great once the sun goes down. 

2. Inject Colour With Living Room Lighting

bright coloured living room

(Image credit: DelightFULL)

This bright, zingy living room scheme has retro undertones thanks to the multi-coloured Stanley floor light from DelightFULL. It has been used as a starting point for the rest of the interior scheme, with the yellow being picked out in a sofa throw, the blue in a cushion and the green in the luxurious velvet seating. 

The adjustable 3-light floor lamp holds three boom arms meaning you can tweak where the light shines. 

3. Make Lighting a Focal Point

navy and white living room

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Using a statement central pendant is a fantastic living room lighting idea, ensuring the space has character. It is an idea that works particularly well in living rooms with high ceilings, where the space can sometimes feel a little cavernous.

Here, the tangled twiggy form of the light is highlighted even more thanks to the contrasting wall colour — Aubusson Blue from Annie Sloan.

4. Create a Formal Living Room With Symmetry

smart living room lighting

(Image credit: Brabbu Design)

There is a pleasing symmetry to this living room — this is partly down to the positioning of the furniture and built-in alcove shelving. However, the matching lamps on either side of the fireplace, along with the central space-age style pendant heighten the look — fun but formal. 

5. Contemporary Glamour

contemporary living room ideas

(Image credit: DelightFULL)

This living room might be decorated in sophisticated calming neutral shades of cream and cocoa, but the lighting ensures the space is anything but bland. 

Two Ike suspension lamps from DelightFULL hang either side of the coffee table ensuring an even spread of light, while a sleek floor lamp adds an intimate feel in one corner.

6. Cosy yet Cutting Edge Lighting Scheme

contemporary living room lighting ideas

(Image credit: John Cullen Lighting)

In this striking contemporary living room, designed by Michaelis Boyd, interior and exterior lighting has been used to add interest and character. 

The space has been lit using products from John Cullen Lighting and features a selection of concealed LED lights that highlight various points on the built-in shelving that dominates one end of the space. 

Externally, lighting has been fitted into the overhang outside the glazing, drawing the eye to the deck while heightening a sense of cosiness inside. 

(MORE: Take a Look at our Round-up of the Best Outdoor Wall Lights)

7. Create a Cosy Reading Nook

armchair with floor lamp

(Image credit: Mind The Gap)

In living rooms that have to act as multi-functional spaces it is a brilliant idea to create a snuggly spot in one corner to tuck yourself away with a good book.

A squashy armchair flanked by a floor standing lamp, or a table lamp on a side table, is the ideal way to do this.

8. A Coordinated Lighting Scheme

living room lighting ideas

(Image credit: Original BTC)

Using the same style light in different forms is a brilliant way to ensure a cohesive look in your living room. 

Here, the wall light, floor lamp and table lamp are all from the Hector 30 range by Original BTC. Using several different types of lamp is also a great living room lighting idea because it allows you to highlight individual elements without the whole look appearing messy — here the armchair, fireplace and architectural mouldings are all allowed to shine. 

9. Hang Pendant Lights Off-Centre

pink living room

(Image credit: Nedgis)

Want to know how to create a professional lighting scheme? One of the golden rules is to use several different light sources in the room rather than relying on one single main light source — a look that can seem cold and soulless. 

It is also nice to buck the more formal, symmetry often used for lighting and hang pendants off-centre — here the low-slung pendant from Nedgis gives one end of the sofa top spot and the best place to relax (a sense enhanced by the side table too).

Note how the wall colour is picked up in the light fittings too for a pleasing, cohesive look. 

10. Crisp and Contemporary Living Room Lights

navy blue living room

(Image credit: Original BTC)

Chandeliers need not be fussy or traditional in their design — as this Oxford Double Chandelier from Original BTC shows. 

Its eye-catching design off-sets the high ceilings, while its crisp lines are further highlighted thanks to the moody wall colour and rustic tan floor covering. 

11. Wicker Light Shades for a Natural Feel

wicker lighting ideas

(Image credit: Nedgis)

Wicker and rattan accessories are the perfect way to ensure a fresh, natural feel in the home — and one of our favourite living room lighting ideas is for oversized wicker light shades, hung low over sofas laden with tactile cushions and throws. 

This wicker ball pendant is from Nedgis

12. Create Colour Contrast With Lighting

navy blue wall in living room

(Image credit: Original BTC)

As well as illuminating a space, lighting also has the power to contribute to a living room colour scheme.

From shimmering metallic shades and fittings, to bright coloured bulbs, your living room lighting ideas need not be conservative. 

Here, a crisp white Oxford Double Wall Light from Original BTC sits in complete contrast to the black wall colour ensuring both wall and light are focal points in the space. 

13. Use Layers of Light in the Living Room

cosy living room scheme

(Image credit: John Cullen Lighting)

When designing a living room lighting scheme think in layers. You need general or background lighting for everyday overall light, task lighting for activities such as reading or hobbies, and accent or mood lighting for highlighting certain features and adding intimacy and interest. 

This living room, designed by Brian Woulfe Of Interior Design Studio, Designed By Woulfe, features a selection of lights from John Cullen Lighting including downlights and hidden LED lights.

Natasha Brinsmead

Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. She has renovated a terrace and is at the end of the DIY renovation and extension of her Edwardian cottage. She is now looking for her next project.