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How to Properly Light Your Living Room in an Apartment Rental

The effect of lighting goes way beyond being able to see in the dark. The luminance in a room can drastically alter the design and atmosphere of a space! A living room is one of the most frequently visited rooms in an apartment and is where you’re most likely to entertain any guests. Give them a great impression when they walk in by making your living room glow in just the right way.

Understand the Types of Lighting

To make your own lighting decisions, it’s important to know the types of illumination that a room usually has: ambient, task, and accent. If you utilize each of these options in your living room, you’ll be taking full advantage of the room’s lighting potential.

An example of task lighting (design by Loving Quarters)


Ambient or general lighting is intended to illuminate the whole room, typically from overhead fixtures. As the name says, it works to fill the room with the right ambiance.


Task lighting is used in areas where activities are frequently happening, like over a reading or computer desk. It provides the light you need to perform common tasks.


Accent lighting serves as the icing on the cake. It uses light to focus attention on certain features of the home, which could be art, furniture, or architectural designs. If you have a collection of any items on display, it’s great for that as well! Accent lighting is directed to showcase specific features of your home.

Tips to Light Your Living Room Like a Pro

Learning how to properly light your living room simply involves getting the grasp of a few basic illumination concepts.

  • When it comes to the room’s general ambiance, avoid over-illumination. A room that is too bright can be harsh on the eyes and can ruin the atmosphere of the room. Your visitors will be too busy squinting to appreciate your décor! Solution: dimmable lights - we suggest buying dimmer extensions for your existing lamps.

  • Ceiling fixtures are great for keeping your living room well-lit, and the best part about them is that they are relatively easy to install. If you don’t like the overhead fixtures you have, you can always switch them out for a different effect.

  • Task lighting is best achieved with the use of desk lamps or floor lamps. In some cases, wall sconces might also work. For computer desks, floor lamps might be a better option to preserve the aesthetic of the desk. It’s best for the light to hang over the desk from behind to prevent any glare off the monitor.

  • If you have armchairs spaced closely together, try adding task lighting nearby. It sets a great mood and actually facilitates conversation!

  • Lamps can double as ambient lighting if you opt for lighter lampshades. They diffuse the light more and allow it to spread through the room. Darker lampshades are better for directing light onto a specific area.

  • Soft wall lights and recessed ceiling lights can do an amazing job at brightening any items of note that you have in your living room.

  • If you’re really tight on space, make use of your walls with wall-mounted fixtures like sconces. These can give you great options for illumination and still save you a lot of floor space.

Lighting up your interior properly can drastically alter your living room. So much of the essence and personality of a room is determined by its lighting. Not only does it make the area aesthetically pleasing, but it also makes it more functional. It’s always a bright idea to understand the basic concepts of interior design and lighting and take advantage of these to really make your space shine.

1 Comment

Emma Medley
Emma Medley
6 hours ago

Amazing content! Thanks for sharing.

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