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Lighting Ideas for Large Living Rooms

Updated: May 7

Think about your living room. How do you use it? Is it a place to entertain friends and family? A spot to kick back and unwind with your favorite book? A room to spend time with your kids and furry friends? A retreat to work on hobbies? 

Without a doubt, living rooms are the most multifunctional rooms of a home—and making sure that this part of the home is properly and beautifully lit for all the activities that take place here is sometimes a challenge, especially if it’s oversized.

But with a few helpful guidelines and a couple of inspiring ideas, you’re guaranteed to find the right lighting scheme for your large living room—so let’s jump right in! 

Why is Living Room Lighting Important?

The importance of living room lighting extends way beyond making the interior aesthetic. 

Some of the common reasons why designers emphasize a thoroughly planned lighting scheme are because lighting;

  • Sets the right mood. 

  • Creates an attractive ambiance.

  • Improves functionality by providing adequate light for every activity. 

  • Makes the living room look spacious. 

  • Promotes better eye health.

How to Curate a Lighting Scheme for a Large Living Room?

The perfect lighting scheme for a large living room is one that combines all three types, including ambient, task, and accent. 

Ambient lighting is the main source of illumination. It sets the tone of the space and creates a uniform lighting level. Natural light, chandeliers, recessed lighting, and wall sconces fall under this category. 

Task lighting is used to illuminate the functional corners of a living room, such as a reading nook or a desk/work area. Examples include floor and table lamps, spotlights, and swing-arm sconces. 

Accent lighting is solely for enhancing the ambiance of a large living room by highlighting architectural features or objects like artwork. Think picture lights, tape, and track lights.

There are two main things to consider when layering lighting. First, the way you want to feel in the room. Second, what you want to use the room for. This allows you to combine functional lighting with decorative fixtures to create the desired ambiance. 

What is the Best Living Room Lighting Combination?

For large living rooms, designers suggest combining at least eight sources of lighting. Though it may sound a lot, when you factor in different options—from wall and ceiling to floor and table lamps—it’s a realistic target. 

Here’s an example lighting scheme to show you how things work.


  • A large, crystal chandelier as the main light source.

  • Two table lamps on the flanks of a long sofa for reading light. 

  • A sculptural floor lamp with a dimmer switch to illuminate a working nook.

  • Another floor lamp to highlight a large plant. 

  • Recessed lights with adjustable beams along the perimeter of the room to cast soft light on the walls. 

  • Two brass sconces with flickering flame LED bulbs on either side of the fireplace for a warm, cozy look even when the fireplace is not in use. 

Unique Lighting Ideas to Create the Right Mood 

Try a Statement Floor Lamp 

Use the extra real estate in your large living room to present lighting as a piece of furniture as well as a source of illumination. Try something unique like the escalier floor lamp that looks just as good even when turned off. Simpler choices like an internal floor lamp or a stretch arc floor lamp are good picks for folks looking to create a statement in a minimal interior. 

Blend Old and New 

A vintage chandelier in a contemporary home introduces a warm vibe, while a modern lighting design keeps a living room with historic bones feeling trendy.  

Don’t forget to install additional light sources, like an overhead fixture and a standing lamp, to bring in different shapes while maintaining a well-lit, harmonious look. 

Add Custom LED Lighting

To make your living room more inviting and cozy, use accent lighting in the form of built-in or strip LED lighting in creative ways. You can, for example, highlight a coffered ceiling or illuminate the underside of a console table for a leavening effect. Mix in an interesting fixture or two to introduce sculptural interest and keep the interior feeling homey. 

Include a Soft Glow from Candlelight 

Candlelights—the ultimate feel-good light source—is exactly what you need to finish off your large living room lighting scheme perfectly. You can hang a lantern with candlelights, present scented candles for a 2-in-1 effect (lighting and fragrance together), or simply go for faux candles. 

Plan Living Room Lighting that is Dimmable 

Dimmers ensure the ideal ambiance throughout the day. Not too bright, not too dim. 

For a coherent, seamless look, try matching the switch with the background paint or the accent colors being used around the living room. 

Sculptural Fixtures

A large living room may tempt you to fill the walls with art—how about pairing art and lighting into one solution? Don’t take us wrong, of course, wall hangings have their own charm, but installing unique fixtures that look like they belong to a modern art museum can definitely level up the game. 

You’ll typically find one-of-a-kind ceiling and wall fixtures, but they’re not unheard of as table and floor lamps

Tips to Maximize the Available Light 

While a dynamic, 3-layered lighting scheme is the primary determinant of a well-lit, inviting living room, implementing smart tips to maximize every ray of light available is the secret to a luxe interior. 

Here are some of the most effective ideas to try. 

  • Keep windows clean.

  • Tone down the window treatments.

  • Install skylights wherever possible.

  • Strategically place mirrors around light sources. 

  • Choose fixtures that cast light upwards to the ceilings.

  • Paint your walls and ceilings in light, reflective paint colors.

Final Words 

An effective lighting scheme for a large living room is much more than solely relying on overhead lighting. Designers say—and homeowners agree—layered lighting is what makes a house truly feel like a home. 

Incorporate the top lighting ideas for living rooms to experience the magic yourself! 


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