Lighting a living room can be a difficult exercise. Multitude of light sources, desired atmosphere, type of activity, layout: all these parameters must be taken into account to achieve ideal lighting . To help you, here are the 10 mistakes you absolutely must avoid!
1- AN UNSUITABLE COLOR TEMPERATURE
Take into account the color temperature of the bulb indicated on the packaging. Depending on the zones and the type of lighting, choose a light that is cozy (around 3000 Kelvin) or whiter (4500 Kelvin for a reading light, for example).
The right color temperature for cozy lighting
The living room is certainly the most versatile space in the house, so it is a complex room to light. The primary objective is to create a warm atmosphere . To achieve this, the color temperature delivered by the bulbs chosen remains a very impacting element. First tip, use so- called warm lightingfor the general lighting of the room, that is to say a luminaire with a wide distribution, equipped with a bulb of 3500 Kelvin maximum (above this temperature, it is considered that the light delivered is whiter and therefore cold). To modulate the color temperature, the lampshades and diffusers obviously play a central role. For example a bell pendant with a golden interior will deliver a very warm light. Second tip: this general lighting should be coupled with more functional lamps such as reading lights , near a sofa or an armchair for example, because comfort is paramount in this room. In this case, it is better to use cooler bulbs for directional lighting.effective. You can also place bedside lamps or table lamps on furniture to create bright areas without illuminating the room evenly and gloomily. Here again, watch out for lampshades: prefer soft shades rather than dark and natural materials that will filter the light.
What does Kelvin mean?
Kelvin is a unit for classifying lamps according to the color of their luminous flux.
This color of light is expressed on a scale of Kelvin degrees, symbolized by K. This classification therefore makes it possible to evaluate the type of color diffused by the lamp when it is on at full output.The color temperature of the lamps range from 2,000 Kelvin to 10,000 Kelvin.The lower it is , less than 4000 Kelvin, the more the light emitted tends towards warm colors , therefore restful and intimate.The higher it is , greater than 5300 Kelvin, the more dynamic it is and the more the light draws towards blue, a cold color .This is what we recommend for functional office, worktop or dressing room lighting.
Incandescent lamps, conventional or halogen, have a color temperature of 2,500 to 3,400 Kelvin.
Compact fluorescent lamps have made progress in this area: their range now extends from warm white, 2700-3000 Kelvin, to cold white 5500 Kelvin, including intermediate white 4000 Kelvin. Many white LEDs produce a bluish light, around 6000 Kelvin, but some emit a warmer white.
2- SPOTLIGHTS ON THE CEILING
Avoid lighting your living room only with spotlights on the ceiling. A salon is not a showroom! Mix the lights : they dress and warm a decor that is too designer.
3- THE SAME INTENSITY FOR ALL LAMPS
Avoid creating uniform lighting with the same intensity for all lamps. Choose different bulbs , suitable for the luminaires, their material, shape and function.
Insufficient, badly distributed or too cold, inappropriate lighting “ruins” the most successful decor. So, to obtain a precisely dosed and chosen lighting, learn to master two essential parameters: the intensity and the color supplied by the bulb.
MINIMUM REQUIRED LIGHTING IN THE LIVING ROOM
The mood can turn depressed in a living room that is too dimly lit or become aggressive in a room bathed in light. It’s all a matter of dosage ! It is considered that a properly lit living room benefits from an illumination of approximately 300 lux. We can then carry out the usual activities while enjoying an intimate atmosphere. Reading, for example, requires a minimum illumination of 150 lux. To reinforce the convivial aspect, the general lighting of the living room should not be too strong: therefore prefer less aggressive indirect lighting . The dimmer is a real “plus” to modulate the light intensity according to your desires and the type of atmosphere desired.
Well-balanced lighting according to the zones
Another tip, the lighting must be well distributed in the room to avoid shadow areas. It would be a mistake to concentrate these 300 lux in a single luminaire! It is therefore imperative to multiply the sources of lighting . Opt for more intense lighting because it is punctual and direct thanks to lamps and floor lamps . They are a necessary complement to general lighting and provide visual comfortoptimal, especially in peripheral activity areas, around the sofa, the library or a desk. Finally, do not forget that decorative lighting contributes greatly to the atmosphere of a room Also, areas of interest should be illuminated more intensely – 3 to 5 times more – by means of more targeted lamps. Use directional spotlights for this that deliver more concentrated light to enhance beautiful objects.
4- BRIGHTEN UP YOUR LIVING ROOM!
Too much light, too many lamps: your living room is not a store. The lighting should remain pleasant and calming. “Less is more”: a too bright room can give off a very aggressive atmosphere. So you don’t need a lamp in every corner. On the contrary, do not hesitate to let some shade settle; it is precisely the shadow / light contrast that makes the room pleasant. This is especially true for spaces outside the home.
Another way to make a room more pleasant is to distribute light sources in several places, especially in large spaces. For a space of 50 m², you might think that a single ceiling light with significant radiation would do the trick. True, the room will be provided with the minimum necessary lighting, but it will not have a pleasant atmosphere. There will be a lot, if not too much light in the center and (too) little in the corners. This is why we advise you to opt for a balanced distribution of light sources .
5- UNDER LIGHTING YOUR LIVING ROOM!
A cozy and intimate atmosphere is good: no cave lighting! Maintain a balance with an average lighting of 400 lumens for this living room so as not to under-light your living room.
Today, whatever the room, we are no longer satisfied with a single ceiling light. Better to multiply the light sources to be able to create atmospheres adapted to the different times of the day. We will also install different kinds of lighting, depending on the areas to be illuminated . In the center of the room, you can hang pretty decorative suspensions, not too strong, because in a living room you don’t necessarily need strong lighting, but rather a relaxing atmosphere for reading, watching TV, or cozy for a drink with friends.
Wall lights are also interesting for gaining brightness in certain places, or highlighting objects such as a painting for example. A reading light will provide the reading corner with powerful, well-oriented lighting. If you need to see more clearly, you can also add here and there one or more rows of small spots. Multiplying the luminaires makes it possible to add the powers and thus obtain tailor-made lighting.
Also, don’t hesitate to mix hot and cold lights . Even if in a living room we prefer warm and friendly atmospheres, a cold light, more relaxing, can be appreciated for reading.
6- MAKE A MISTAKE IN THE DIMENSIONS OF THE LAMPS
The volume of the luminaires is essential: too large, they crush a small space, too small, they are lost and provide too discreet lighting. The dimensions of the lamps should be well suited to the size and volume of your living room.
7- CREATE FLAT LIGHTING
One of the big mistakes is creating “flat” and uniform lighting. Create a luminous relief by mixing the different types of lighting: indirect, direct, general and targeted.
8- CHOOSING THE WRONG LIGHTS
Do you fall for this magnificent pendant light? But will it really go to your place? Ask yourself the right questions: dimensions, shape, diffused lighting – generous or targeted. Beware of compulsive buying: the choice of a luminaire should be anticipated as little as possible.
9- FORGET DECORATIVE ACCENT LIGHTING
The accent lighting is a decorative lighting, essential for creating reliefs in the lounge. It will punctuate your living room and draw the eye to areas of interest such as decorative niches or paintings. It makes the room come alive.
Ideally, a room should have three types of lighting : general lighting, functional lighting and mood lighting. The first must be indirect , it illuminates the entire room, often through a lampshade that lets light through. The second is direct lighting . It is directed to a specific area: it is the sofa reading light, a desk lampor bedside, a spot above a painting … Finally, the last is used to create an atmosphere . It is diffusing, or colored, lighting. It can even be a candle. These three types of lighting make it possible to vary the atmospheres and intensities according to the moment.
10- MAKE A MISTAKE IN THE INSTALLATION OF THE LIGHTS
Think about the layout of your living room space before choosing the location for your lamp. A wall lamp is not necessarily highlighted, placed at a height of 2 meters. A pendant lamp must be placed above the dining table and not shifted under penalty of missing both the decorative rendering and the lighting! It can lend itself to more originality by falling very low over a coffee table for example.
A metal lampshade that will direct the light downwards will be perfect above a table, on the other hand, in the center of the room, it will be a disaster since it will only illuminate a circle on the floor