Wednesday, 7 March 2018

How to easily light a living room with no overhead lighting

How to easily light a living room with no overhead lighting

Here is another wonderful post from a guest writer, Michelle Croissant, for you to enjoy

The last thing you want is unexpected obstacles when first buying or moving into a new place. The stress and fatigue of moving is still surrounding you, and you really don’t want to have to solve a problem in your new place. But let’s be honest: we’ve all had situations like this.
And when it comes to lighting, the problems can just keep on coming.
One of my friends just recently moved into a nice big house -- one that they absolutely adore -- but upon moving in, they realized they missed something important. Their living room and bedroom had no overhead lighting. And finding out how to light a room with no overhead lighting is easier said than done.

After going over the numbers and realizing that the cost of hiring an electrician to install overhead lights was out of their budget - and electricians cost a lot - they decided to be a bit more creative and conquer this obstacle themselves.
But how to light a living room with no overhead lighting has a few trials and errors.
This article follows their end result: what worked for them, and what really didn’t.

Before we begin going over some pro tips, let’s first talk about where this issue might be most common. Certain houses, I’m talking old houses, normally don’t have overhead lights unless someone revamped the inside and installed them prior to the house hitting the market. So, if you’re a fan of Midcentury or older houses, make sure you check out the lighting situation!

Ceiling installation can also cost a lot for homeowners. We’re talking anywhere from $88 to over $200 for just an hour of work. This price range isn’t necessarily ideal for homeowners who just moved in -- especially when you can be creative and find a solution yourself!

What you need to follow this tutorial

You’re going to need a few different items, patience, and a lot of creativity to fix this problem:
  • You’re favourite lamp designs in a variety of formats (we’re talking floor lamps, wall sconces that use plugins instead of wiring, or whatever fits your budget and style)
  • Light bulbs with your preferred light intensity and colour (for obvious reasons)
  • Extension cords (if needed)
  • A wireless switch
You’ll find out exactly what you need, pertaining to which example I’ll talk about below you like the most, which will help narrow down your style. For example, if you just want floor lamps to light up your room, you’ll have no need for wall sconces.

Examples of what NOT to do

Here, I decided to cover a few popular but ineffective solutions of lighting a living room without overhead lights.

You should NOT buy battery operated lights
While you may think battery operated lights are a good deal, in the long run they’re just annoying for homeowners. They’re unreliable, and they’re hard to change batteries. Instead of solving your overhead lighting obstacle, you’d just be making a new one for yourself.

You should NOT use LED strips
Again, this may seem like the cheapest and relatively easiest alternative to having no overhead lights. But again, this creates more problems than it solves. LED strips look cheap and are incredibly hard to attach. Trying to style a beautiful living room around cheap LED strips is never fun -- and no one can really pull it off.

You should NOT have a variety of different floor and table lamps in one room
You may be trying to go for a bohemian look, but combining different floor lamps and table lamps in one living room just comes across as a bit cluttered with no real interior design style set. And that’s something you definitely want to avoid. All of these different floor lamps and table lamps will just result in hard to control lighting -- again making yet a new lighting obstacle for you.

Here’s how to light a room with no overhead lighting

1. Choose your light style
This step has many solutions and here, I covered the most popular ones.

Floor lamps
  • Start by using two or more floor lamps plugged into the same lighting fixture or extension
  • Make sure you put the lamps on opposite sides of the room to best light up the whole living area
  • Make sure you connect them to the same power cord, making it easier for you to handle the lighting of the room
Creative light fixture or a chandelier with a long cord
  • Grab a lighting fixture with a long cord
  • After many trials and errors, find out how you would like your light to hang
  • Make sure you evaluate style and overall lighting experience before you finally put a hook in the ceiling
  • Attach your light to the hook
Wall sconces that plug into an outlet
  • I recommend using at least two wall sconces on opposite ends of the living room
  • Make sure both lights are not on the wall that holds the entrance, as the lighting will just be a bit off
  • After you put the wall sconces on the wall, make sure you connect them using the same power connector or extention, making lighting the room easier to handle
An arc floor lamp
 
  • Buy an arc floor lamp in a style that you like best
  • Place your lamp over your sofa or dining table to get a traditional chandelier feel
  • Note: this lamp only works best in bigger living rooms, so as not to make the whole room feel cluttered
String lights hung from the ceiling
Image by unsplash.com
  • Before you begin anything else, you need to do a bit of extra work and draw a plan of your ceiling so you can best figure out how to hang these lights
  • Buy string lights that plug into each other (like Christmas lights do), creating one long line of string lights
  • Put hooks in your ceiling where the string lights can attach,
  • Hang the lights up in your favourite style
  • Note: while this style is beautiful in the finished result, it is harder than the other alternatives and takes more time
2. Use powerful bulbs
Now that you have your method or style picked out, make sure you buy proper light bulbs that will make your living room light up. Powerful LED or CFL bulbs are recommended. I advise using a warm or soft light in your living room at about 2700 kelvins. Make sure your lights produce enough light to brighten your living room.

3. Set up a switch
After installing the lights and finding the best light bulb for your living room, setting up the switch that will control your lights is most important. I recommend using a remote control switch that is plugged into a wall outlet. It’s easy, efficient, and gets the job done.

Optional step: Enhance your decor
Image by primcousa.com

To make your living room fall in place together with your new lights, choose light colored lamp shades or no lamp shades at all. If you’re looking for a bright living room, your walls should be lightly colored. We recommended having white walls to get the best effect.
You can also place your mirrors strategically to enhance your new lights! Place your mirrors in an area where they reflect the light from your window or your new lamps to get the ultimate effect.
To make your living room as brightly lit as possible, make sure you avoid dark rugs or curtains.


Final Words
I hope you enjoyed this article! I know how stressful it can be to move into a new house, only to find out there’s a problem you didn’t initially foresee.
How to light a living room with no overhead lighting shouldn’t be as difficult as it is. Hopefully, if you’ve been having some lighting issues, you’ve gained some inspiration and are ready to put your creativity to use. Also, you can check Allen+Roth lighting brand that offers many light fixtures that can solve this problem.
Let me know what you think below in the comments! What’s your favorite lamp style? Make sure you share the article if you liked it and let your friends in on some lighting inspiration.

About the author:
Michelle Croissant is a blogger and an entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of AllenRothHome, a blog about home design and improvements. She writes tips and tricks they learned while renovating their house in California. Follow her on Twitter.

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