Knowing where to place wall lights in a living room can be daunting, especially when trying to come up with a complete lighting plan. We’ve put together expert advice to help you find the best positions for your wall lights to perfectly illuminate your space.
Living room wall lighting ideas play an important role in creating the atmosphere in your living room. Not only does it provide valuable lighting, but a layered schedule—a combination of pendant, wall, and table lamps—allows you to adjust the levels of your living room lighting to suit the mood or time of day. However, to achieve this perfect balance, you need to know where to place your wall lights.
Where should wall lights be placed in a living room?
The first challenge is to figure out what purpose you want wall lights to serve: should they be practical to provide task lighting or are you hoping to use them to emphasize artwork or other decorative elements? The answers to these questions determine the style and placement of your wall lamps.
As a general rule of thumb, wall lights should be placed about 5 to 5.5 ft above floor level, while multiple wall lights should be spaced about 8 to 10 ft apart. You need to make sure the top of the wall lamp is at eye level to avoid glare from the exposed lamp,” recommends Rohan Blacker, founder of Pooky (opens in new tab).
“However, this is just a general guideline – if the room has particularly high ceilings (say more than 10ft), or if you have wall lights in a bathroom or bedroom, you can adjust these heights accordingly.”
1. Around the room for mood lighting
As one of the most popular living room lighting trends, wall lights are a great addition to any style of living room.
‘When lighting the living room, I like to place the wall lamps at eye level to accentuate people’s faces. This is the most flattering. When you’re entertaining in the room, I think it’s important to make your guests look great and this approach will help you achieve that!’ says Nadia Watts of Nadia Watts Interior Design (opens in new tab).
“Lighting is one of the most important elements of interior design, as it can completely change the look and feel of a room. When plan living room lighting, layered lighting and use multiple light sources to make a space flexible and versatile. Choose dramatic pendant lamps as your main light source and combine with striking table lamps to create an atmospheric atmosphere.’
2. About artwork
If you’re looking for ways to accentuate your living room art, place wall lights on either side or above it to keep it from fading into the background. “Wall lamps work well as accent lighting to highlight interesting elements in the room, such as art or artifacts.
Choose striking pieces with structural shapes, exciting textures or colored glass to make a style statement even when the lighting is turned off,” said Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin (opens in new tab).
3. To provide task relief
The modern living room is often a multifunctional space with spaces where you can work, read or write. While these corner living room ideas are perfect for housing a desk or table, they can be dark and as such benefit from a well-placed wall lamp. A lamp on the wall next to the desk not only provides valuable task lighting, preventing eyestrain, but also reduces the amount of visual clutter, keeping it looking neat and tidy.
4. Break through an empty wall
Wall lights provide valuable lighting and are a great way to make your walls attractive when placed at head height. Opt for an artistic design with colorful hues to add an extra dimension to your living room wall ideas.
‘Discreet and atmospheric, wall lamps take up little space and can flourish decoratively. We’ve seen great examples of customers using wall lamps in pairs or trios along the length of their walls, framing cabinets or ornate mirrors and combining them side by side with floor lamps – all looking stylish and unique while creating different levels of lighting.
Depending on the style you’re after, consider whether you want to incorporate decorative silhouettes with a statement or whether you prefer a more minimalist solution. Plan this early in the design process as you have to consider the wiring of each fixture,” says Helen Pett, design ambassador at Arteriors London (opens in new tab).
5. Next to the window
The style of your wall lamps also determines their placement. ‘Clear glass or crystal designs will maximize the light. Place a transparent wall lamp by a window and you can also emphasize the natural light during the day,” says Peter Legg lead designer, dar lighting (opens in new tab). “Faceted or multi-layer fixtures are also a good choice because they reflect the beam across the room. Combine this style for a frameless mirror, and you’ll see rays all around you.”
6. Place wall lights on either side of a focal point
Every living room has a focal point – usually the fireplace or the television. To accentuate this point in the room, place two wall lights equidistant on either side of the focal point. When you watch TV or relax in front of the fire, choose only the wall lamps for a softer light scheme and a cozy atmosphere.
7. By an armchair to create a reading corner
No living room is complete without a reading corner. All you need is a cozy armchair, a small side table and a well-placed wall lamp to create the perfect place to settle down and enjoy your latest paperback. When placing a wall lamp as a task lamp, install it lower than head height — somewhere between shoulder and waist height — and choose a swing-arm design so it can be adjusted as needed.
8. Place wall lamps above niches
Recessed in the wall, niches are often darker than the other parts of the room and therefore benefit from additional lighting. Whatever alcove ideas you want to incorporate into your room, combine them with a wall lamp to illuminate this space even more. In addition to brightening up the dark corners, these wall lights will also highlight the alcove ideas of your living room and be a focal point of this architectural element.
Do people still have wall lamps?
Yes, people still have wall lights, which are an essential part of a layered lighting scheme. In fact, wall lights have become increasingly popular as a way to illuminate specific aspects of a room’s design and set a mood with your lighting.
Can you place wall lamps everywhere?
Yes, you can place wall lights anywhere, but you will need the help of an electrician. Unlike ceiling lamps, which must be placed in the center of the room, or lamps that are determined by their proximity to sockets and furniture, wall lamps can be placed wherever they are needed – be it practical or aesthetic.