Help with overhead lighting of living room

mamattorneySeptember 11, 2012

Right now, our living room has one recessed overhead light. We never use it because it doesn't really "light" anything, but a circle of carpet. I'd like to change it out for something else that would look nicer and be more functional.

I've attached 2 pictures so you can see what the room looks like. It's a standard L shaped living/dining room combo. I didn't clean up, because with three little kids, the room looks like this more often than not, so I wanted you to have a REAL feel for the room. The ceilings are 8ft high and as you can see the light is not in the center of the room. It is in line with the dining room chandelier. The light is 6 ft. from the fireplace wall and we have the couch placed about 16ft from the fireplace wall.

Would a ceiling fan be a poor choice because of ceiling height? What would be a good choice?

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A single source still won't light a room like this properly because it will cast shadows and create glare. I actually usually plan living rooms with No overhead lighting as a personal preference, because I think it tends to look a bit commercial once you start putting in enough to light the room adequately.

I would invest in some floor lamps.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Can you configure the overhead light so that it casts a spot of light onto the artwork over your mantel? I too dislike overhead lighting and prefer to illuminate my rooms with floor and table lamps.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 1:45PM
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You can put a "hugger" ceiling fan in a room with an 8 foot ceiling. But do you need a ceiling fan or are you just looking for something to do with the fixture? You could replace what you have with a close-to-the-ceiling light fixture.

Whatever you do on the ceiling, however, you still need table lamps and a torchiere lamp in the room.

Here is a link that might be useful: Close to ceiling fixture

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Make sure the bulb is a flood, not a spot and if it has a longer stem, it will make it less recessed, so the "spot of light" you get will be broader and more diffuse, which you'd use probably when you want to see generally for passing through the room or for cleaning and such. If you wanted to use it as a spotlight to highlight the art work over the fireplace, I think it's so far away from that that you'd have to replace the kit with something less attractive, but it will do the job...

Or you can convert the recessed fixture to one that can be used for track lighting that can be used to put spots of light around the room.

Not sure how far you want to take this....if you want to add recessed lighting around the room, that's one thing (holes in sheet rock, snaking wires, patching, painting). If you don't then the other solution is lamps...put a torchiere lamp in the corner by the TV for up lighting, put a sofa table with lamps on it behind the sofa, put a small end table by the single chair with a lamp on it or put a floor lamp by that chair for a reading light.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:18AM
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