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If you are asking yourself how to light a living room with no overhead lighting, then you have come to the right place. Many people prefer to have a living room without ceiling lights, or they are forced to live in a house where ceiling lighting is just not viable.

In some cases, the owners of the house move into a house where there is another type of lighting installed. Sometimes, the lighting cannot be placed onto a ceiling because it is already taken by another system, such as the AC system. Some owners also decide on this willingly, and they want to take care of the lighting in another way as they thing overhead lighting just isn’t that attractive and they would rather use that space for something else.

Whatever your reason is, we will take a look at how to light a living room with no overhead lighting here. Luckily, there are tons of solutions out there that allow you to light up your living room without having the overhead lighting installed.

Here, we will have a look at some expert tips and tricks and ideas as to how to light a living room with no overhead lighting. Hopefully, you will find something appealing on this list.

What do you want from the living room lighting?

A-Family-Friendly-Living-Room-in-Devon-by-Larina-Kase-Interior-Design How to light a living room with no overhead lighting
Image source: Larina Kase Interior Design

The most important thing you need to ask yourself is how do you want your lighting to operate, and what do you want it to do? The reason why this question is so important is that there are so many choices out there for living room lighting that you need to know what exactly you want it to do.

For example, if you want to light up your living room table or your couch, throwing some lighting fixtures into the living room might just not be enough. Or, if you are looking to light up the whole living room with just a couple of lamps, that is also not enough. Sometimes, the solution might be as simple as changing the type of lampshades you have employed.

Ambient Lighting is Good for Elegant Lighting

Living-Room-by-Fredman-Design-Group How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Fredman Design Group

If you are looking for a more sophisticated and subtle way to light up your living room, then ambient lighting can help you with that. It is a type of background lighting that can light up your room in a very subtle way, which can create a nice, cozy feeling.

It is a unique way to illuminate the whole space from an indirect source. To fulfill your demand for no overhead lighting solutions, ambient lighting is the best choice. It can be of many types, like, wall sconces, table lamps, track lights, and many more.

However, for more specific tasks such as reading, ambient lighting might not be up to the task.

Task Lighting

Modern-inredning-med-rustika-inslag-by-Studio-A3 How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Studio A3

On the other hand, task lighting systems allow you to perform certain tasks much easier. They are geared towards allowing you to read, write, or do specific tasks behind the desk or on the couch that require light.

Accent Lighting for Decoration

Chelsea-townhouse-by-Juliette-Byrne How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Juliette Byrne

If you are looking for something to give you that decorative touch, then accent lighting should be considered. Sometimes, they are designed to bring out the best of a certain part of your room.

How to Light a Living Room with No Overhead Lighting

Lights with Batteries

Cameron-model-Show-Home-by-Rococo-Homes-Inc How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Rococo Homes Inc

Since you are looking for alternatives for your overhead lighting, you should consider battery lights. These, as the name suggests, are powered by batteries, which means that you will not need electricity to use them.

It is a good idea if you are looking for a good option that requires no wires and no overhead lighting. Although, as there are pros to this option, there are also some cons.

Namely, these lights are sometimes unreliable or just not powerful enough. Also, they consist of several parts more often than not, and you might run the risk of losing these parts. Batteries will also need regular changes, so there is also that cost.

Swag Pendant Lights

Ashton-Woods-Living-Rooms-by-Ashton-Woods How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Ashton Woods

Also, one of the alternatives if you don’t have overhead lighting is swag pendant lights. These lights can be attached to the ceiling with the help of a hook, and you can then attach the lights onto that hook. They can act as the overhead lighting for your living room. They are very easy to use and set up, and you can even use them everywhere.

Arc Lamps

living-room-by-Mauricio-Nava-Design-LLC How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Mauricio Nava Design, LLC

One of the better ways of how to light a living room with no overhead lighting is by employing arc lamps. These are also very easy to use and employ, and they are very tall, which means that nobody will bump their heads into it. These lamps are very effective for lighting up your living room if you don’t have overhead lighting.

Floor Lamps

Moraya-Bay-Living-Room-by-W-Design-Interiors How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: W Design Interiors

Similar to arc lights, floor lamps can help you utilize the space in your living room by placing them in appropriate spots. Again, it is important to know where to place them, and it can save your skin for lighting up your living room. Employ them in corners for the best possible use.

Try Tree Floor Lamps

Screenshot_8 How to light a living room with no overhead lighting
Image source: Brightech Trilage Arc Floor Lamp w/Marble Base (available on Amazon)

Similar to regular floor lamps, tree floor lamps are placed on the floor and can tower quite high up. They allow for better lighting as they employ a branch-like system, where you will be able to spread out the light more. You can also try a combination of tree floor lamps and regular floor lamps.

Use Mirrors

Living-Room-by-Michael-Abrams-Interiors How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Michael Abrams Interiors

Mirrors are, surprisingly, another good way of providing more light without actually employing lights in your living room. This is one of the more interesting ways of how to light a living room with no overhead lighting. You can use mirrors parallel to your windows, so the light can bounce into your room from the windows.

Sconces Can Add Style

Living-room-by-Chic-Decor How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Chic Decor

You can use sconces in your living room to provide more light. These sconces are often very interesting, and they offer a unique design that can also make your living room a much more interesting place. If you want something a bit more modern and stylish, then sconces are a good option to place on the wall.

Wall Lights

Roehampton-Development-by-Inspired-Dwellings How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Inspired Dwellings

Wall lights with plugs are a very easy way of how to light a living room with no overhead lighting. You can make use of all the space on your walls, if you can’t utilize overhead lights. They will add a very subtle quality to your living room, even though they are most often deployed in another room such as the bedroom.

String Lights

My-Houzz-Books-and-String-Lights-Jazz-Up-an-L.A.-Loft-by-Carolyn-Reyes How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Carolyn Reyes

If you don’t know how to light a living room with no overhead lighting, then you can use string lights to make a great lighting effect. These lights are very lightweight, but they can also provide quite a powerful lighting. What is more, these lights will look very interesting in your room if you have a living room with many details.

Use a Variety of Fixtures

Living-Room-by-Begrand-Fast-Design-Inc How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Begrand Fast Design Inc.

Most often, using a variety of different options will do the trick. You can use lamps, wall lights, string lights and combine them together to create an interesting unity. Using multiple fixtures is a good option to light up your living room.

Balance out the Light

Cobble-Hill-House-by-CWB-Architects-by-Francis-Dzikowski-Photography-Inc How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Francis Dzikowski Photography Inc

Sometimes, using more fixtures can create an imbalance in your living room. Remember to keep some balance by placing lights at opposite ends. For example, if you have a light at one end of the couch, you can create balance by placing a light at the other end.

Use Remote Switches

Spanish-White-Mediterranean-Living-Room-by-Maraya-Interior-Design How to light a living room with no overhead lightingImage source: Maraya Interior Design

For more comfort and elegance, you can use remote switches to light up your room, and you can stay in the comfort of your couch by doing it all.

The most important thing is to plan everything in advance. Once you decide to get one type of lighting, stick with the plan. If you put too much of everything, it might create a mess. Try to keep a balance of every part of your lighting.

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