Light Design Living Room, 24 Sqm

In this article, a large family living room is exemplarily equipped with luminaires, the light effect simulated and the results shown by means of pictures. In order for you to take inspiration for your apartment, the luminaires used are presented and tips for the implementation are given.

The living room is a central space in each apartment, it is retreat to the private and personal. No space in the apartment is used so much: reading, the cozy chat on the sofa, the evening with the family and the television. In all of these cases, suitable living light is the task of lighting design for the living room. This is achieved with different luminaires, which can be combined into a variety of scenarios.

Space Data And Simulation

The living room in this review is relatively large with 24 square meters and with bodententfen, large windows. Equally generous, it is furnished: with an extensive sofa corner, a comfortable reading area and a low-board for media and television. The lighting rounds off a successful spatial planning as part of the facility.

The living room was modeled in 3D and simulated in the program Dialux. The light distribution in the room is calculated as a function of the luminaires used. In order to explain the individual requirements for lighting planning in the living room, a normal picture and a false color picture are shown for different scenarios. The false color image represents the brightness achieved in the room and can be read using a color scale. This allows you to understand how the requirements for the lighting in the living room are achieved and how bright it will be in the individual areas.

Apart from the luminaires at used, the surfaces of the walls, ceilings, floors and furniture are also a major factor in the calculation of the light distribution. The living room was simulated with bright, smooth walls and ceiling, the flooring as a light parquet.

Furnishings With Light In The Living Room

Depending on the mood and use, the living room should be illuminated rather brightly or comfortably. The requirements depend on this and are specified for the individual uses. In any case, attention should also be paid to the effect of space and the facility. Lights and luminaires contribute significantly to the staging of the living room with the lighting effect and the design of the luminaires.

The unit Lux (lx) indicates the illuminance that is achieved on a surface.  The larger the value, the brighter the area.  CRI stands for color rendering index and says whether colors are reproduced as true and as natural as possible.  The higher the value, the better the color reproduction.  The unit Kelvin (K) denotes the light color as the color temperature.  The higher the value, the colder (daylight-like) is the light.

The requirements are usually two values, the first one shows the brightness in place, so when we read on the book and in the immediate environment. The background value represents the brightness value in the environment, which remains also in the field of view during reading or television. Reading in an otherwise completely dark room with a reading light is very hard for the eyes, because the difference between the dark and the bright area is so big and the eyes have to make a lot of adjustments. In the long term, they are tired, even to headaches or discomfort.

Lighting Technology

For the living room are generally three types of lighting technology:


Led light

Energy saving lamp / fluorescent lamp

Details can be found in a separate overview article on lighting technology.

A combination of all three types of lighting has been selected for the sample living room: fluorescent lamp for the ceiling light, halogen or LED technology for reading and table lamps, halogen for the spotlights, as well as the wall lamps, which are also available in an LED version. When the question of which lighting technology is chosen, the purchase price is still decisive. LED lights in particular are often more expensive than halogen lights. The energy efficiency clearly stands for the LED luminaires; in the case of halogen lamps, care must be taken in each case as to which lamps there will be in the future. When selecting the halogen lamps shown here, this has already been taken into account, the corresponding lamps will continue to exist in the future, except the halogen reflector lamps for the spotlights. Your future availability is currently in the stars due to a new EU regulation. However, good replacement solutions in LED technology are already foreseeable, so that the risk of purchasing such a luminaire is rather low. The table and reading lights are classic lamps with screw bases. They can be equipped with lamps in halogen, energy saving or LED lamp technology.

Lighting Design Living Room – The Results

The total of four wall luminaires and a large pendulum lamp in the center of the room are combined as general lighting. This gives a very good lighting from the entrance to the large sofa corner. This also creates a very good scenario for the gaming night, browsing through magazines on the sofa or playing the little ones on the floor. I like the lightening of the ceiling by the pendulum lights, which should be in the height of 2 m (lower edge) no one in the way. Due to the bright ceiling, the room is higher, which leads to a more pleasant proportions. This is due to a luminaire with direct and indirect light. Light is radiated both upwards and downwards.

In the direction of the view from the sofa to the window is how the wall lights structure the room. While the pendulum light diffuse diffuse light into the room, the wall lights throw their light onto the wall. This brightens the area around the wall light. In addition, the light is reflected back on the wall and partly thrown back into the room. The living room is not evenly lit, but is divided into pleasant lighter and darker areas. Whilst darker still meets the requirements for a background brightness of about one third.

Often it is assumed, in reading or television alone in the room, but only little light or only light in the place need. Even if there is no other person nearby, the viewing area is much larger than the book or the TV screen. The eyes have to do great, once unobserved, work to adjust constantly between the bright visual range and the dark background. This does not remain unnoticed for a long time, the result is rapid fatigue and depending on the sensitivity headache or general malaise.

The lighting design in the living room should also have good basic lighting during the scenario reading, and in particular the background should show about one third of the ambient brightness as the following pictures show. For the scenario reading, the wall lights, the spotlights on the shelf and the reading light were connected. Here you can also see that without the pendulum light in the center the ceiling is significantly darker. The walls get enough light from the wall lights as a background light to allow for a pleasant reading. If you like, you can switch on the table light next to the TV as shown in the reading scenario.

The same applies to watching TV. Here, the wall behind the TV can be indirectly illuminated with wall luminaires or as shown in the example with the help of a table lamp on the low-board or also on the floor. If you use a table or floor lamp, make sure that there is no reflections on the surface of the monitor, so turn the light away from the TV. In the scenario television, only the wall lights and the table light next to the TV are connected.

Finally, the fun on the sofa. Here everyone can combine the lights in the living room according to their own taste. If you like it more subdued, you can do well with the wall lights alone and can still enjoy the spacious space.

Lights In The Living Room

The luminaires used in the example are listed with the most important data and some similar luminaires are mentioned. Similar lamps means that these lamps lead to equivalent or very similar results to the lamps used in the simulation.

Wall Lights Used

A halogen light of XAL was used as a wall light. In the Lino family of luminaires there is also a wall lamp in LED design, which is listed as a similar luminaire. The LED light has almost 30 per cent less luminous flux than the halogen light.

Used Pendulum Light

The large pendulum lamp contributes significantly to the general lighting with its broad radiation in the direct and indirect direction. The light is scattered diffuse, so it does not dazzle, always pleasant and comfortable. The lamp uses annular fluorescent lamps. With an 830 fluorescent lamp and an electronic ballast (this is the case here), such a luminaire is absolutely suitable for living with great energy efficiency. 830: 8 stands for CRI 80, 30 for light color 3000 Kelvin.

Used Shelf Lighting

Three high-voltage halogen spotlights were used as shelf lighting. They should be mounted at a distance of about 50 cm from the front edge of the shelf and be directed obliquely downwards. For this purpose, radiators can be used in a fixed arrangement or on a rail. There is a wide choice of halogen lamps. All you have to do is look at the performance and the shape of the radiation to achieve similar results.

Used Reading Light

The reading light in the example is a design classic. A luminaire standing prominently in the room should fit above all to the furniture. The choice in all forms, colors and techniques is huge.

Transferred To Your Living Room

You can transfer suggestions of the lighting design shown to your apartment. Pay attention to your living room size in comparison for example. A roughly half the space needs about half of the luminous flux across all luminaires in total. Look at your use, seating and viewing angle, and look at where you should do something about background lighting, for example, when there are dark areas.

In any case, you should combine different types of lighting: directed light from spotlights and reading lights with diffused light from ceiling and wall luminaires. It is precisely because of the wall luminaires that the lighting design with the device should be planned for new installations. If you just do not have to renovate and have to deal with the current outlets, you can work with standing and table lamps. Also spotlights from the ceiling as with the shelf lighting are a good means to illuminate walls. However, the spotlights should make up only a part of the lighting and actually illuminate a wall or a shelf. They are unsuitable for general lighting, they give rise to harsh shadows, and they are always blinded in the past.

In the example shown, white, smooth walls and ceilings were assumed. In the case of colored walls, in particular in the case of dark tones and rough surfaces, more light is required in sum because less light can be reflected.