Think of all of the ways we use types of lamps in our homes. They have to work in a range of different scenarios. For example, your room could be the perfect place to host a movie marathon on your projector before you transform it into a place for doing homework, reading, or playing a few board games. This means that you have to consider the types of lamps you have in your space.
Generally speaking, living room lamps are ambient, task, or accent lights. Once you settle on a category or two, it’s pretty easy to help pick out lamps that match your decor style. We’re going to help you find the best types of lamps for your space, no matter if it’s in the living room, bedroom, or somewhere else in your home below.
There are many different types of lamps available in a huge range of sizes, shapes, and styles. You can easily find one that matches your decor while giving you all of the light you need. Lamp by waldopepper / CC BY-NC 2.0
1. Built-In Wall Lighting
Some homes come with built-in shelving units that are part of your living room. If you have any built-ins in your space, you could consider this type of lamp or lighting. This gives you a light source that is out of your way. You’ll want to get light strips to accomplish this, and LED lighting is the way to go with rope lights.
The LED rope lights can easily get attached around your shelving unit to give you a decent amount of light. If you want the light to be brighter, you should shop for LED light strips that have a higher lumen rating. You should note that this option won’t be strong enough to light up the whole room, but it’s a nice mood lighting option to have around that you can switch on and off.
You can put this type of lamp in at a very budget-friendly price. It’s possible to get LED light strips without having to pay out a lot of money, so it’s worth considering if you want to light up a shadowy corner. If you like the idea of having mood lighting, this is even better. It probably won’t be worth it if you have to go through the trouble of actually building the shelves to attach the light too. However, if they’re already there, this gives you a convenient light source.
2. Ceiling Accent Lighting
A lot of people choose to add this type of lamp right to the trim around the ceiling. This isn’t something that is mainstream yet, but it’s popular enough that people have been seriously considering it for a few years. It gives you a unique lighting opportunity that can give the room a very interesting look. You achieve this look by installing LED rope lights like we touched on earlier, and you string them around your ceiling’s perimeter.
This allows you to light up your room decently, but it won’t give you enough for a very bright light. This is another option to consider if you want to get mood lighting in your space. If you’re trying to get a type of lamp that offers semi-dim light when you have a laid-back gathering, this is the type of lighting to pick. It’s very easy to install, and it has a type of charm to it.
The LED rope lights are also relatively inexpensive. You won’t have to pay out a lot of money when you install them. You can buy these lights at most major retailers, and you get different options when it comes to color too. This allows you to customize your look to suit your space.
3. Ceiling Fan with Light
One of the most popular ways to get light in your living room is to install a ceiling fan with a type of lamp in it. A lot of ceiling fans come outfitted with a light fixture attached to them on the bottom. You can also find fans without this feature, but it’s much more common for them to have lights. It gives you a very convenient light source that can brighten up your room.
Depending on your living room’s size and how bright you want it to be, this could be enough to light up the room. However, it should give you enough light to make the whole living room look more inviting and cheerful. The type of lamps that attach to the ceiling fan will vary in style and size. You could end up with multiple light fixtures that take normal light bulbs, or the fan could have a type of globe light.
No matter what type of lighting fixture you get on your ceiling fan, it should work well. You should take your time, browse, and pick out the style that is going to fit your space the best. There are several different types, but you should be able to easily find one that fits to a tee. The way it looks is part of the appeal, so do your research and find something that you love.
A ceiling fan can be very beneficial for your living room in other ways too. It can give your living room circulation, and this can make the whole room much cooler and more comfortable.
A ceiling fan with a light allows you to add light to the space while cooling the room down. It can also help keep heat in during the colder months if you switch the direction the blades go. New Ceiling Fan 014 by Roger Mommaerts / CC BY-SA 2.0
4. Ceiling Lamps
Ceiling types of lamps are a very convenient way to light up your space when you have smaller rooms. You can install these lamps on the ceiling as the name suggests, and they can be decently bright. Depending on which bulb you choose to install in it, you could light up every area of your room with a single bulb. The cover on this light will usually be a globe of some type, and this reduces how harsh the light is.
You can also find really stylish types of lamps, and some of them can come outfitted with a chandelier style. You will be able to consider different types of ceiling lamps to help you create much more interesting designs. This ceiling lamp will be a more prominent feature in your room, so you should take the time to really look and find the perfect fit for your space and needs.
If you look at all of the bigger retail spaces, you’re going to find a huge range of options. Since there is so much to consider, patience is key here. You will be able to find types of lamps that look extremely modern while others look much more classic. It won’t be hard to find a ceiling lamp that fits well with your room’s overall look.
Matching your ceiling lamp with other design choices in the room will allow you to pull everything neatly together. Since you’re going to spend a large amount of time in this room, it’s essential that you love every element of it. In most cases, you’ll get just the right amount of lighting, and you’ll be able to host your guests without an issue.
5. End Table Lamps
If you have an end table, this type of lamp can fit perfectly on it. It’s a great way to effectively light up your living room. Depending on the bulb, some lamps can be very bright. You may want to mix and match the styles when it comes to the lampshade to get the perfect amount of light for your space. They’re great for sitting neatly on your end tables, and they offer a nice light source right next to your seating areas in the living room.
When you think of aesthetics, you get many advantages of this type of lamp. You can find lamps that beautifully accentuate the design choices you have in your room. Also, these lamps aren’t usually that expensive, but nicer ones are usually pricier. Either way, you’ll be able to find a pretty type of lamp that looks lovely in your room with a little research.
They’re also a nice way to add a little color to the living room. The varying options you have for lampshades can be interesting to research as well. You can create a host of unique looks that amplify your space.
6. Lighting Sconces
A sconce is a type of lamp that people typically put outside by their front doors to help light up the area. You may already have one or two of these things on the outside of your home. They’re very popular to put on your patio or right next to your doorway, and you can buy sconces that work very well as an indoor light.
At the base, this type of lamp is one that’ll attach to your drywall. It’s not very different from a ceiling lamp because it helps give you the light you need while being out of the way and higher in the room. There are many different styles for you to consider when you start shopping for this light, and this allows you to perfectly match it to your existing decor to look like it was originally part of your design instead of added in later. You can wire them to your home relatively easily, so it won’t be too much of a hassle to do the installation yourself without huge issues.
A single lighting sconce usually isn’t going to be powerful enough to light up your entire living room. To get the most light possible, you might want to purchase a few and place them strategically around the room. You can then flip a switch to light up all of them to flood the room with light. This type of lamp works well for anything, and it has a higher versatility attached to it.
If you’re after a lighting source that won’t get in the way of your daily life, this is a solid choice. If you have a smaller living room, this is a nice choice as you’ll need fewer to illuminate it. It allows you to get the light you need to see without eating up your valuable floor space. If you don’t want to deal with wiring, you can buy models that will plug into an existing electrical socket.
Although a sconce is much more common outside than it is inside, you can find indoor versions that you attach straight to your wall inside. Sconce by Anne Marie Peterson / CC BY-SA 2.0
7. Multiple Ceiling Lamps
If a single type of lamp isn’t enough to light the space, you can try installing more than one ceiling lamp along the room. This will give you all of the same benefits that you’d get with a traditional ceiling lamp, but it’ll be amplified. One of the biggest reasons people choose to go with more than one ceiling lamp is because they don’t eat into your floor space. You can have multiple ones without having to worry about tripping over them.
Installing this type of lamp allows you to plan alternate uses for all of your floor space without worrying about running out of room. You also won’t have trouble accessing this type of lamp whenever you need it because all you have to do is flip a switch and get all of the light you need to see and maneuver.
Some of these lamps feature a normal switch to operate them and others come with a pull cord. You can purchase different types, and it’s possible to find ones that work on a dimmer switch or setting. Being able to set the mood by adjusting the light is great in the living room.
If you want to add natural light in your room but you don’t have space for various types of flamps, a skylight is a decent option to consider. Living rooms aren’t usually the room where most people install them, but it makes a fantastic opportunity for you to have natural light filter into your living room and light up the space. At night, you can use it to gaze up at the stars and relax.
Installing your skylight usually isn’t a hugely difficult process either. However, you may want to go with a professional as you have to cut into your roof, and you want to make sure that you get a watertight seal. Also, there are many types of skylights to choose from. You can pick out a smaller skylight or a bigger one to allow you to see bigger portions of the sky.
Some skylights have a lot of appeal from an environmental perspective. You can find ones that run on solar power, and this can help the environment by making your carbon footprint smaller. A skylight that runs on solar power can close or open using the stored solar energy, and this is very convenient. You can also purchase skylights that work very much like a normal window that you put on your roof, so you have options to consider when you shop.
Wherever type of lamp you choose to go with, this option will add interesting visual appeal to your living room. You can also purchase ones with remote controls. This is great when you want to close it to keep the sun out of your eyes but you don’t want to get up and manually do so. They’re also very romantic, so consider it when you’re picking out the perfect type of lamp.
9. Standing Arc Lamp
Standing arc lamps have a very similar appeal to more traditional standing types of lamps. But, they have a very unique look to them. These lamps will stand directly on the floor, but they won’t stand completely straight up. As the name suggests, they have an arc in the form of a light that hangs over the top of your space. You can buy these types of lamps that are much taller, and this allows the light to hang several feet above your head when you sit down.
People like to put this type of lamp off to the side of the room beside their seating area to allow it to cast light without getting in the way. You can position it so it hangs over your couches or chairs. This gives you an immense amount of light while looking sleek and stylish. This isn’t a lamp that you’ll find in everyone’s home, so you can get a more unique feeling in your room by using it.
If you’re bored of using traditional types of lamps, a standing arc lamp is something that you want to seriously consider to add visual interest. The lamps have a fairly reasonable price tag attached to them, and they come in a huge range of styles. You can buy one that matches nicely with your current furniture or decorative accents in the room. Once you buy one of these types of lamps, you’ll get easy access to your light when you need it without taking up a huge amount of floor space.
Standing arc lamps are a nice way to be able to set your lamp out of the way while still getting the lighting you need in your space. Lamp by flrnt / CC BY-SA 2.0
10. Standing Lamps
Standing lamps are very popular when it comes to adding light to your room. If you want to have a lot of light, purchasing this type of lamp is going to make this possible without being in the way. Generally speaking, these lamps can get very bright. A big part of the brightness level is the type of bulb you decide to put it in, but it has the potential to really illuminate the space.
One of the nice aspects of buying this lamp is that they have a very large range of styles to them. You can find so many style choices when you start shopping that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are more ornate lamps that are gorgeous to look at, and they can help you create a focal point or conversation piece in your living room. No matter what your style is, there is a standing lamp to match.
In recent years, modern style types of lamps in this category have seen a huge rise in popularity. You typically see a lot of black metal or steel lamps that are very sleek. It’s also very common to get Victorian-inspired lamps that look wonderful with more classic decor. If you find the best lamp to fit your overall design aesthetic and space, it will add to the appeal.
If you want to use a few standing lamps, you should put effort into keeping the room looking balanced. Buying an even number of this type of lamp is going to be easier to keep the room looking symmetric. You don’t want the space to feel like it’s lopsided with too much light in one spot and too dark in the other. If you manage to properly balance the light in your living room, it’ll add visual appeal to the space.
The final option on the list isn’t actually a type of lamp. However, if you’re a big fan of natural lighting, this one is going to appeal to you. You have to have good windows to get a nice amount of light streaming in. Depending on where your living room is in your home, this will be impossible or simple. If there is already a window in the living room, you could consider adding in another window to the existing area.
Doing this will give space for more natural light to stream in when you open your blinds or curtains. Natural light has a completely different feeling from a lamp, and you’ll get a very warm glow. It can be a great idea to allow a little natural light to flood into your living room during the day, especially if you use it a lot.
The best way to go about getting natural light in your living room is to install bigger bay windows. This is a very wide window that allows a lot of natural light to come through into your space. This is also a very pretty window type that makes your home look a lot nicer. However, this isn’t going to be a cost-effective option. It also won’t help you with lighting the room up at night.
Also, you should consider getting a professional to come in and install your new windows for you rather than trying to do it yourself. It’s not something that a DIY enthusiast can safely do, and it can easily be too large of a project for the average person. You can find professionals that can design and install a window for you, but you will have to budget properly for it.
We’ve outlined 11 types of lamps or options that you can consider to help let light into the living room to make it more inviting. You can pick one or mix and match to get the perfect ambiance in your space to sit back and relax day or night.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.