The living room is the heart and soul of every family home. It's where you go to relax, entertain guests, play video games, watch a movie, read a book and listen to music. With so much happening, it's important to get your living room lighting spot-on. First and foremost, it needs to be versatile, allowing you to create the perfect atmosphere for any occasion. Living room lighting needs to be welcoming too – after all, it's where your friends and family congregate most often. So, let's get started with your guide to LED living room lighting.
The benefits of LED lighting for your living room
Let's get back to basics. Why should you choose LED lighting for your living room? Firstly, it's very cheap to run. In fact, LED lighting will cost you 90% less to run than halogen equivalents, because it consumes 90% less energy while producing the same amount of light. And because it consumes so little energy when compared to traditional equivalents, it's a lot kinder to the environment, so your carbon footprint will be lower. LED lighting is versatile too, with an array of different colour tones to choose from that you can't get from halogen or incandescent bulbs. They also last a lot longer than traditional bulbs. Halogen bulbs are only made to give you 2,000 hours of service, while LED bulbs last up to 25,000 hours – which is 15 years based on average use.
Finding the perfect LED lighting for your home
LED colour temperatures
As mentioned before, LED lighting is capable of casting different shades of light to create different atmospheres. These are also known as colour temperatures
. Colour temperatures are measured in Kelvins. The higher the Kelvin rating, the cooler the shade of white light cast. The four main colour temperatures available are; very warm white, warm white, daylight and cool white.
When people are creating lighting plans for their living room, they tend to opt for warmer colour tones that create a relaxing ambience. Of course, if you have a modern living room, you might want to go for a cooler shade of light that's more complementary to contemporary surroundings. A lot of people also choose cooler tones for task lighting in areas you need to concentrate – so if you work in your living room you might go for a cooler tone to help you keep focused.
LED beam angles
Another great thing about LED lighting is that you can choose different beam angles. There are a number of beam angles to choose from, ranging from a narrow 36° to a very wide 240°. The rule of thumb is: the wider the beam angle, the greater light coverage you'll receive below; while the narrower the beam angle, the more focused the light will be. With this in mind, it's best to fit bulbs with wider beam angles in the centre of your living room, and narrower beam angles in areas where you need focus – such as reading areas and work stations.
The most popular type of LED living room light fittings
can be used anywhere in the home effectively, not just the living room. They're modern, stylish and are available in a range of different beam angles.
LED bulbs are now available in all standard fittings, including Edison (E14, E27) and Bayonet (B22, B15). So, if you've got a wall lamp or ceiling shade, the humble bulb will work just fine, while saving you a pretty penny too.
LED filament bulbs
LED filament bulbs
are rapidly becoming a part of the interior designer's toolkit, and a lot of this is down to a renaissance in industrial style from late 19th century and early 20th century. These beautiful bulbs – which feature an exposed filament glimmering from a central pillar - used to only be available in traditional incandescent-form, and while they would burn brightly, they also consumed copious amounts of energy. That's all changed now. Filament-style bulbs are now available with LED technology, so you can get that authentic-look, while still saving money on your energy bills. Win win!
Most LED lights, including the aforementioned spotlights, bulbs and filament bulbs, are dimmable. This really lets you set the perfect ambience, whether you're entertaining guests, watching a film or having a romantic night in.
As Smart Home technology – most notably the likes of Amazon's Alexa – soars in popularity, it was only a matter of time until LED lighting got in on the act. That's where the Philips Hue lighting system
comes into play. Through the Philip Hue app, you can: • Control your living room lighting remotely • Dim lights from the palm of your hand • Control up to 50 bulbs from one area • Set-up motion sensor technology • Choose from 16 million shades of light It all works from one central area – the Philips Hue Bridge - which you connect up like you would a router. You then download the intuitive app to give you complete control of the lighting throughout your home. It really is that easy.