how to choose a lamp for living room

9 Main Tips on How to Choose a Lamp for Living Room

Choosing the perfect lamps for your living room can be a delightful experience. Not only does it add to the aesthetic appeal, but it also serves a functional purpose by illuminating your space. If you’ve ever wondered how to choose a lamp for living room, you’re in the right place. In this blog post, I’ll share nine main tips that will guide you in selecting the ideal lamp for your living room. Let’s dive right in!

How to Choose a Lamp for Living Room

1. Determine Your Lighting Needs

reading book nook in living room

Before you start browsing lamps, think about what kind of lighting you need. Do you need a lamp for reading, general illumination, or to highlight a specific area or feature? For instance, I love curling up with a good book in the evenings, so I needed a lamp that provides focused light for reading. Task lighting is perfect for such activities. On the other hand, ambient lighting can make your living room feel warm and inviting, while accent lighting can highlight your favorite pieces of art or architectural features.

2. Consider the Room’s Size

measuring room size for lamp

The size of your living room plays a crucial role in deciding the type of lamp you should choose. In a large living room, a single small lamp might get lost and fail to provide adequate light. Conversely, an oversized lamp in a small space can feel overwhelming and cluttered. I once bought a beautiful, large floor lamp for my tiny apartment living room, only to realize it dominated the space and made it look cramped. So, measure your room and think about scale when selecting your lamp.

3. Match the Lamp Style with Your Decor

Your lamp should complement your existing decor to create a cohesive look. If your living room is modern, go for sleek, minimalist lamps. If it’s more traditional, look for lamps with classic designs and intricate details. I have a mid-century modern living room, so I opted for a lamp with clean lines and a brass finish. It ties the room together perfectly. Remember, the lamp is not just a light source but also a decorative piece that adds to the overall ambiance.

4. Choose the Lamp Right Size

Getting the size right is essential. A lamp that’s too large can overwhelm the space, while one that’s too small might not provide enough light. When choosing a table lamp, consider the size of the table it will sit on. A good rule of thumb is to choose a lamp that’s about one-third the size of the table. For floor lamps, ensure they don’t dwarf your furniture. In my living room, I have a low coffee table, so I picked a table lamp that’s proportionate, ensuring it looks balanced and aesthetically pleasing.

5. Pick the Appropriate Lamp Height

measuring lamp height in living room

The height of the lamp is just as important as its size. The bottom of the lampshade should be at eye level when you are seated. This prevents glare and ensures you get the best light distribution. I learned this the hard way with a lamp that was too short; the light was too focused and didn’t spread well. Adjustable lamps are a great option if you’re unsure about the height, as they allow you to modify it according to your needs.

6. Consider Adjustable Lamps

Speaking of adjustable lamps, they are incredibly versatile and practical. They let you direct light exactly where you need it, whether for reading, working, or creating a cozy ambiance. I have an adjustable floor lamp next to my reading chair, and it’s perfect because I can angle the light right onto my book without straining my eyes. Plus, adjustable lamps often come in sleek, modern designs that can enhance the look of your living room.

7. Choose the Right Bulb

The bulb you choose can significantly affect the lighting quality and the atmosphere of your living room. LEDs are a popular choice because they are energy-efficient and long-lasting. However, they come in various color temperatures, which brings me to the next point. I personally prefer warm white bulbs (2700K-3000K) because they create a cozy, inviting atmosphere. Make sure to check the lumens as well to ensure the bulb provides enough brightness for your needs.

8. Pay Attention to Color Temperature

Color temperature is crucial in setting the mood of your living room. Warmer temperatures (2700K-3000K) create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere, while cooler temperatures (3500K-4100K) are better for task lighting as they provide a brighter, more focused light. I once made the mistake of using a cool white bulb in my living room, and it felt more like an office than a cozy home. Switching to a warm white bulb made a huge difference, making the space feel much more comfortable and inviting.

9. Energy Efficiency

Lastly, consider energy efficiency when choosing a lamp and bulb. Energy-efficient lamps and bulbs not only reduce your electricity bills but also have a lower environmental impact. Look for lamps with the ENERGY STAR label or choose LED bulbs, which use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. I’ve switched most of my home lighting to LEDs, and not only do they save energy, but they also last much longer, meaning I have to replace them less frequently.


Choosing the right lamp for your living room involves more than just picking a design you like. By considering your lighting needs, the room’s size, the lamp’s style, size, and height, as well as bulb type, color temperature, and energy efficiency, you can find a lamp that not only enhances your decor but also provides the perfect lighting.

Remember, the key to how to choose a lamp for living room is to think about both functionality and aesthetics. Take your time, consider your options, and you’ll find the perfect lamp that brings both light and life to your living room.


What light level should a living room be?

The light level in a living room should typically be between 1,500 and 3,000 lumens. This range provides a comfortable amount of brightness for general activities such as reading, socializing, and watching TV. For task-specific areas, like a reading nook, you might need additional focused lighting. It’s essential to balance the light to avoid creating harsh shadows or overly bright spots.

Is it better to have warm or cool light in the living room?

Warm light is generally better for a living room. Warm light, which is typically between 2700K and 3000K, creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making it ideal for relaxation and socializing. It mimics the natural light of a sunset, which is calming and pleasant. Cool light, on the other hand, tends to be more energizing and is often used in workspaces or areas requiring high concentration, so it’s not typically recommended for living rooms.

Is bright white or daylight better for the living room?

Bright white light and daylight both have their uses, but for a living room, bright white light is often preferable. Bright white light, usually around 3000K to 4000K, offers a good balance between warmth and clarity, making it suitable for general living room activities. Daylight bulbs, which are around 5000K to 6500K, can be too intense and may make the room feel more like an office or clinical environment. Therefore, bright white light is a better choice for creating a comfortable and versatile living space.

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Hi! I'm Edmundas, a devoted minimalist and expert in making the most out of small spaces. Through years of experience in interior design and innovative space-saving solutions, I've mastered the art of transforming compact areas into functional, stylish havens. Here at GotinySpace, I share my insights and tips to help you embrace a simpler, more organized lifestyle. Join me on this journey to discover how less can indeed be more.

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