This living room light is the perfect solution to a dark room with low ceilings. Yes! You can still install a statement light in your living room with 8 foot ceilings.
Our dark living room was in desperate need of bright light. With low ceilings (8 foot ceilings), what are the best options? After a long search, I’m so happy with our choice.
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Our living room only gets morning sunlight and has an 8 foot ceiling. While it fits our home’s cozy modern cottage style, it is lacking in the light department.
Especially in the evening, most of the room feels dark. There is only one wired ceiling light, located directly in front of our german smear brick fireplace. When we moved in, a single recessed light was installed in that location.
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As much as I would have loved to replace it with a dramatic chandelier (it would be the centerpiece of our living room!), our 8 foot ceilings are too low for that option.
How to Choose a Living Room Light for Low Ceilings
Types of Living Room Lights
So, how do you light a living room with a low ceiling? Lighting a dark living room that has low ceilings will involve several types of lighting solutions.
Wall Sconces: We installed a pair of sconces over our couch for reading light. The sconces light downwards, and primarily act as reading lights, but still help brighten the room.
Note: If you’re in the market for wall sconces, I also recommend these glass sconces and these modern black sconces that we have elsewhere in our home.
Floor or Table Lamps: We have a pair of antique lamps sitting atop a buffet at one end of our living room. These two lamps provide a lot of light on that end of the room, but not enough for the entire living room.
Similarly, there is a floor lamp next to a chair. While it provides some light in that corner of the living room, it is still primarily for reading.
Ceiling Lighting: The benefit of ceiling lighting, in addition to the above two lighting types, is that it is overhead. Both sconces and lamps are generally at eye level, or below. While those solutions are ideal for reading and cozy ambiance, they generally aren’t effective at lighting an entire room.
Therefore, it’s important to select a living room light for your ceiling that is bright enough to provide light throughout the room.
Living Room Ceiling Lights for Low Ceilings
In order to select a ceiling light for a living room with low ceilings, you’ll want to ask yourself several questions.
What size should the living room light be? Add the length and width of your living room together. Once you’ve found the total, change the unit of measurement to inches. Select a light that is approximately that size.
For example, our living room is 20 feet long and 12 feet wide. The total is 20 feet + 12 feet = 32 feet. Then change the unit of measurement to inches, which makes it 32 inches. Therefore, we selected a light fixture which was approximately 32 inches.
How many light bulbs should be on a living room light? Lights come in all shapes and sizes. Some living room lights will only have a few bulbs, other lights will have many more.
In our case, we have a long living room that is fairly dark. Therefore, we selected an 8 bulb semi-flush mount fixture to provide plenty of light.
Note: If our light is out of stock, here are two more options in black and gold finishes.
Tip: If you want plenty of bulbs but are concerned it could be too bright, try low wattage bulbs. For example, we use 40 watt bulbs in our light.
What types of lights work with low ceilings? In general, both flush and semi-flush lighting will work with a standard 8 foot ceiling. As long as the semi-flush light does not hang more than 1 ft from the ceiling, it should be suitable.
Any semi-flush light that is less than a 1 foot drop from the ceiling is still over 7 feet in the air (when hung from an 8 foot ceiling).
Still, my preference is to select semi-flush lights that have an 8 inch or less drop from the ceiling.
Q: Which light bulb is good for living rooms?
A: I prefer GE Relax light bulbs for a living room. For our living room light, I selected clear globes in 40 watt.
Q: Why did I use a black ceiling medallion with our living room light?
A: We need a ceiling medallion because the opening in our ceiling (for the electrical box) is larger than the base of the light. If we did not install a medallion, we would have to patch the ceiling.
Personally, I also like the look of ceiling medallions (I now wish we had used one in our dining room even though it wasn’t necessary to cover the hole in the ceiling). We selected black because the living room has black and gold finishes.
Semi-Flush Living Room Light for Low Ceilings
Finally, let’s enjoy a few beauty shots of our new light! The mid-century style clear globes, gold finish, and black ceiling medallion tie in well with our eclectic living room, which features a mix of old and new decor elements.
I love how the light reflects in the mirror above the mantel, both when the light is off and when it is on.
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