overhead lighting suggestions please :)
mariaed
November 23, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi,

I like a bright room. This living room is too dark. I can't make it through another winter without more light. I want to add overhead lighting. I don't want it to obscure the view of the painting above the fireplace when you walk in the room . The room is 12x17.ft. I wondering one? or two? flushmount lights or maybe track. But I find track sort of ugly. I definitely don't want pot lights. I want something easy to keep clean.

I do not want to change the furniture arrangement. New furniture yes, arrangment no. The main room accent colour will be a rich red. There will be a leather sofa where the futon is (either red or brown). There will be a recliner chair where the folding chair is. The other chair will be reupholstered. I would like it to be relaxed living room. There will continue to be lamps where there are some now, just nicer ones....

I know you will want to give me suggestions to redo this entire room, but on this post, I'd love it if we could focus on overhead lighting suggestions. I promise to post again in future for comments on other elements :)
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Linda
Have you considered the mini LED can lights? Those are very unobtrusive and very functional. A single central fixture, or even two, will cast lots of shadows
November 23, 2013 at 6:45PM      Thanked by mariaed
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mariaed
These are three rooms I like to give you a better idea of my taste and where I'm trying to go. Sort of ecclectic, bright, comfy:
Living Room

Cozy Living Room

Halpin
November 23, 2013 at 6:45PM   
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mfwolfe
None of the rooms you posted have overhead lighting. They all have lots of light coming from outside. Sunshine through windows is something that cannot be replicated by lightbulbs. That said, I live in an area where the sun goes down really early in the winter and sometimes I feel like I should just give up and hibernate, so I know what you mean. From the pics that you posted your lighting looks pretty weak. Stronger lighting will do quite a bit without as much expense as having an electrician pull wire in order to install an overhead light system. Of course if you don't mind the cost or the mess go for it. To figure out how you want it done go to Amazon...or your local library....and find a book on interior lighting. There are a million wonderful ways to light a room and planning it is half the fun.
November 23, 2013 at 7:02PM        Thanked by mariaed
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mfwolfe
By the way, I love the painting. It deserves some lighting. We were going to go with track lighting for our paintings but went with spots in cans instead. Less distraction. But even tha t requires an electrician to be done correctly
November 23, 2013 at 7:05PM        Thanked by mariaed
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Judiwithani
Do you need more lighting at night/ day or both. How much light do you get from opening drapes during day. I just added a large pendant light in my LR, made all the difference. Also
can change light bulbs, go for amount of lumens the bulbs emit, this is where you get your
brightness.
November 23, 2013 at 7:19PM        Thanked by mariaed
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kimedge
I found this on Google - "According to lighting designer Randall Whitehead, the recipe for a successful lighting design is to mix four types, or layers, of light in every room of the house. The first layer is ambient light, indirect light that evenly illuminates rooms. This type of light includes natural light, pendants, and overhead fixtures. Next, spotlight your work areas with task lighting, which includes reading lamps and undercounter lights. Highlight the room's architecture with accent lights, such as track lights or adjustable recessed lights. The final layer is decorative lights, such as chandeliers and lamps. These lights make large rooms feel smaller."
So, you need something from the ceiling like you say, plus add recessed lights. Can I suggest recessed directional lights in the ceiling, plus two ceiling pendants in the room positioned so as not to block out your painting?

November 23, 2013 at 7:26PM        Thanked by mariaed
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mariaed
linda--what are can lights? Thanks for heads up on shadows. I didn't realize that.

mfwolfe--I with you with that feeling to hibernate. What do you suggest for lighting the painting? What is spots in cans? I have looked at so much lighting I am at a loss. I feel like my preference would be for something that doesn't get much attention. I can't decide whether to do one or two overhead fixtures...

judiwithani--just at evening/night or very dark days. Behind the curtains is huge west facing window. Light in afternoon. This time of year light is weak though up here.
November 23, 2013 at 7:26PM   
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mariaed
kim-- I appreciate all the tips and the photo too. Particularly as I've had a hard time finding good photos.
November 23, 2013 at 7:29PM   
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mariaed
Does anyone know if it's true that semi-flush provide more light than flushmount lights (even if same number and type of bulbs)? Someone at home depot told me that and I didn't know whether it was true...
November 23, 2013 at 7:31PM   
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mfwolfe
Sorry for not being clear. Cans are the recessed fixtures in the ceiling. Maybe you called them pots. You can put different kinds of bulbs in them. We put spot light bulbs to put the light on the painting rather than light the whole wall
Koi edge gave you the title of a great book. I think it was the one I read before I did our house.
November 23, 2013 at 7:32PM        Thanked by mariaed
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mfwolfe
That would be KIM edge
November 23, 2013 at 7:33PM      Thanked by mariaed
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mfwolfe
Have you looked at sconces?
November 23, 2013 at 7:35PM      Thanked by mariaed
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Pure Home
You have a very cozy family room! There is an easy solution for this that wouldn't involve installation. Here are some great examples that will illuminate your space while modernizing it- and you get the overhead light without the drill!

Happy Houzzing,

Andie P. , ASID
Interior Designer
Purehome.com

Zuo Modern Blazar Chrome Floor Lamp

Zuo Modern Spectral Chrome Floor Lamp
November 23, 2013 at 7:37PM      Thanked by mariaed
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jeff1185
To light your painting, you might consider LED strip (aka: tape) lighting.
http://www.ledworldlighting.com/ledstrip.html

Anyone have any experience with these? As I understand it, you could simple place a string of them along the back of your mantle. Something I'm considering to illuminate art over my fireplace.
November 23, 2013 at 7:40PM      Thanked by mariaed
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mariaed
mfwolfe--do not want to go with sconces in answer to your question.
It does sound like what we call pots here are what you call cans :)

Purehome--I thought about something like the second one but I was worried it would block the view of the painting.

Jeff1185--thanks for the link.
November 23, 2013 at 7:45PM   
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happyasaclam
I go into hybernation in winter too :) I think you would be happy with kimedge's and mfwolfe's suggestions. Adding spot and task lighting is the best way to increase the lighting you are asking for. Put each type on a different switch with dimmers so you can control where and how much light you want during different times of the day and in different seasons.
November 23, 2013 at 7:45PM        Thanked by mariaed
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kimedge
great idea, happyasaclam - I forgot dimmers!
November 23, 2013 at 7:51PM        Thanked by mariaed
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happyasaclam
kimedge and mwolfe, thanks for the Randell Whitehead reference! Your painting does deserve spotlighting, mariaed :)
November 23, 2013 at 7:54PM      Thanked by mariaed
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Linda
Is this a one story or a two story house?
November 23, 2013 at 8:02PM        Thanked by mariaed
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judet6
Take it from me, who just had LED lights installed, go for the smallest lights and low wattage! I
unfortunately trusted in my electrician and now will
have to spend extra $ to put in
another switch so I can control 2 lights at a time. Go to a lighting
store and do some research. I did
not do enough!
November 24, 2013 at 7:37AM      Thanked by mariaed
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dclostboy
Judet6, can't you just install a dimmer?
November 24, 2013 at 7:40AM        Thanked by mariaed
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mariaed
Linda-it's a split level. This is the living room and family room all combined in one. Off to the right of the fireplace is the dining room. The light green wall you see a bit at end of couch is the kitchen.

Judet6-thanks for the warning. I am very concerned about spending the $ only to find I've done the wrong thing. Expecially on the one flushmount vs. two as the ceiling is stucco and once those holes are drilled....

everyone--I definitely agree on the dimmer, and it was in the plan :)
November 24, 2013 at 1:49PM   
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graciel57
Mariaed, I had 1960's large fluorescent lights in my kitchen, and put in can lights last year. What a reduction in light! I hated it because the bulbs were slightly recessed with glass bottoms that shielded the bulbs from sight, but also blocked a huge amount of light. So I took the glass out of the bottoms and lowered the bulbs so they peaked out of the fixtures. The result is, a lot more light, but they don't look very nice with the exposed bulbs. Darned if you do, darned if you don't. I'm waiting to figure out where I go next. I just wanted to let you know about recessed/flush vs. something that allows real light. :) I'm with you, I want LOTS of light.

My one suggestion for you is to put in some switched outlets, so you have a batch of table lamps, or a floor lamp, and not have to fumble with each lamp to turn them off at night when you go to bed. One or two clicks at the wall and the lights are out.

Good luck!
November 24, 2013 at 2:01PM      Thanked by mariaed
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mariaed
What do you think of one central light on dimmer then another light on track parralel to fire place?
(I would get ones with matching gold/brass)
I don't love either track but anyways....
November 24, 2013 at 2:03PM   
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mariaed
Thanks Gracie--I'm with you , lots of light! My kitchen has lots of track lights. They are big, ugly and outdated but do the job well. Thanks for the idea of batching the table lamps.
November 24, 2013 at 2:06PM   
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