How to Light a Living Room with No Overhead Lighting [A Quick Guide]

floor lamp in living room

It's late evening and you've just arrived home from work. You walk into your living room and notice that the only light you can see is coming from a lamp in the corner, and the rest of the room is shrouded in darkness. What can you do to brighten things up?

If you're like most people, your first instinct might be to reach for the switch on the wall and turn on the overhead light.

But what if there's no overhead lighting in your living room? Or what if you want to create a more intimate atmosphere by avoiding bright, harsh lights?

In either case, there are plenty of other options available to you. Here are six ways to light a living room when you have no overhead lighting.

Table lamps

Table lamps are a great way to add both light and style to your living room. They come in a wide variety of designs, so you're sure to find one that fits your taste. And, they're relatively inexpensive, so you can buy a few and place them around the room to create a well-lit space.

The best way to use table lamps is to place them on end tables or other surface areas around the room. You can also use floor lamps if you don't have any end tables. Just make sure the lamp is tall enough that it won't get in the way when people are walking around!

Cavelights Recommendation: Living Room Table Lamp

Wall sconces (wall lights)

Wall sconces (aka wall lights) are another great option for lighting your living room. They're especially helpful if you have a lot of wall space that you want to highlight. And, they come in a wide variety of designs, so you’ll never be lost for ideas!

When using wall sconces, it's important to position them at the right height. You don't want the light to be so high that it casts shadows on the wall, but you also don't want it to be so low that it's in people's way.

A good rule of thumb is to position the sconces about 60 inches from the floor.

Cavelights Recommendation: Glass Ball Wall Light


Your living room doesn't have to be well lit all the time. If you're looking for a more intimate atmosphere, candles are a great option. They can provide just enough light to create a warm and inviting space.

There are however a few things to keep in mind when using candles in your living room.

First, make sure they're placed in safe, sturdy holders. You don't want them tipping over and starting a fire. Second, be sure to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed. You don't want to wake up to a burning candle!

String lights

When most people think of string lights, they think of Christmas trees.

But, string lights can be used year-round to create a warm and inviting atmosphere in your living room. Hang them along the wall or drape them over furniture to add a touch of light and charm to the space.

To get the most use out of string lights, choose a type that can be plugged into an outlet. This way, you won't have to worry about batteries dying in the middle of the night.

Floor lamps

Minimalist Bird Floor Lamp in living room

As mentioned before, even if you don't have any end tables you can still use floor lamps to light your living room.

When shopping for a floor lamp, look for one with an adjustable neck. This way, you can position the light exactly where you need it. Also, be sure to choose a lamp that matches the style of your living room, as the last thing you need is a floor lamp that looks horribly out of place!

Cavelights Recommendation: Minimalist Bird Floor Lamp

Track lighting

Track lighting is a great way to add accent lighting to your living room.

Track lighting can be used to highlight architectural features or artwork on the walls, and also look great while doing so! 

When using track lighting, be sure to position the lights so they don't create any glare. You don't want people to have to squint when they're trying to watch TV or read a book.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few ideas for lighting your living room when you don’t want to use any overhead lighting. There are many other options available to you, so be creative and experiment until you find the perfect solution for your space.