How To Best Light A Living Room Using No Overhead Light

best light a living room

How To Best Light A Living Room Using No Overhead Light

After what seemed like endless searching, you FINALLY found a place to call home. Whether you’re renting or bought a house, finding a place that is the right size, right location, and feeling like home has been an exhausting task. It’s late, and you’re unpacking one of the last boxes, and you realize… there aren’t any overhead lights. Ugh, how the hell did you miss this?!

But wait!!

Let’s stay positive! You may not have overhead lighting, but now you have the freedom to light your space the way you want to light it. This means you’re in control of how bright your room is, the function of your space, and overall, the personality!

How Not To Light A Living Room

Now I know I said freedom, but before you get carried away, there are a few ways to light your space that well, dare I say… should be avoided… at all costs. 

Related: Kitchen Lighting Tips and Trends You Should Know About

Battery-Operated Lights 

I’m all for saving money, and yeah, battery-operated lighting will save you a few bucks initially, but let’s be real, batteries are a pain in the ass! If you’re like me, I either have the wrong type of batteries or one less than I need. And replacing those batteries all the time can add up! But that’s not the only reason you should avoid battery-operated lights. As the batteries’ juice starts to fade, so does the brightness of your light! Then we’re back to square one! If your space lacks overhead lights, we need to make sure the lights we do use are going the extra mile.

LED Strip Lighting 

I hope you brought your sunnies because holy shit, talk about BRIGHT! And not in a good way… Okay, okay, maybe that’s a bold statement. But I promise there are better ways! A lot of the time, these LED strip lights are battery operated. We already know how annoying that option is. Also, we want to keep in mind the damage lights will do to your space. These strips usually come on sticky tape that destroys your walls or furniture. That means we can’t reuse or move around, and they are definitely not renter-friendly.

Ways To Illuminate Your Living Room Without Overhead Lighting

Now that we’ve covered what not to do let’s get to work. First things first- take in your space. How will you be using your space? Do you need a cozy space for movie nights and hanging out with family? Or a workspace with enough brightness during all hours of the night? Or maybe a combination? Whatever vibe you’re going for, we’ve got you covered!

Floor Lamps

One of the simplest ways to light up your space is using floor lamps. The height of a floor lamp helps illuminate more of your space, and different levels are pleasing to the eye. You’ll forget all about not having overhead lights! And they’re easy! Once you’ve chosen your lamp, you just put it where you want it! (Well… after assembly). You can move them around if you change your mind or decide to switch up the furniture layout! Floor lamps come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so let your style and personality shine!

Plug-in Pendant Light 

This is where you can fake it till’ you make it! Plugin pendant lights are the perfect solution to no overhead lights because they look like the real thing! Especially in a living room, pendant light can create a cozy and intimate vibe while also making a bold statement. The plugin pendant usually comes with a super long cord, so you can easily guide it from your outlet, up the wall, and across the ceiling. Depending on your style, you can either buy a plugin pendant as one piece or mix and match different shades! The options are endless!

If you are looking for someone to help you with decorative style, check out NESTRS!

Natural Light 

There is a reason Natasha Bedingfield sang, “let the sun illuminate the words that you cannot find.” The sun is your natural overhead light! Let’s use her! If your space allows, try to position furniture away from the window instead of against those walls. This will let the natural light fill the space.

For more on amplifying all that natural light, click HERE!

Related: How To Brighten Up Your Space With These Simple Tips

Table Lamps 

Remember when we talked about how you’re in control of the brightness of your space? This is where table lamps shine! Table lamps are the sprinkles on the cupcake, the way to add a little ~spice~ if you need a little bit more light, table lamp. A small light source for a cozy vibe, a table lamp. We know that sprinkles make our cupcakes prettier right? Well table lamps do the same! They are a functional decor item. You can easily add one to a sofa table, end table, desk etc., for a little light and a little spice.

Enhancing Your Lighting Solution

Choose Powerful Bulbs 

We know those edison bulbs are super cute and trendy, but when we’re in need of extra light we need to go big or go home. Know that LED or CFL will provide the brightest light, so if we need to compensate for a lack of overhead lights, these bulbs may be the right choice for you. (LED is the best eco-friendly option!) 

Edison bulbs aren’t the only trend you should avoid! Click HERE for more tips on what trends just aren’t worth your time!

Related: 9 Decorating Trends to Throw Out 

Set up a remote switch connected to a wall outlet 

I promise it sounds more complicated than it is! All you have to do is plug your light into an outlet with a remote technology plugin. Most of the time, the “remote” is actually your phone! If you crawl into bed and realize you left your new table lamp on in the living room, you can easily turn it off without ever having to leave the comfort of your bed! 


Remember, no overhead lights mean you now have the freedom to light your space the way you want to light it. Lighting can define your space, so use this as an opportunity to explore your style and play around with lighting options you’ve never tried before. After you use some of these options, you might completely forget about not having any overhead lights! 

Are you looking for more tips and insights on how to upgrade your home? Have a look at the Nestrs Blogs

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