6 Stylish Ways to Illuminate Your Living Room with Wall Lights

When you’re looking to level up the ambiance or add depth to the décor, put the lighting on the wall. Stylish wall lights can complete the living room lighting design. Wall lighting for living rooms can offer additional illumination, accent artwork and architectural features, provide task lighting where needed, and serve as a decorative feature. The right wall light can make a small living room feel bigger, and a large living room feel cozier. In addition, wall lighting can add instant impact and a fancy feel to the living room.

How Do I Choose Wall Lights for My Living Room?

Choosing a wall light for your décor should start with what it needs to do –accent, task, or ambient lighting – and then where it needs to be placed. For instance, a reading or task light will need to offer direct lighting and be placed near a sofa or chair. Is the goal weighted to utility or decoration? The result is lighting that adds style and functionality to the space in which it resides.

Kuzco Lighting Magellan 40 Inch LED Wall Sconce

Not your typical wall light, the sleek, ultra-modern Kuzco Lighting Magellan 40 Inch LED Wall Sconce puts direct lighting right where it is needed. The stunning black finish turns it into an elegant statement piece, and the direct downlight it provides makes it highly functional.

Classic choices include neutral metals, and there is a wide variety of wall lights ranging from vintage-inspired to sleekly contemporary and in just about every finish and style. There is no hard and fast rule that says your wall lights must match your chandelier, so mixing finishes or styles can create a bespoke designer look and feel.

Arti 18 Inch Wall Sconce and Wells 45 Inch 15 Light Chandelier by Hinkley Lighting

While the Wells 45 Inch 15 Light Chandelier by Hinkley Lighting draws all eyes to the center of this living room, the Arti 18 Inch Wall Sconces by Hinkley Lighting highlights architectural features and the special pieces on the shelves. Downlights are great for hard-to-light areas and bring attention to features that may otherwise go unnoticed. Arti wall lights are available in many sizes and finishes that go with many lighting styles.

Tech Lighting Sean Lavin Joni 16 Inch LED Wall Sconce and Lody 48 Inch 20 Light LED Chandelier

This airy Lody 48 Inch 20 Light LED Chandelier brings a sense of fun to this design. The aged brass finish matches the pair of Joni 16 Inch LED Wall Sconces perfectly, and their contemporary design beams illumination downwards and upwards, providing a gentle glow throughout the space.

There are a plethora of choices that blend style and function. To narrow down the options, consider whether the wall lights should blend into the décor or become a focal point.

Where Should Wall Lights Be Placed in a Living Room?

While wall lights can be decorative, they are also crucial layered lighting components that add beauty and utility to overall design schemes. When placed in the right spot, they can add a sense of elegance and sophistication to living room lighting and décor. Wall lights can add drama along with needed illumination. In rooms with high ceilings, wall lights can be installed up high, adding to the ambient lighting in the space. If used as reading or task lighting, they should be installed lower and closer to the area they are intended to light. When used to highlight artwork or architectural features, they should be brighter than the surrounding ambient lighting.

Types of Wall Lights

While there are many styles of wall lights to choose from, there are just a handful of basic types to become familiar with.

Uplights send a wash of light up the wall adding accent lighting and atmosphere to the space.

Downlights send a wash of light downward to illuminate the area below to bring attention to a special feature or for practical lighting.

Reading/task shed bright light directly below and may have adjustable components to direct the light better.

Picture lights/spots are used to draw attention to pictures and artwork.

Keep in mind that some wall lights are both uplights and downlights, so they offer the best of both types of lighting. While some wall lights are bright enough to offer ambient light for an entire room, this is not usually the case. Installing many wall lights around the living room or as a focal point is a dramatic and beautiful configuration.

@alannadunn, photography by @philcrozier

Hudson Valley Lighting Garfield 15 Inch LED Wall Sconce

Picture lights bring out the best in the art they highlight, drawing attention to the art itself without stealing the show. The Hudson Valley Lighting Garfield 15 Inch LED Wall Sconce does precisely that. It adds intrigue and character to a room without overwhelming the art below it.


Hudson Valley Lighting Nyack 19 Inch Wall Sconce

In the living room, a pair of Hudson Valley Lighting Nyack 19 Inch Wall Sconces flank the fireplace, creating a captivating focal point that is perfectly proportional. The wall lights make a stunning statement and add ambient lighting around the mantel-less fireplace. Light flows both directly through the shade and indirectly through the perforations in the cap.

Trillium 32 Inch Wall Sconce by Regina Andrew

Wall lighting can be a work of art, creating a captivating focal point that draws all eyes. The Trillium 32 Inch Wall Sconce by Regina Andrew provides elegant accent lighting with a ton of glam. Each branch is cast and gilded with a natural brass finish, creating all-eyes-on-me drama in this elegant living room. The space comes alive in the warm glow of the gilded leaves and natural linen shade.


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