25 Ideas to Light a Living Room With No Overhead Lighting

Sep 5, 2022 | Home Guides, Lighting

Many homes face the challenge of not having enough light in their living room. If your living room is missing overhead lighting, you’ll need to develop alternative solutions to get the ambiance your space needs. In this article, we will look at how to light a living room with no overhead lighting. 

These solutions will help you get the lighting your space needs while also serving as a decorative piece to give your space character and style.

Plug-In Pendant

If you want the look of a light that hangs overhead, but you don’t want to go through the hassles and expenses of having a permanent fixture installed, consider a plug-in pendant light. 

With this type of lighting, you will need to hang a hook on the ceiling, ensuring the hook has the appropriate weight support for your chosen pendant. The downside of using this method is that the pendant cord will drape down from the ceiling and must be inserted into a wall plug for power. The best look is to place this light in a corner or along a wall out of the way.

Chandelier Sconce

If you’re looking for an elegant way to get lighting without taking up valuable floor space or having to hang hooks from your ceiling, a chandelier scone could be just the ticket item for your living room. 

You can pick any style of chandelier sconce to match your living room decor. All you need is something attached to the wall to hold your light fixture. When choosing the proper location for your chandelier sconce, you will need to be sure the light sticks out far enough away from the wall. 

Battery Lights

Another choice is to use battery lights. The great thing about this type of lighting is they run on batteries rather than power, saving you money on energy bills. And because they don’t need an electrical power supply, you can hook these up yourself, saving a ton compared to having a professional electrician install new lighting. 

The downside of this style is that most battery-powered lights aren’t as powerful as standard lighting. And depending on the frequency of use, you might have to replace the batteries frequently. Of course, if you don’t use rechargeable batteries (you should!), you’ll also face the costs of replacement batteries. 

Smart Bulbs

An excellent way to control the ambiance of your room with the perfect lighting is to use smart bulbs. These lights are an inexpensive way to get unique lighting without having to use expensive equipment.

So, what do smart bulbs do? These bulbs allow you to adjust the brightness and color to meet your needs – whether it’s reading a book, entertaining friends, or watching TV. Many smart bulbs not only turn different tones but also have dimmers. 

Floor Lamp With Multiple Bulbs

Floor lamps featuring multiple bulbs are a fantastic solution for living rooms with no overhead lighting. These lamps allow you to turn on one bulb for low ambiance lighting or turn on all the bulbs for brighter lighting.

Do use caution when choosing a lamp that holds multiple lights. Many bulbs can still generate heat, making a space too hot when numerous bulbs are heating up. Also, if your lamp is near furniture, you could end up feeling the heat put off when sitting in your seat trying to relax.

Chandelier Swag Light

Swag lights are the answer to situations where you want the look of a chandelier without the hassles of running a wire to connect the light. 

Enjoy the stylish look of a chandelier dangling from your ceiling by hanging a hook and then suspending your choice of swag light. If you want to hide the cord from the light to the outlet in the wall, there are wire covers – available at all electronic stores.

Spotlight Floor Lamp

Looking for a way to light up your entire space with one light? A spotlight floor lamp is a solution you need for your living room. 

There are multiple styles of floor lamps that can create the spotlight effect while still being stylish enough to match your living room decor. Picking a soft bulb ensures the lighting isn’t too harsh. Placement should be somewhere to light up all the desired areas without shining into people’s eyes.

String Lights

String lights are becoming a common sight of jazzing up outdoor living areas. But they’re also an excellent choice for living rooms that don’t have overhead lighting. 

You can hang string lights along the wall, dangling down to give the space a dim, soft, magical feel, or place them in your windows.


Sconces are great for living rooms where you don’t want to put anything on the ceiling but don’t want to take up floor space. These lights mount right to the wall, either hardwired into your house’s electrical or powered by plugging into a wall outlet.

This lighting type comes in a wide range of styles, including some options with a built-in table. Scones are the perfect addition to living rooms due to their versatile style and use.


Picking a lighting fixture that classifies as an uplight means that your lamp will direct light upwards from the bulb, rather than downwards, as ceiling lights do. 

Picking an uplight gives your room plenty of light and brightness, not to mention suburb style. You have a wide range of styles, from a large floor uplight or something space-saving, like a small table uplight.

Natural Light

Many people forget the best lighting source (during the day) by opening up the curtains and letting natural light shine through the windows. If you want to keep your curtains closed, look for light and thin types to allow in the most light.

In terms of expenses, natural light is the cheapest way to brighten up your living room. But you will need to consider alternative lighting solutions for times when it’s dark, preventing adequate lighting.  

Desk Lamps

If you have multiple areas within the living room that need lighting, desk lamps might be your lighting mate. This lamp style is smaller, saving space while fitting into areas where a table or floor lamp can’t.

Some suitable places to use desk lamps include fireplace mantels, desks, end tables, console tables, or entertainment centers.

Reflective Bowls And Vases

An excellent way to get the illusion of more light in your living room when you don’t have overhead lighting is to pick the proper decor pieces. 

Items with reflective surfaces can help bounce light around, making the room look brighter and directing light into areas with no light source. Bowls, vases, and lamps are great accessories to pick for more reflectivity.

LED Strips

LED strips are a fun, creative way to add lighting to your living room. These plastic strips have adhesive that allows them to stick to a surface, with a built-in button to turn them on or off. Some models have a remote.

You can pick strips with clear bulbs if you want standard lighting. Or you can find strips with bulbs in different colors. These types often have a variety of light patterns for colorful displays of lights. 

Floor Lamp With No Shade

If you want the most amount of light possible, consider a floor lamp, sans shade. Leaving the shade off gives you the total brightness of the bulb in all directions. Lamps with a shade direct the light downward and block the bulb’s full light effect.  

When using a lamp with no shade, you may want to give significant consideration to the style to ensure you pick a light that will look right in your space.

Hanging Edison Bulb

For an industrial or minimalist aesthetic, check out the stylish simplicity of a hanging Edison bulb. This style consists of the light bulb hanging from the cord, exposed – no fixture to hide it. 

Edison lights are similar to swag lights in that you hang this light from the ceiling and drape the cord down to plug into a wall outlet. This type of bulb gives you maximum light coverage, making it perfect for situations where you want a bright space.

Arc Lamps

A stylish way to brighten up your living room is to use arc lamps. These lights have long, tall stands that arc over to provide overhead lighting.

The exceptional height ensures there’s no risk of anyone hitting their heads when walking by. And the graceful curve gives any space a touch of elegance.  

Floor Lamp

Floor lamps are great for making a space feel cozy and well-lit. These lamps have a base that rests on the ground with a tall stand that elevates the light. 

You can find floor lamps in many styles, sizes, and materials, giving you plenty of choices. The most important thing to consider when using floor lamps is placement. Most lights will look best nestled into corners.

Tree Lamp

Tree lamps also rest on the ground with long stands like floor lamps. But the design of all tree lamps consists of multiple branches holding light fixtures. 

This style of lamp gives you the advantage of having light spread out, providing more coverage. But if you have limited space, a tree lamp might dominate the area. 

Pair of Table Lamps

An easy way to add a bit of dimension and contrast to your room using lighting is to use a pair of table lamps in different sizes on a large table. 

You can go with lamps that match or choose two different styles that complement each other while not matching. 

Flameless Candle Displays

Candlelight is an excellent choice for a cozy, dim ambiance. And with the vast selection available for candle displays, you have unlimited options regarding styles, materials, and the number of candles it will hold. 

Some displays will go well on tables or mantles, but you can also find wall-mounted kinds. Picking LED flameless candles gives you the nuance without the hassles and fire hazards of having multiple flames lit at once. You can even find some flameless candles that operate by remote control.

Window String Lighting

If you’re looking for a fun, unique way to give your room extra light without having it directed overhead, consider adding string lights to your windows. 

These twinkling lights give a sparkly illumination that’s perfect for reading, taking pictures, or watching TV without being too bright and distracting. 

Hanging Pendants

There are numerous styles of hanging pendants that you can use as an alternative to installing overhead lighting. However, hanging pendant light from the ceiling is the next best thing to the real deal. 

Similar to other lights we’ve discussed, you can hang a pendant light from a hook installed in the ceiling. You will need to reach the outlet with the cord, which may limit your light’s positioning. 

Wall Lights

Wall lights are a great alternative to overhead lighting. If you don’t have any already installed, you can pick up some wall lights that plug into an outlet. 

While you could add wall lights to all four walls to get light in all areas, doing so may cause the style to clash—instead, pair wall lights with another lighting, like floor or table lamps. 

Mirror With Light

Mirrors are a great way to give your area more light without having to use additional lighting sources. Placing a decorative mirror near a lighting source like a lamp or windows will help reflect the light, making space look brighter. 

Another option is to pick a mirror with lights built-in or attached to it. Using LED strips to form a border is a stylish and easy way to get more light coverage.


If you don’t have overhead lighting in your living room, there are multiple things you can do to give your room alternative sources that work just as well. We’ve given you 21 ways for how to light a living room with no overhead lighting. No matter your room’s space, nuance, or needs, you’re sure to find a style that works for you on this list.


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