9 High Ceiling Living Room Lighting Ideas That Make an Impact

August 15, 2023

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High ceiling living rooms have long been a desired feature. When we bought our home, it was one of the many aspects I immediately fell in love with. High ceilings make your home feel more open and spacious.

However, while high ceilings are very much on trend, they can also have their drawbacks. How do you light a room with that much open space? This can be a challenge.

But one that needs to be addressed. Lighting is one of the most important elements when it comes to interior design. Appropriate lighting can instantly change a room from cold and sterile to warm and inviting.

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Interior designers will tell you, lighting is one of the most important aspects in styling a room.

Great lighting brings depth, dimension and height to a space. Along with adding a sense of warmth and coziness. The right balance of light can draw attention to those areas of your room that you want to highlight.

But while we’ve established the importance of lighting, we’re now presented with a new challenge: finding the right lighting. Here to make it easy for you, I’ve compiled a list of 9 high ceiling living room lighting ideas.

High Ceiling Living Room Lighting Ideas

Maximizing Natural Light

I am so grateful for the huge floor to ceiling windows we have in our living room. With our super tall ceilings, these windows allow so much natural light to shine through. While I turn on a couple accent lights in this room everyday, there’s really no need for any overhead lighting until the evening.

High ceiling rooms often come with the challenge of adequate lighting. Maximizing natural light is key to creating a welcoming and well-lit space.

Living room with wooden beams; fireplace; and TV

Source: Markalunas Architecture Group

Installing large windows and skylights will bring in more natural light during the day. But that’s not a cheap project to take on.

A much less expensive option to maximizing natural light is changing the positioning of your furniture. By simply moving your furniture away from windows, you’ll allow the light to flow in freely. This will also allow the light to reflect off of your furniture, providing more natural light.

Selecting light-colored walls and reflective decor like mirrors or metallic accents will also enhance the amount of natural light in the space.

Statement Chandeliers

Statement chandeliers are a great way to light a living room with tall ceilings. This hanging light not only provides ample light but also becomes the focal point in the room.

Since chandeliers come in all sorts of styles and materials, it’s easy to find the right one to match your space.

What’s more, chandeliers are fantastic at directing attention to specific areas, like a gorgeous table setting or a captivating piece of art.

Circle light over a large living room with big windows for High Ceiling Living Room Lighting Ideas

Source: Swanson Homes

Adding a statement chandelier to your living room with high ceilings is sure to bring in elegance and the best lighting needed for your space. While still adding a touch of sophistication and glamour.

This stylish lighting solution remains a popular choice for most any high ceiling space.

Pendant Lights

When it comes to high ceiling living room lighting ideas, pendant lights, are a great alternative to chandeliers. A little less formal than chandeliers, pendant lights are a versatile and stylish lighting solution.

Perfect for making a bold design statement, they appear in several shapes and sizes. This makes choosing the ideal pendant for your design an easy process.

Sitting area with lots of seating and a fireplace

Source: JD Ireland Interior Architecture + Design

Whether you need focused task lighting or a gentle ambient glow, pendant lights have you covered. Moreover, they are fantastic for highlighting specific areas in your home, adding a touch of charm and functionality.

Track Lighting

Track lighting, on the other hand, offers flexibility in terms of placement and direction of light. It may be used to evenly illuminate the whole space or to draw attention to particular portions of the room.

Since track lights can be adjusted as needed, it’s an ideal choice for highlighting artwork or other decorative features. Both pendant lights and track lighting offer a modern and stylish approach to high ceiling living room lighting.

living room with large picture windows for High Ceiling Living Room Lighting Ideas; wood ceiing;

Source: Klima Architecture

Consider including them in your design to create an inviting and cozy atmosphere that is both functional and visually appealing.

Wall Sconces and Wall Washers

Wall sconces and wall washers are a great way to add lighting without taking up a lot of space. Another great choice for high ceiling living room lighting ideas.

Wall sconces are available in a variety of styles. They’re great for highlighting artwork or as accent lighting.

Wall washers cast light over a large area, perfect for illuminating a blank wall or creating an accent wall. They are also great for highlighting textured surfaces such as stone or brick walls.

Living room with a fireplace and tv; lots of seating

Source: KBG Design

Wall sconces and wall washers can be layered to create a tiered lighting effect in your living area. Once again, this offers functional as well as decorative illumination.

Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting, also called canned lighting, is the best way to light up high ceiling living rooms. Canned lights keep the space looking sleek and modern. While at the same time, being energy-efficient and durable.

Because these lights can really brighten a room, they add depth to the space. Unlike typical lighting fixtures, recessed lighting can be arranged in a variety of patterns. This gives homeowners the ability to customize and highlight key parts of the room.

Neutral living room with wall sconces for High Ceiling Living Room Lighting Ideas

Source: Stephanie Alegre Interiors

Furthermore, the light intensity in the high ceiling living area may be adjusted at the press of a button to suit different moods and events. Recessed lighting illuminates the room evenly and reduces the amount of unwanted glare produced by traditional light fixtures.

We have recessed lighting throughout our home and have, over time, changed out our regular bulbs for smart bulbs.

This is a great alternative to a room that doesn’t have a dimmer switch. With the ease of your phone, you can adjust every little detail of these lights. So many great features.

Floor and Table Lamps

Floor and table lamps are also excellent lighting options for a big living area with a high ceiling. While creating a warm and cozy atmosphere, lamps provide additional light sources to a room. With their versatile designs, they can also add a decorative touch to your interior space.

Floor and table lamps offer a greater degree of flexibility than wall or hanging lights. You can place them anywhere you need them.

Place a task lamp next to a chair or sofa. Wherever you tend to do a lot of reading from. Small table lights are great for accentuating open shelving.

Living room/kitchen open concept with 2 lamps on a sideboard table for High Ceiling Living Room Lighting Ideas

Source: Kennedy Cole Interior Design

A room without ambient lighting can feel cold and sterile. Adding floor and table lamps with your overhead lighting is a great way to create a layered lighting look. It’s amazing the warmth you can bring into a room with this simple touch.

Lighting Control Systems

Lighting control systems are also known as smart lighting. This system allows you to program your lights to turn on and off at a certain time each day.

It enables you to be very specific with the brightness and intensity of your lighting. And the best part, once all of the options are set, you never have to mess with it again.

living room with a Blue wall; ceiling fan and lots of seating

Source: Lace and Grace Interiors

With smart lighting, you can program your lights to resemble the natural lighting of the outdoors. Furthermore, lighting control systems save energy since they may be programmed to switch off after a specific amount of inactivity.

With these benefits, lighting control systems offer a sleek and modern solution for high ceiling living room lighting that is both convenient and efficient.

​Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan is an excellent choice for high ceiling lighting in a living room due to its dual functionality. Not only does it provide effective air circulation and cooling during hot summer months, but it also serves as a source of ambient lighting.

By incorporating a ceiling fan with built-in lighting fixtures or the ability to accommodate light kits, you can maximize the functionality of your high ceiling space.

Living room; large windows; lots of seating; ceiling fan for High Ceiling Living Room Lighting Ideas

Source: Translations Design Studio

Additionally, ceiling fans with adjustable speed settings and dimmable lights offer control over both air circulation and lighting intensity. This allows you to create a comfortable and well-lit environment in your living room.

High ceilings in living rooms offer a sense of openness and spaciousness. However, they pose challenges when it comes to lighting. It’s important to find the right lighting solution to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

FAQ’s: High Ceiling Living Room Lighting Ideas

​What is a good height for a living room ceiling light?

According to Shades of Light….If you have standard eight- or nine-foot ceilings, the bottom of your chandelier should fall roughly 84″ from the floor. For tall ceilings, add three inches to this number for every extra foot of ceiling height past nine feet.

What type of light bulbs are best for a living room with high ceilings?

It’s best to choose a warm light. Something in the range of 2700K to 3000K is perfect for a tall ceiling living room. Opt for high lumen bulbs that have a broad beam. High lumen bulbs are known for being extra bright.

Should you have overhead lighting in a living room with tall ceilings?

It’s best to incorporate a layered lighting effect in a living room with tall ceilings. For example: an overhead light such as a chandelier; a couple wall sconces; and a few accent lamps. This set-up will create warmth and dimension in a room.

It’s a good idea to have your overhead lighting on a dimmer switch. This allows you the opportunity to turn the light down. Which in turn, helps to eliminate the harshness that an overhead light can emit.

Depending on how the room is being used, it also gives you the option of turning off the overhead lighting all together. While still allowing you to have lighting throughout the room through these other sources.

family room with lots of seating and an entertainment center

Source: RCL Development

What ceiling lights are on trend currently?

According to Ideal HomeExaggerated lighting can inject some fun into home decor ideas. Many are embracing the ‘bigger is better’ approach when it comes to floor and ceiling lights. Domes, cones and globes will continue to be a noticeable feature in contemporary designs.

What type of lighting will provide the most sufficient amount of light for a high ceiling living room?

​Canned lighting (also called, recessed lighting) will light up a room better than any other light source. With canned lighting, you can arrange the lights in such a way as to provide thorough lighting throughout the room.

If canned lighting is not an option, the next best choice would be a chandelier or a ceiling fan. Choose one that has several lights within it to provide the most optimal lighting for the room.

Be sure to always have a dimmer switch for any overhead lighting. As overhead lighting can be very harsh. It’s nice to have the option to turn it down when the bright light is not needed.

How can you incorporate the rule of thirds in lighting?

The rule of thirds in lighting is about placing light fixtures at specific points in a grid divided into nine parts. This creates balance and visual interest.

You can use this rule to position main lights, highlight important areas, create layers of lighting, group fixtures, and place wall washers or grazing lights. Remember to adjust the rule to fit your space. By following this guideline, you can achieve a visually appealing and well-balanced lighting design.

What wall color will make a vaulted ceiling living room feel brighter?

To make a vaulted ceiling living room feel brighter, choose light wall colors that reflect more light. White walls, off-white, light gray, pale pastels, beige, or light taupe are good options.

Consider using light-reflective paints or finishes. Test paint samples to see how they interact with the room’s lighting conditions.

High Ceiling Living Room Lighting Ideas with a hanging light; sitting area and a tv over fireplace

Source: Pure Salt Interiors

What is the best kind of lighting for a coffered ceiling?

For a coffered ceiling, popular lighting options include:

  • recessed lights
  • cove lighting
  • pendant lighting
  • chandeliers
  • spotlights or track lighting

By combining all of these together, you can create depth and texture to a room.

Give me a list of lighting ideas to consider in a living room with high ceilings.

You got it! Here is a list of lighting ideas that would work in a room with high ceilings:

  • chandelier
  • pendant lights
  • wall sconces
  • track lighting
  • recessed lighting
  • floor lamps
  • table lamps
  • accent lamps
  • cove lighting

What is cove lighting?

Cove lighting is also referred to as wall washers or wall lights. It’s a form of uplighting. Usually built into a ledge. Used to accent a wall or ceiling.

Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!

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More Design Posts to Check Out:

The Best Lighting Tips and Ideas for a Home Office Space

Exploring Different Kitchen Styles to Find the Right One

37 Trending Kitchen Accent Wall Ideas and Inspiring Design


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