7 small living room lighting ideas — as glowy as they are beautiful

These gorgeous small living room lighting ideas are perfect for brightening up your home. Our design experts weigh in

A small living room with a rainbow light, white couch, rug, coffee table, and a disco ball
(Image credit: @goldenhourabode)

Using small living room lighting ideas to make your space sparkle is always a smart idea. It can be used in a variety of ways to create a cozy ambience perfect for snuggling up in.

We've spoken with designers and lighting specialists to find out what you can do if you aren't blessed with a big room. No matter what size and shape you're working with, there's sure to be something to give you a 'lightbulb' moment.

Lighting is a key small living room idea, as it can really set the tone of the space throughout the day. These seven professional tips will spark inspiration and help you give your home a glow up.

Small living room lighting ideas

Outstanding small living room lighting ideas are one of the only things you need for a small living room to really come into its own, so it's worthwhile spending time getting the glow-up right.

As well as our pros' sparkling ideas, our experienced interiors writer has tracked down matching buys for these ideas, so you can start decorating as soon as possible.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Go for statement pendant lighting

A small living room with a white pendant light, a white couch, and a wooden coffee table

(Image credit: @domandecors)

If there are any small living room lighting ideas you should take away from this, it has to be getting your ceiling light right, as it’s a quick way to make a stylish impression.

“Introducing a focal point through statement pendants adds a touch of elegance and personality to a compact living room,” says Elizabeth Grace, interior designer and founder of Dream Home Making.

Elizabeth Grace, interior designer headshot
Elizabeth Grace

Elizabeth Grace is an interior designer based in New York. She currently works for both residential and commercial clients. Her passion drives her to create a platform to share her experience and facilitate her audience.

By opting for pendant lights with intricate designs or unique materials, Elizabeth says you can create an artful centerpiece, drawing attention upward and adding to the room's visual appeal.

When decorating a small space, making the most of every inch of what you have is always clever to do.

2. Change to dimmer switches

A moss green beaded pendant light in a semi-circle shape emitting a warm glow of light downwards

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

When you’re settling in for a movie night and want to be able to see your popcorn, you'll need a cozy light you can still check out your surroundings with without it interfering with the relaxed vibes.

“Using dimmer switches provides unparalleled control over the room's ambiance,” Elizabeth says. 

She continues, “This versatile addition allows occupants to tailor the brightness to suit various activities, whether it's creating an intimate atmosphere for gatherings or brightening the room for reading.”

The best thing about these is they aren’t too pricey to use, either. Amazon's bestselling Kasa smart dimmer switch is just under $20.

3. Choose versatile lighting

A neutral colored living room with a white couch and marble table

(Image credit: @aloftlife_)

It can be a struggle to know what small living room ideas to spend on — especially when you’re on a budget. 

The best way to get bang for your buck is to envision how many different ways you can use the light.

“I suggest opting for multi-functional lighting fixtures, such as a floor lamp you can also move to use as a reading light,” says Seymen Usta, interior designer and founder of Seus Lighting.

A picture of Seymen Usta, a man wearing a white shirt and blue trousers, sitting on a green couch
Seymen Usta

Seymen Usta is an interior design specialist and the founder of Seus Lighting — one of the largest home decor lighting retailers in Northern America.

He says this will maximize your available square footage, which is especially impactful for small living room lighting ideas that make your lounge look bigger.

4. Try out LED lighting

A cozy dimmed small living room with a TV, a TV stand, plants, wall shelving and a corner lamp on

(Image credit: @highboyla)

If you have corners of your living room a larger light won’t quite fit into, you could opt for smaller LEDs instead.

“Introducing LED lights can significantly alter the perception of a confined space, creating a more open atmosphere,” says Dara Greaney, CEO and founder of LED Light Expert.

A picture of Dara Greaney, a man with a beard wearing a gray blazer and white shirt, in front of a green background
Dara Greaney

Dara Greaney is the CEO and founder of LEDLightExpert.com, a lighting retailer. He is an expert in finding clever products and ideas that resonate with customers.

He adds, “Be mindful of the LED lights' color temperature — for example, cooler temperatures emit a natural sunlight-like atmosphere, increasing the overall brightness of the room.”

An easy way to do this is by using highly-rated LED lighting strips, such as the Tenmiro ones on Amazon with over 52,000 five-star reviews.

Place yours behind your TV to create a dynamic glow which doesn't disturb, pop them in your storage unit, or position along your mantlepiece.

5. Blending different light styles

A small living room with multiple light sources including side lamp, table candles and uplighting, a gray couch, a coffee table, and a large window

(Image credit: @highboyla)

One TikTok interior trend we love here at Real Homes is never ever turning on the big light. Instead #HomeTok says to use multiple lights throughout the space.

Dara explains, “Blend different lighting styles, including task-lighting lamps and accent string lights to add variety to the space and open up the entire room.”

Elizabeth adds utilizing a mix will create a harmonious interplay of light, lending versatility and mood enhancement to the space. How dreamy.

6. Use mirrors to enhance light

A living room being reflected by a large gold mirror

(Image credit: @aloftlife_)

It’s not just fixtures you can use to enhance the sparkle of your small living room lighting. “Recently, I employed a unique technique in one of my client's small living rooms — using mirrors to reflect natural light from the windows,” says Seymen.

He says this not only makes a small room appear bigger but also brightens up the space without adding any additional fixtures. If possible, place yours on or against a wall opposite a window to reflect the light. Boom — instant glow-up.

7. Add recessed lighting to the ceiling

A white ceiling with wooden beams, recessed lighting and decor underneath it

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Choosing modern living room ideas is a hot design trend at the moment, thanks to the quiet luxury movement.

Elizabeth says, “Embracing the sleekness of recessed lighting minimizes visual clutter while maximizing illumination. These fixtures discreetly integrate into the ceiling, delivering a clean, unobtrusive glow while highlighting key areas.”

For those who aren’t renting and able to renovate their homes to their liking, Sunco recessed lights on Amazon are easy to install and Amazon’s choice.


What are the best small living room lighting ideas?

The best small living room lighting ideas are using recessed light sources, LED lights, pendant lighting, mirrors, multiple light sources, dimmer switches, and versatile lights.

What small living room lighting idea should I use?

The one small living room lighting idea you should use is opting for a striking pendant light, as this will instantly elevate the style of the space and draw the eye upwards, which is a great vertical illusion to draw on in smaller spaces.

By being mindful of the different types of lighting in your living room and the placement of them, you can create a space to properly chill out in.

If you want to carry on brightening things up, our experts tips for lightening up a small living room will help enhance it further.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.