Why Don’t Apartments Have Lights in the Living Room?

why dont apartments have lights in the living room

Many apartments lack overhead lighting in the living room. This is because it’s not a legal requirement for builders to add switch-controlled lighting to the living rooms of homes.

Fortunately, you can easily bring in more light in your living room by implementing several different techniques. For example, you can use wall sconces or table lamps to create a layered look.

Natural Light

Lighting has a huge impact on how we feel in our living spaces. It is important to choose the right bulbs and dimmers. Choosing smart or LED bulbs with a low environmental impact will also help. These bulbs can be controlled with your phone or voice to set the mood and control energy use.

Using natural light to brighten your apartment is easy and inexpensive. Consider painting your walls in lighter colors and choosing furniture with a glossy finish to reflect the sunlight. It is also important to keep windows clean, as they often collect dust and film. Ask your building manager to clean them a few times a year.

Layering multiple lights in your living room, especially wall sconces and floor lamps, can make a difference. This will improve the look of your apartment and create a cozier atmosphere. Try choosing bulbs that change color from cool to warm to create a flexible environment that will adapt to different moods or times of day. Adding plants and nature images to your space will add a natural feeling that will make the room feel more open.

Electrical Candles

Often, apartments have a few recessed or overhead light fixtures in the bedrooms, but living rooms typically aren’t required to have them. That’s a blessing in some ways, as it gives you the opportunity to create your own lighting plan for this room.

For instance, you could add a table lamp or pole lamps, or even a floor lamp to illuminate the space with a soft glow that’s more inviting than stark overhead light. You could also use battery-operated flameless candles or decorative lamps to fill the room with a dreamy ambiance when the sun goes down.

You can also use smart bulbs to change the mood of your living room with a few clicks. They’re a fun way to bring a new aesthetic to this room without breaking the bank or having to deal with installing new fixtures.

Smart Bulbs

Smart bulbs are a quick, affordable way to convert regular light fixtures into ones that can be controlled with an app and voice commands. They work with any standard socket and offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to color, brightness, and scheduling options.

You can create different lighting scenes – such as ‘Working’ and ‘Relaxing’ – to switch the brightness of your lights to suit the time of day and the mood you’re in. For example, you can switch the light to a bluer shade during the day to help you concentrate and a warmer one at night to prepare you for sleep.

When shopping for smart bulbs, it’s important to choose ones that work with your preferred smart home platform. You’ll want to check that the bulb you’re buying has a compatible companion app and is supported by your chosen voice assistant and/or smart display. You’ll also want to ensure that any smart lights you purchase support the same scheduling features – such as geofencing – as your other devices in the house.

Window Treatments

If your apartment lacks overhead or recessed lighting, you can still bring natural light into the living room. Layering multiple light sources, such as lamps and wall sconces, can dramatically increase the coziness of a room and allow you to adjust the brightness for different moods or times of day.

You can also add window treatments to a room to filter light and provide privacy. For instance, a hygge-inspired family room designed by Interiors by Popov included an olive-toned roman shade at the bottom of the window to frame the view while blocking out unwanted sunlight that could interfere with watching TV.

If you’re at street level, you might need privacy more than a home on a higher lot, so you may need thicker or darker window treatments to prevent passersby from peeking inside your living room. Using a curtain rod and sheers can be an inexpensive, easy-to-install way to dress up windows. You can also hang a piece of fabric on your window sill to block out glare without blocking out the view.

String Lights

While many people equate string lights with a childish aesthetic, it’s actually easy to use them in ways that are sophisticated and elegant. There are plenty of options on Pinterest and Instagram that show how to incorporate them into a room in a way that looks like a work of art rather than a college dorm.

If your apartment doesn’t have a ceiling light fixture, consider adding one. This will make the space feel bigger and brighter, and it’s also a great way to draw attention to a focal point. You can also hang them on the wall and display pictures or other objects.

Another good option is to add lighting outside your home. This can deter criminal activity and also make your house feel more welcoming to guests. You can highlight a garden, porch, or patio to really make the area stand out.


Lighting is one of the most overlooked design elements, especially when you’re relying on natural light. Effective lighting can transform a room by defining space, highlighting your furniture and design schemes, and creating atmosphere and interest.

Decorative mirrors can also make a huge impact on living room designs. They reflect both natural and artificial lighting to make rooms brighter during the day and night. They can even create the illusion of more windows. Try mirrors that are framed with ornate or textured finishes to add more visual interest.

Mirrors can also be used to highlight pieces of art or other wall decor that may not be well-lit on their own. For example, leaning a piece of art against a mirror can create more depth and accentuate the shape and color of the artwork. You can also use mirrors to enlarge your dining or living room spaces. For a more modern touch, opt for mirrored geometric shapes that are less traditional and have a sense of contemporary style. Hang them unevenly or in clusters for a gallery-wall effect, or go for a more symmetrical look with larger matching mirrors.

Floor Lamps

When a new apartment has no overhead lighting, it can leave the space feeling dreary and uninviting. Changing out light fixtures can make the space feel more vibrant and unique, but it is important to be mindful of the rules regarding your lease agreement. Fortunately, you can add some style and sophistication to your new space with creative light fixtures that won’t violate your lease.

A tall standing lamp is an excellent option for a living room. These lamps usually have a lamp shade and take standard screw-in bulbs. They can be designed to give off a lot of light for reading or less light to set a mood.

For example, a brass bronze floor lamp can work well with a modern or rustic decor. It can also have a lamp shade that is a big arch to create more directed light or a smaller drum to throw more diffused lighting. Similarly, bend pair sconces or widget sconces can be used to provide more focused lighting for a living room.

End Tables

When you want to bring a bit of extra style and functionality to your living room, look no further than end tables. Positioned at the ends of a couch or chair, these pieces give you more surface area for drinks, snacks, books and remotes. They also serve as the perfect place to showcase your unique decorating style with lamps, potted plants or sculptures.

While there are some good interior design rules to follow, don’t be afraid to break them in order to add some creativity to your space. For example, you don’t always have to match your end tables. Instead, choose ones that tie together in terms of looks, material and size to create a cohesive, well-planned layout.

Someone along the way decided that having a light on a table or pole lamp on the floor was a more attractive form of lighting than having one in the ceiling. Since most apartments don’t have ceiling lights, you might be wondering how to brighten up your living room. Luckily, there are plenty of options.

May 18, 2023 6:32 pm