Your Guide to Family Room Light Fixtures

The family room might be the most used room in your house, but it’s quite likely the one that got the least amount of room styling love when you chose your home decor. Often function trounces form in family rooms. This means things like finding the right family room light fixture become afterthoughts.


Instead of throwing up any old thing on the ceiling of your family room, however, making a considered lighting choice for that room can have a major impact on both form and function in this practical room. Not only will a well-chosen family room light fixture suit your specific needs, it just might inspire you to put a little interior design thought into the room as well.


Here are seven interior design ideas to help you pick the optimal family room light fixture for your family’s favorite space.


Make Them Disappear

If you want bright light but don’t want to notice where it’s coming from, recessed lights are made for you. Because you can put in as many of them or as few of them as you want, you are in charge of the amount and positioning of the light in your room. If you’re having them installed, consider having two or three groups of recessed lights wired together so you have a separate switch for each group. This way you can light up just a portion of the room at a time so you could dim the room for a movie night while still brightening the whole room for game night or homework sessions. Recessed lights are also a good choice if you have active children who like to toss around balls or other toys; no hanging light fixtures means one less thing to break.



Mount Them Flush

Although not as “invisible” as recessed lighting, flush mount fixtures are also solid choices for rambunctious children. Because these lights are more visible, however, you need to keep scale in mind when you decide on the size you need and how many you need. One small flush mount light in a large room will look lost. You might need two or more to fit the space.



Put Them On the Wall

If style is important to you, wall sconces could fit the bill for you. Designed to correspond with specific design motifs, these light fixtures are eye-catchers. However, they’re still pretty unobtrusive. The downside of wall sconces, however, is they don’t cast a lot of light. You’ll need to use them in conjunction table or floor lamps.



Join Them With a Fan

If keeping your family room cool is an issue for even part of the year, a ceiling fan with a light fixture is a must-have. Giving you central lighting and the extra functionality of room cooling, this type of fixture does double duty. As with sconces, you may have to combine it with lamps to fully light up the room. Or you could pair it with recessed lights.



Put Them On Track

Track lighting is a strong choice when your family room has several activity zones. If, for example, you have areas for reading, for playing, for homework, and for TV watching, track lighting allows you to literally point the light right where you want it. This type of fixture also works well with recessed lights.



Hang Them From Pendants

For pinpoint focused light, nothing beats pendants. You can hang pendants in clusters in the areas you want to light up, or you can choose a pendant fixture specifically designed for a task, like a pool table pendant. Pendant lights, though, are appropriate only if you know your children have outgrown throwing things in the house.



Make Them a Statement

If you’ve covered functionality with recessed lights, and you don’t have toy-flinging monkey kids to break expensive fixtures, a central statement light fixture could be an asset for your family room. Because they come in nearly endless styles, you can find a fixture that will affirm your personal style. You also might even find one that captures the essence of what your family means to you. Statement light fixtures give your creativity a chance to come out and play.



As you may have concluded from the above ideas, the overall best choice for family room lighting is recessed lighting used either alone or in conjunction with another style that harmonizes with your design sensibility. Because family room light fixtures are more function-oriented than mood-setting, you need to think first about what will light up your room and second about your light fixture’s design effect.


Images used with permission, courtesy of

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