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Lighting Techniques for the Living/Family Room

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Fireplaces made of brick or stone can be emphasized with recessed downlights installed over the mantle to create a dramatic grazing effect. Wall sconces on either side of the fireplace are another option that brings attention to the fireplace area while providing general lighting for the living room.

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Reading requires task lighting that comes from behind and to the side of the reader's shoulder. This can be accomplished with a portable lamp. The bottom of the lampshade should be located at eye level to avoid glare.

Artwork can be highlighted with recessed adjustable fixtures or with low-voltage, halogen picture lights. Your local ALA showroom representative can help determine how many fixtures are needed depending on the size of the painting and the proper aiming angle.

Televisions and computer monitors require low-level ambient lighting that does not wash out the screen's image or reflect into viewers' eyes. Recessed miniature downlights or miniature track lighting can be installed in the near vicinity for task lighting. Wall sconces with an indirect lighting function, used with a dimmer, are ideal for creating a soft, non-glaring light for watching TV, or, if your television is in an armoire, consider installing undercabinet lighting to create a pleasing glow.evel to avoid glare.

Game tables require bright, well-distributed overhead lighting. Shaded pendants set 36" above the table are an excellent solution, or install two recessed downlights over each half of the table..evel to avoid glare.