Downlights or Spotlights Above the Sofa?

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sofa wall

Should spotlights or downlights be used for the sofa? This is a contentious issue. It seems like the biggest problem of the century.

Downlights are often recommended for reading newspapers and books on the couch (no). They provide a uniform light that is not “dazzling”.

Some people say that downlights are not suitable because the light spots on walls look too bad.

Some people say that spotlights can be used to take photos, wash walls or to wash them.

Many people claim that spotlights are dangerous to use because they are too bright and you will get injured instantly if you lie down.


There is no right or incorrect.

We then start with the application and see which lamp would be best for you. This is only a discussion tool and not a decoration.

Take a look at some of the traditional ways to decorate your living room ceiling:

  1. Side ceiling/return ceiling
  2. Lift the entire ceiling

Let’s use the standard size to illustrate.

Look at the distance only, and not at the light.

The distance between the lamp and the wall should be about 20cm.

This distance is just from the perspective light effect

Below is a picture of a downlight that has a floodlight source with 100+ degV

Installing balloon light spots is easy if you accept the effect. (Don’t laugh…your home decor will look exactly the same).

Large-angle downlights also make up the basis of floodlights. Why do you need ceiling lights, light strips, and other basic lighting in your living area? What’s it for?

What happens if we change to a downlight that has a different beam angle?

This is what 58 degree downlight looks like.

Use it if the effect improves instantly. The problem has been solved. This is so exciting…

Don’t rush…

We will first look at the practices that are common for this type of downlightV

The lamp cup has a high reflectivity and is bright, so it will increase the rate of light usage.

This is a picture of the actual testV

  • There is virtually no glare when a person looks at the lamp from a distance greater than point A, at 230cm horizontally. This is very good.
  • It is an unacceptable glare when a person at point B looks up at a lamp that is 100cm horizontally away.
  • The glare increases as a person looks upwards at the lamp while moving from A to B.

The glare can be tolerated by looking straight ahead or raising your head slightly, even if you are close to or within point B.

The bright reflector on the downlight is the main culprit of the glare that you see when you look up at the lamp from a distance.

Remember that our sofas are 20cm or more thick. When we lean back on the couch, the lamp will be directly above us. This means we are exposed to a lot of glare.

Once again, I am disappointed.

Is there no solution to the problem of downlights? Is it true that light patterns and glare are incompatible?

There’s no real solution. There is no solution. The only way to decide is to choose the aspect that you prefer, like the “full spectrum downlight” below at 58deg.

Since you’ve already seen the pattern, I will post another image.

There is no connection between photography and downlights. Compare spotlights from the same distance.

Have you considered installing downlights?


Continue to look into the spotlight

Does it work better than downlights or not? Are you jealous?

You are not satisfied if you only like this.

Anyone with some knowledge will be able to see that the beam of light from the spotlight is extending beyond the frame, creating a very strong light on the walls. This looks extremely awkward.

Try another type of light.

The image below is about 30cm from the wall

When I look at it, it feels better.

Please give me a referral


The optical with lenses is located within the point B.

Reflective cups are available from B-A.

It will make the effect better. I will not explain it further, as it would take another two thousand more words.

Three recommendations for a low budget

The effect is slightly improved if you choose Philips Pinying for the spotlights in point C.

Don’t understand?

Read the answers slowly and save them.

What is the cost of a downlight for a living-room? Which brand is the most cost-effective one?

The problem of taking photos is solved by using spotlights behind the couch. The glare can also be a problem, but by using a different lens and moving the angle closer to the wall you will reduce it.


Flat top large

Here is a paradise for downlights and spotlights

The same image

  • Basic lighting is provided by Light Strip 1.
  • Light strip 4 is a cabinet fill-in and atmosphere light.
  • Light strip 4 for Ambient Lighting
  • Spotlight 2 function sofa wall
  • Spotlight 3 can be used as a coffee table light
  • Spotlight 6 Living Room Atrium Fill Light


TV Wall

It is important to consider the viewing experience when arranging the lamps on your TV wall (hidden light strips are more effective).

  1. The atmosphere of the ceiling can be used to conceal the light source.
  2. You can also use ceiling downlights/spotlights
  3. Installing hidden light strips can be done on the TV wall. There is no need to use too bright lights in Guanyin mode. Hidden light source allows for 4-6W/M to be sufficient.

Downlights and Spotlights: Their advantages and disadvantages

I have mentioned many times in previous articles that if you must use downlights/spotlights on the TV wall, you should avoid the TV to avoid the bad experience of reflection from the TV screen.

The lighting is usually arranged in this way:

  1. Install spotlights

You will get glare if you place the lamps this way. It doesn’t matter if you are watching TV or not.

  1. Install downlights

Due to the limitations of the side hangings, it is possible that the balloon spots will appear on the wall. This is a very ugly thing.

The central beam of a spotlight will be very strong. There will be different degrees of interference.

The following is a reference to the lighting installation method that was previously described:

This method is not only feasible, but also has its own disadvantages.

You can avoid the glare from the lamp if you stare directly at the television (line of vision 1).

This method is not successful because the position in which we watch television will not be fixed (sightline 2) all of the time.

The experience will be compromised if the distance between the lights is too short.

Like the image below:

Why should we install spotlights and downlights in the TV wall?

  • Does it look good?
  • Does it have to do with coordination?
  • Why should we do what others do?
  • What is the primary function of the lamps placed on the TV wall, we should ask ourselves?

Everyone has their own answer but the truth is that it’s nothing more than:

Layer the space

Can you have more atmosphere

Create ambient lighting for movie viewing

Does it still make sense to arrange the lights in this way if they have “side effects”?

2-2. Which solution is the most reliable?

Light strips can be used to create the same effect as spotlights.

I made a few sketches of simulations (they are a little rough but you can still read them to understand what they mean).

Example 1

Three strips of lighting are used to illuminate the TV wall shown in the image above.

Light Strip 1: This light strip can be used with the lamps on the ceiling for the main lighting.

Light Strip 2: This method of wall cleaning will be uniform, the lighting will be softer and it won’t interfere with watching television.

Light Strip 3: Low brightness light strips are used for low level lighting. This instantly improves the ambience and level in the room.

You can also choose light strips with adjustable brightness to suit your needs and meet the lighting requirements of different scenes.

Example 2

The combination of a vertical light strip and slightly brighter ceiling lights will give you the impression that your floor is getting higher, which reduces the feeling of depression.

It can be the perfect way to add light to your movie without interfering with the viewing experience.

Example 3

You can make horizontal light troughs as well. It is the same principle, but it will depend on your personal preference and actual situation.

This is a much better way to clean the walls than with spotlights.