Downlights vs. Spotlights Above the Sofa

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sofa wall

Should downlights or spotlights be used on the sofa? This is a controversial issue. It feels like the most hard problem of the century.

Some people say to use downlights – downlights have even light and are not “dazzling”, making them suitable for reading books and newspapers on the sofa (no).

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

Some say to using spotlights – the spotlights are beautiful, I want to wash the walls, I want to take pictures with it.

Some people say that you cannot use spotlights – they are too dazzling, and You will be injured instantly when lying down.


There is no right or incorrect.

Then we start from the actual application to see which lamp is more suitable for you. This is only a discussion tool and not a decoration.

Let’s take a look at the conventional ways to decorate the ceiling in the living room:

  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.

At this distance, just from the perspective of light effect

The picture below is a downlight with a flood light source of 100+degV

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

Furthermore, large-angle downlights are the basic floodlight source. Why do you need ceiling lights, light strips, and other basic lighting in your living area? What is it for?

What if we switch to a downlight with another beam angle?

This is what 58 degree downlight looks like.

If the effect instantly improves, then use it. This problem is solved perfectly. 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.

The following is the picture drawn by 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.
  • When a person is at point B and looks up at the lamp at a horizontal distance of 100cm from the lamp, it is unacceptable glare.
  • The glare increases as a person looks upwards at the lamp while moving from A to B.

Looking straight or slightly raising your head, close to point B or even within point B, the glare is still acceptable.

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.

Don’t forget, the thickness of our sofas is basically 20cm+. When we lean back on the couch, the lamp will be directly above us. This means we are exposed to a lot of glare.

Alas… I’m disappointed again…

So, is there really no solution for downlights? Is it true that light patterns and glare are incompatible?

There is really no 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.

Downlights have nothing to do with photography. Compare spotlights from the same distance.

Have you considered installing downlights?


Continue to look at the spotlightV

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

If you like it this way, then you are too easily satisfied.

Anyone with a little knowledge can see that the central beam of the spotlight has long exceeded the frame of the painting, forming an extra strong light on the wall, which is visually very awkward.

Then try another kind of light.

The picture below is 30cm away from the wall

It feels better to look at it, so I know it.

Give me a referenceV


Optical with lenses within 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.

How many watts does a living room downlight cost? Which brand is more cost-effective?

Using spotlights behind the sofa solves the problem of taking pictures. Glare is also a weakness, but using a lens type and placing the angle slightly closer to the wall will alleviate it.


Flat top large

Here is a paradise for downlights and spotlights

See the same picture

  • Basic lighting is provided by Light Strip 1.
  • Light strip 4 creates atmosphere and cabinet fill-in 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. The hidden light source ensures that 4-6W/M is completely 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.

Usually the lighting on the TV wall is arranged like this:

  1. Install spotlights

If you arrange the lamps in this way, as long as you turn on the lights, no matter whether you turn on the TV or not, there will be obvious glare.

  1. Install downlights

As mentioned many times in previous articles, if downlights are arrang-ed in this way, due to the limitation of the width of the side hanging, there will be obvious balloon spots on the wall, which is really ugly.

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

A reference lighting installation method given before is as shown below:

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).

However, the position where we watch TV will not always be fix-ed (sight line 2), so this method will fail.

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

Like the image below:

So, we should think about some questions, why should we arrange spotlights and downlights on the TV wall?

  • Does it look good?
  • Is it because of 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:

Make the space more layered

Can you have more atmosphere

Create ambient lighting for movie viewing

Finally, if we think about it in reverse, if the lights we arrange have obvious “side effects”, does such an arrangement still make sense?

2-2. Which solution is more reliable?

There are many ways to achieve the above scenes, and it is not necessarily necessary to use spotlights, such as using light strips.

I drew a few simulation sketches (a bit rough, just read them and understand the meaning).

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 washing will be more uniform, the light will be softer, and it will not interfere with watching TV.

Light strip 3: Low-brightness light strips are use-d for low-level lighting, which instantly enhances the atmosphere and level of the space.

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

Example 2

This kind of vertical light strip, combined with slightly brighter ceiling lamps, will make you feel that the floor height is being raise-d, reducing the sense of depression.

When watching TV, it can provide just the right atmosphere to fill in the light without causing any interference to the movie viewing.

Example 3

Of course, you can also make horizontal light troughs. The principle is the same and it depends on your actual situation and personal preferences.

I believe that this kind of light experience is far better than using spotlights to wash the wall roughly.