Fireplace Lighting Ideas

For many people the fireplace is the centerpiece of the living room and the heart of their home.

Whether it is functional or not it can be the focal point of any room and the best way to accentuate that is with lighting. 

Fireplace Lighting Ideas

Even if you don’t have a fireplace that you find particularly grand you can use it as a blank canvas.

A fresh coat of paint, some statement tiles, or some exposed brick can turn your fireplace into a work of art. And like any work of art people deserve to see it lit up.

Below you will find a few ideas for you to consider when decorating and lighting your fireplace.

Strip Lights

Strip lights are a simple and discreet way to provide bright lighting anywhere. This includes your fireplace.

These easy to apply lights can fit pretty much anywhere with their tape-like design and adjustable size. Which makes them perfect for smaller fireplaces.

These lights work perfectly with simple modern fireplaces. They can be used on the top of a fake firebox to create the illusion of fire, or to illuminate any decorations you may have in the firebox.

They can also be used under the mantel to highlight the whole fireplace.

If you have a more contemporary fireplace which floats above the floor you can put strip lights underneath which will add another layer of definition, giving the ground beneath it a spotlight.

Most strip light nowadays comes with a remote which allows for different effects such as flash patterns or dimming.

Ideal for turning a house party into a calm evening in.

Fairy Lights

A great inexpensive way to decorate is with fairy lights. You can drape these around the mantel, weave them through some logs to simulate fire, or hang them on the surround.

The choices are endless for what can be done.

Fairy lights come in a variety of colors and designs to match the decor of any room.

They can be in light pink for a romantic tone, or you can go for ones that look like lightbulbs to match an industrial aesthetic.

You can even recycle Christmas lights to quickly change the style of your fireplace for no cost at all.

As well as different designs and colors, fairy lights can be plug in or battery operated.

So even if you don’t have an outlet near your fire you can still get that showroom finish with a couple of AA batteries.

With the benefit of battery powered fairy lights you can move them easily, so if you have a real fire and want to light it you can move the lights out of the way and put them back in when the fireplace is cold.

Candles

If you want the homey atmosphere of a real fire without lighting up your whole fireplace, candles may be the way to go.

Depending on what candles you choose, you can create an entirely new design for every season.

Candles clustered in varying heights can create a rustic look, pillar candles on a candelabra can make anything fancy, and small tealights can add a soft light to any fireplace.

Candles are also a great way to add a pop of color to a plain fireplace. Artisanal candles are also available in a variety of designs to be the accent piece to any mantel.

Of course, candles can also be scented, so if you want one that smells like a burning fireplace you can. Just make sure you blow them out before you go to bed.

Battery powered candles are also a great alternative if you don’t want to clean up any wax or change your candles when they get too short.

Sconces

You are able to make any room feel more elegant with a few sconces.

These require a bit more effort than strip lights or fairy lights but they do make a more complete look that you can’t get with anything else. 

Historically, sconces were used to hold candles or tiki torches so the light went in an upwards direction, which would look stylish next to the fireplace.

But, you are able to get downward illuminating sconces to really show off your fireplace and its surrounding area if you want a more modern take. 

Sconces come in a wide variety of designs so it may seem daunting to choose the right one but they’re a great way to break up lighting in a room.

However, if you do choose one that hangs past the wall, make sure it is installed above head height to avoid any future bumps.

Fireplace Lighting Ideas (1)

Puck Lights

A common way to light up a small area is with puck lights. These palm sized lights can be placed anywhere in the house and work especially well on a fireplace.

Puck lights are very easy to apply either by a simple screw or some wall safe double tape.

They also have the benefit of being user friendly, usually being activated by simply pressing them on or off.

By having a lot of puck lights over your fireplace you get the choice of different light levels by turning some of them off if you want a softer look, or turn them all on if you really want to show off your magnificent fireplace.

It is recommended to have 1 light every 6-10 inches so make sure you measure your space first to optimize the lighting. 

Spotlights

To add a dramatic flair to your fireplace, a few spotlights are the ideal choice.

Whether one large one or a few small ones, spotlights are a great space saver since they won’t need to be placed on or near your fireplace to light it up.

You can attach them to the ceiling or on the other side of the room to really draw guests attention to your fireplace. 

As well as providing light, spotlights are also great at creating shadow and if used correctly shadows can add a great depth to a room.

This will match perfectly with a minimalistic designed room.

A great variation of these are eyeball lights which are installed in your ceiling, they allow for a direct source of light but can be more discreet than a spotlight. 

Lanterns

Most lighting fixtures aren’t ideal for outdoor fireplaces since they require an outdoor electric source and to be weather resistant.

Lanterns though can be solar powered or hold candles and because of their glass casing are protected from wind and rain.

An old-fashioned lantern hanging up next to an old brick fireplace will look just as good as a modern lantern sitting beside a steel fireplace. 

As per their initial use, they’re fully portable so if you wish to move your lanterns from outside to indoors you can easily do so and they would look just as good next to an indoor fireplace.

Fake Fire

With the advancement of technology, you can get a fire in your home without the need of a chimney.

There are many options online to simulate a real fire but some of the best are fire lamps, light up logs, and silk flames.

Fire lamps are LED lights in red and orange that are shone through thin mist to look like moving fire.

These are the most believable since they will be affected by wind and the mist can also look like the smoke from the fire.

Light up logs can be paired with a fire lamp or be a good decoration to give the effect of a freshly put out fire. 

If you don’t want the mist but still want the effect of a moving fire you can get silk flame lamps.

These lamps have different colored silk moved by a fan to give the illusion of a fire.

Backlighting

You can choose to backlight your entire fireplace.

This can be done by installing lights behind your fireplace and having a transparent or semi-transparent material over it, for example, if lights are installed behind bricks you can see the light between the slabs if held together with a semi-transparent material like silicon.

This can create an impressive look if done right which is why you will need a professional to do this to make sure it doesn’t damage your wall and is correctly hooked up to your electricity.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are many ways to light up a fireplace and how you do it is up to you.

A fireplace doesn’t have to only be a source of heat, it can be a statement that you can use to express your individual aesthetic.

It can be a simple indoor piece with some light up logs and candles, or a grand outdoor fireplace with strip lights and a roaring fire. 

If you have a working fire and choose to light it make sure any lights are at a safe distance or temporarily moved out the way. Remember, safety first!

Stevie Morris
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