The Cure suggests having alternative sources of light than just the overheard. I totally hate the overhead light in our living room; it's really harsh and usually only gets turned on if we're cleaning. Instead, we have a lamp on either side of the room, usually leave the kitchen light on (it's behind the couch/living room area), and often leave the pendant light over the dining table on. None of these sources are particularly bright, so they create a nice atmosphere. We have lamps on either side of the TV, but they're distracting if the TV is on. We usually only turn those on for parties.
I had to learn about ambient lighting when I lived in DC because my tiny studio didn't have an an overhead light. I had four lamps, tube lighting underneath my bed and couch, and usually left the closet light on.
Here are a few shots of our living room lighting: