Bedroom Lighting Tips Anyone Can Follow

Feb 20, 2023 | Design

Bedroom lighting is very important when it comes to lighting design. It’s the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night and it can greatly impact your sleep.

Although often overlooked, sleep is one of the most important aspects of our lives, yet many of us don’t get enough of it and this can come from poorly thought-out bedside lighting and directional light.

This article will go through some key tips and bedroom ideas to help you with your lighting design project. It’s amazing just what a change of lighting and the use of soft light can do to the ambience of a room and feel. It can turn an average bedroom into a contemporary bedroom and modernise light fixtures which provide a modern twist and a better night’s sleep.

Below are some bedroom ideas to get you started.

Simple Bedroom Lighting Ideas

simple bedroom lighting ideas

One way to ensure a good night’s sleep is to make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet and easy and that the lighting makes use of bedside table space. This also means ensuring you have the appropriate bedroom light fittings for a well-lit bedroom appropriate to the time of day. This can be difficult if you have a small bedroom or live in a noisy neighbourhood. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep. One of the most important is to make sure you have the right type of lighting in your bedroom.

These bedroom lighting ideas will help you appreciate and enjoy one of the most important rooms in the house, the bedroom. Whether you opt for ambient lighting, accent lighting, a table lamp, task lighting, bedroom lamps or want a beautifully designed statement light, then these tips will help.

Remove Central Lighting

Traditional bedrooms have one central lighting point (or ceiling light) and then maybe a bedside lamp or multiple bedroom lamps for reading. However, this isn’t an ideal situation for ambient lighting. If you want to look in cupboards or drawers – the light behind you means your body will create a shadow over whatever you’re trying to look at. This is particularly common with bedroom ceiling lights.

Come morning, you may also wish to let in natural light to awaken you slowly to the new day with just the right light levels. Sometimes, accent lights can work well depending on the floor space available and the light fittings selected.

Remove Downlights Above Your Bed

Never put a downlight over the top of the bed such as a ceiling lamp. You’re guaranteed a face full of glare and harsh lighting from a light bulb regardless of how far you dim it. If you want downlights, position them around the edge of the room over your drawers and dressers so you can see the contents and make sure the light fighting is secured. You can also experiment with floor lamps to create a layered bedroom lighting scheme.

Use Lighting Control

Control is essential here. Ideally, you want a switch both by your bed and by the door. Multiple circuits create different effects. In the evenings you may want just your soft bedside lamps on with a focused reading light, whereas in the morning you may just want dimmed wall lights for general light that you can dim up as your eyes become accustomed to the light or wake up to soft white bulbs, it can create very atmospheric lighting.

You may also want to invest in electric blinds or curtains. These can be controlled by the switch on your bed to let in as much or as little daylight as you want. Do be careful of your windows – if you stand between your lights and your curtains, your neighbours will be able to see you in silhouette.

Use an Appropriate Light Source

If you have a vaulted ceiling in your bedroom, use spotlights or gimbals to shine up into the eaves which will wash light back down into the room. Try and avoid putting fittings directly onto a beam – the beauty of an exposed wooden ceiling is the beam itself and can really bring to life your bedroom lighting effects.

Keep Lighting Simple

For a child’s bedroom, you do need to remember that they won’t be children forever! Keep lighting simple. For example, dimmable deep-baffled downlights around the room will be great when getting babies and toddlers into sleep routines.  These will also be useful for slightly older children getting over a fear of the dark- they can choose the level of darkness they’re comfortable with. Floor washers are also a great option as a low-level night light. You could also go for a central pendant which can be easily changed around your child’s tastes as they grow.

Be Mindful of Shadows Caused by Bedroom Design

Now, if you have a dressing room or walk-in wardrobe, your lighting is crucial. There’s nothing worse than buying an outfit and getting it home and deciding it doesn’t look good. The right light can be a deciding factor. For your wardrobes, you could invest in LED tape on a sensor which comes on when you open the door. Alternatively, a discreet spotlight positioned correctly will light the inside without causing a shadow when you’re looking at your clothes. This will also be tricky for any vanity mirrors you have – putting on make-up when your face is in shadow will not give you a natural effect. Invest in a lit mirror with diffused forward-facing lights.

Layering the Lighting in Modern and Traditional Bedrooms

Layering is key to all of this and at Lightmaster we use GATE to create layers:

  • General: A central pendant or downlights to give a wash of light within a space.
  • Accent: A picture light or an adjustable downlight to highlight specific areas.
  • Task: Reading lights, spotlights or LED tape to illuminate task areas such as mirrors.
  • Effect: LED tape in a bookcase or plastered into a wall to create an artistic effect.

Common Bedroom Lighting Questions

bedroom lighting questions

Here are some common questions we’re often asked about bedroom lighting:

How Many Lights Should I Have in My Bedroom?

The number of lights you should have in your bedroom depends on several factors, including the size of the room, the type of activities you plan to do in the room, and your personal preferences.

As a general rule of thumb, a single overhead ceiling light will not be enough for larger bedrooms, especially if you want to create different lighting zones or use the space for multiple activities. In such cases, you might consider adding additional lights, such as table lamps, floor lamps, and wall lights.

The size and placement of your lights will depend on the layout and furnishings in your bedroom. For example, if you have a large bed or other furniture that can obstruct the light, you might need more or brighter sources of light. If you plan to use your bedroom for reading, studying, or working, you might want the option of task lighting focused on specific areas.

How to Light a Bedroom Without Overhead Lighting

If your bedroom doesn’t have overhead lighting, there are several ways to light it effectively:

  • Use lamps: You can use table lamps, floor lamps, or desk lamps to add light to your bedroom. Consider placing a lamp on a nightstand, dresser, or desk to provide focused light in the areas where you need it most. Lamps are also a great way to add a relaxing ambience to a bedroom.
  • Wall lights: You can also use wall lights to add light to your bedroom. They are an excellent option for providing ambient lighting without taking up floor space.
    Pendants: Another option is to install pendants, which can be hung from the ceiling or mounted on the wall. Pendants are available in a wide range of styles and sizes, so you can choose one that suits your style and complements your bedroom’s decor.
  • Tape/strip lights: LED Tape can be used to create a soft and diffused ambient light. It can be installed along the perimeter of the ceiling or around a mirror or headboard.
  • Bedside/reading lights: Bedside lights can improve the ambience of the room as a whole as well as be used for reading from bed, or providing a night light for finding our way, without having to turn on all of the lights

When deciding how to light your bedroom, consider the tasks you will be doing in the room and the mood you want to create. A combination of different light sources can help you achieve the perfect balance between functionality and ambience.

Are Spotlights Good for Bedrooms?

Bedroom spotlights can be a good choice for bedrooms, depending on your lighting needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether spotlights are a good option for your bedroom:

  • Lighting needs: If you need focused light in specific areas of your bedroom, such as above a reading nook or a vanity, spotlights can be a good option. They can also be used to highlight artwork, photographs, or other decorative items in your bedroom.
  • Style and decor: Spotlights come in a variety of styles, from minimalist to decorative, and can complement a range of decor styles. However, if your bedroom has a cosy or relaxed atmosphere, you may want to avoid using spotlights that are too bright or harsh.
  • Ceiling height: Spotlights require a certain amount of clearance between the ceiling and the fixtures, so if your bedroom has low ceilings, they may not be the best choice. In this case, you might consider using floor lamps or table lamps to provide focused light.
  • Ceiling void: Spotlights can be a great option if your ceiling has limited void space as they can often be surface mounted or have shallow recesses, so if the depth is a concern spotlight can be a great solution.

Overall, spotlights can be a good option for bedrooms, especially if you need focused light in specific areas of the room. However, it’s important to consider your lighting needs, decor style and ceiling height when deciding whether spotlights are the right choice for your bedroom.

Indirect light is also preferable to healthier sleep too with mood lighting preferable too.  A bedside table lamp with dimmable bulbs can work well for any modern bedroom allowing you to also set your desired ambient level.

Are Bedroom LED Lights Safe?

Yes, LED lights are generally safe for use in bedrooms. In fact, LED lights have several advantages over traditional incandescent bulbs, including:

  • Energy efficiency: LED lights use much less energy than traditional bulbs, they also loose less energy dissipated as heat and not light
  • Low heat emission: LED lights emit very little heat, which makes them safer to use than other types of bulbs that can get hot and pose a risk of burns.
  • Long lifespan: LED lights last much longer than traditional bulbs, which means they don’t need to be replaced as often and produce less waste.  They can also be set to provide a soft glow.
  • Dimming capability: Many LED lights are dimmable, which allows you to adjust the brightness of the light to suit your needs, improving the ambience as well as energy consumption.  They work well in many different types of lighting such as bedroom wall lights and bedroom pendant lights offering attractive light.  These often work well as additional reading lights too with the right lighting designs.

You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing and using LED lights, including using the correct wattage and avoiding overloading electrical circuits. If you have any concerns about the safety of LED lights or any other type of lighting, you should consult with a licensed electrician or another qualified professional.

Why Should You Not Sleep with Lights On?

Sleeping with the lights on can interfere with the quality of your sleep and have negative effects on your health. Here are four reasons why you should avoid sleeping with the lights on:

  • Disrupts Circadian Rhythm: Exposure to bright light, especially blue light, can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm, which regulates your sleep-wake cycle. This can make it harder to fall asleep and can also lead to a lower quality of sleep.  This is why it’s not recommended to have one central light offering direct light in the bedroom.  Adjustable lights with lighting controls are much more favourable for any bedroom allowing ambient bedroom lighting (which can even support dusk lighting effects) to support improved sleep patterns.  All of this needs to be a key consideration when it comes to bedroom lighting design.
  • Affects Melatonin Production: Exposure to artificial light can also suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Melatonin production is highest in the dark and can be significantly reduced by even a small amount of light exposure.  This is why attractive lighting solutions do more than just look beautiful, they can also improve your health.
  • Impacts on Sleep Quality: Sleeping with the lights on can cause you to experience more fragmented sleep, which can lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Disrupts Body’s Natural Repair Processes: During sleep, your body goes through important repair and regeneration processes. Sleeping with the lights on can interfere with these processes and prevent your body from fully restoring and repairing itself.

How Can I Improve Bedroom Lighting?

Improving your bedroom lighting can help create a more comfortable and relaxing environment, which can contribute to better sleep quality. You can use dimming to adjust the brightness of your lights to help create a more relaxing ambience for your bedroom. This also helps prepare your body for sleep. You can also choose soft lighting to create a cosy, calming atmosphere.

You should avoid blue light from your electronic devices as these can disrupt your circadian rhythm making it harder to fall asleep. You could also consider night lights if you need to get up in the night to avoid turning on bright lights which will disrupt your sleep further avoiding standard lamps with bright bulbs as well as avoiding having just one central bedroom ceiling lamp.  This can do wonders for an improved sleep space and also provide you with a calming space to relax and rewind whenever you need to.

What Lights are Best for a Bedroom?

The best type of light for a bedroom depends on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your space. Here are some types of lights that are often used in bedrooms:

  • General lighting: This provides overall illumination for the room and creates a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. General lighting can be provided by ceiling fixtures, wall lights, or other types of general lighting.
  • Task lighting: This provides focused illumination for specific tasks, such as reading or getting dressed. Task lighting can be provided by table lamps, floor lamps, or adjustable wall-mounted lights.
  • Accent lighting: This highlights a particular area or object in the room, such as artwork or architectural details. Accent lighting can be provided by wall-mounted fixtures or spotlights.
  • Dimmable lighting: This allows you to adjust the brightness of the lights in the room according to your needs and preferences. Dimmable lighting is often used in combination with other types of lighting, such as ambient or task lighting.
  • Natural lighting: If possible, it’s best to maximize natural light in a bedroom. LED Lighting should be designed in conjunction with natural light in a space and suit adjustable styles.

A great way to make the best of your bedroom is to add a lighting control system, allowing you to adjust the ambience of the space with just the touch of a button.

A combination of general, task, and accent lighting can create a comfortable and functional space for a bedroom. You can choose the best type of light for your bedroom based on your needs, personal style, and budget.

Bedroom Lighting Summary

bedroom lighting banner

Here is a quick summary of the items we have discussed in this article:

  • Make sure you remove central lighting as much as possible.
  • Remove overhead fixtures which can impact your sleep.
  • Make use of your floor space and floor lamps.
  • Use bedside lights and table lamps on a bedside table with a touch dimmer to create a warm glow.
  • You can make use of a mixture of task and accent lighting.
  • Make the most of lighting even in a guest bedroom to provide perfect lighting for any guest.
  • Make the most of bedroom light fittings to create a layered scheme and a well-lit bedroom.

For a more detailed look and to gauge what could be done with your bedroom lighting and your bedroom lighting options, contact us today and we can talk you through what can be done to get the most from your bedroom lighting scheme.

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