Lighting in the bedroom is very important. It’s the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night. Soft, warm lights are perfect just before you go to sleep – nothing worse than blue over-stimulating lights when you’re trying to wind down. Likewise you don’t want to be blinded by glare when you’ve just woken up but you do want enough light to stimulate your brain – you don’t want to leave the house wearing one brown sock and one blue! Layering is key – 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 artistic effect.
- Conventional rooms have one central lighting point and then maybe a bedside lamp for reading. However this isn’t ideal situation of you want to look in cupboards or draws- the light behind you means your body will create shadow over whatever you’re trying to look at.
- Never put a downlight over the top of the bed – you’re guaranteed a face full of glare regardless of how far you dim it. If you want downlights, position them around the edge of the room over your draws and dressers so you can see the contents
- 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. You may also want to invest in electric blinds or curtains. These can be controlled from the switch by 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 neighbors will be able to see you in silhouette.
- 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.
- For a child’s bedroom, you do need to remember that they won’t be children forever! Keep lighting simple – 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.
- 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 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.