Bedroom Lighting Tips and Ideas

When you consider the number of uses that the average bedroom has, covering them all can be a little difficult. Good bedroom lighting fixtures should take into account a careful combination of practical and psychological factors such as relaxation, intimacy, and study together with morning preparation.


Of course, most folks would associate the main use of the bedroom with sleep and that usually means no room lights at all. However, if you have been lying in bed reading, it can be inconvenient to turn them off, especially if you are becoming bleary eyed.

That suggests that turning them off should not be a chore. In the case of bedroom ceiling lights or wall lights, a master switch within easy reach of the bed is a great idea. On the other hand a bedside table lamp will have, it’s own switch.

Reading at night can be a strain on the eyes, leading to fatigue and headaches. However, you can banish the problem by installing bedroom lighting fixtures in the right places with the correct color temperature.

Good reading lights are designed to imitate the range of wavelengths given off by natural sunlight, which is determined in part by the temperature of the sun’s surface. Our eyes have evolved to be sharpest under those conditions and using bulbs and lamps labeled as close to that will provide a comfortable reading environment.

On the other hand, there are times when you just want a pleasant ambiance, not a practical light. That, too, should be taken into consideration when designing the bedroom lighting scheme.

Select and place lamps about a foot higher than where your eyes are, and allow them to reflect light off surfaces. That provides the well-known indirect light effect that gives a subdued atmosphere. Whether for romance or just a quiet time away from distractions, that produces a calming effect that is just right in the bedroom.

Morning time is when the majority of folks, both kids and adults, will be up and preparing to meet the day. However, depending on the time of the day and season of the year, the sun does not always cooperate to provide the illumination needed. The orientation of the house plays a role, as do any curtains, exterior overhangs and so forth.

To give a cheerful atmosphere that also provides needed light to tie shoes, connect a tricky clasp, brush hair or do any other common task, place lamps appropriately. Here again keep the light above the eyes, but let it shine directly down. Raising it too high creates deep shadows that can hinder makeup application, make clothing color judgment more difficult and so on. Too low and it shines in your eyes, making those tasks harder. Choose a pleasing middle level.

In the case of general illumination for entering the room, vacuuming and a hundred and one other common tasks, a broad ambient lighting design is required. Central ceiling lights or pendant lighting with a strong lamp and a diffusing cover is often just the thing. For other lighting designs, supplemental fixtures will be needed since bedrooms quite often have many nooks and corners that can have deep shadows.

For all of the above applications a dimmer switch, or at least multi-level bulbs, can allow for finer control of light and shadow. They can also allow for some small electricity savings if the light stays on for extended periods. A three hundred watt halogen bulb can add a chunk to the monthly bill. Dimming it when lower illumination is enough will make it more energy efficient.