How to Light your Bedroom in 3 Simple Steps
Bedroom Lighting Ideas & Tips
On first glance, Bedroom lighting seems like an easy one. It's a bedroom...for sleeping...so it just requires an intentional lack of light, right?
Frustratingly, you and I both know its not that simple. Its primary function may be to support sleep but we also demand a complex range of lighting needs from this room; starting with general lighting for putting the laundry away to task lighting for reading and accent lighting for relaxing and winding down. Finding this balance can be really tricky but given that the average human will sleep for roughly one third of their life...we think its worth spending time getting this room right!
If you're struggling to make your space 'work' then follow these four steps for a well-lit, functional & restful bedroom.
1. BUILD A FOUNDATION
Treat the central ceiling light as the ‘lighting foundation’. Use this as the rooms main source of ‘ambient’ or ‘general lighting’ to enable you to perform general tasks like getting dressed on dark mornings, cleaning, folding clothes, moving around the space safely and most importantly...making the bed.
Be BOLD. The most desirable bedroom decors have now discarded the antiquated, traditional rule of using specific ‘bedroom lights’. Bold feature lights, that we used to see exclusively in hallways or over dining tables, are now used as the focal point of the entire bedroom design scheme. Scroll through Instagram or Pinterest or any interior mag and you’ll see statement lighting take centre stage.
Now this may be a curveball BUT these huge goosefeather lamp shades are definitely bold and look stunning next to soft muted colour palettes (as pictured above) whilst also providing a diffused ambient light.
SHOP NOW: Goosefeather Shades
2. ADD FLEXIBILITY
It’s hard to strike the balance with your new ‘lighting foundation’. Too little light and it’ll feel impossible to wake up on time but too much light and you’ll need to cover your sleepy eyes whilst you wake up. In an ideal world, you would avoid this by having multiple lighting options; spotlights on one circuit, a feature centre light on another, bedside table lamps for reading, soft wall lighting for atmosphere, wardrobe LEDs, vanity lighting...the possibilities are almost endless. But the reality is that most bedrooms follow the template of having one central ceiling light and about 4 plug sockets around the room for us to work with.
Add flexibility. Control your centre light with a dimmer switch. We’ve already identified that a bedroom scheme has to accommodate multiple lighting needs and dimmer switches are, inherently, multifunctional. At maximum brightness, the dimmer lends itself to providing the ‘general lighting’ that we’ve just discussed in point number 1, whilst at lower settings it can provide an atmospheric, mood light that is perfect for winding down and relaxation. Ease into sleep-mode or wake up gradually with this simple solution.
3. LAYER UP
Our aim is to bring your eye around the room, not just to focus on the bed, so bring light to different corners with floor lamps or wall lighting (if your wiring allows). This not only makes the space feel bigger and more balanced but it gives you a layer of low level, background/‘accent’ lighting - perfect for creating a warm, cosy atmosphere all year round.
If you like to read in bed or have to do some work (god forbid), layer on top of your general lighting with bedside task lights. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you need to be confined to the traditional desk/office lamp. In fact, the bedside ‘task light’ can take on any form; from low hanging pendants either side of the bed to a couple of wall mounted fittings or statement table lamps.
4 Quick Tips for Perfect Bedside Lighting:
1. If your reading light is a table lamp; shades with a lighter tone will provide a softer glow and let more light through. Black and dark grey shades look super cool...but they do block the light.
2. Get the right bulb - for bedside lighting go for a warm white bulb (around 2700-3000 Kelvin). Just because you’re looking for bright, practical task lighting doesn’t mean it needs to be harsh, cold and unpleasant
3. Going for wall mounted task lights? Don’t install them directly over the bed, ideally you want soft lighting from the sides, with well-shielded bulbs and a beam angled downwards to keep light from shining in your eyes
4. Don’t forget the height of the light switch. You want it roughly equal to arm’s length so that you can reach it with ease. Between 21 - 30 inches is about right.
Symmetry in the bedroom will portray a feeling of calmness and stability. Matching table or wall lights at either side of the bed help to bring the room together from an aesthetic point of view as well as providing good task light.
Something different. Anglepoise style table lamps and wall lights are great bedside lights for two reasons: they immediately give the room a stylish ‘designed’ feel - from minimalist Scandinavian inspired rooms to warm industrial led schemes - as well as providing a really useful and critically, adjustable, task light.
So there we have it. Perfect Bedroom Lighting in 3 Simple Steps.
If you’re still struggling to decide on a ‘look’ for your scheme? Searching for that elusive inspiration?
Read our previous mini blog on ‘Instagram Interior Inspiration’