Choosing Great Lighting for the Bedroom

More than just a place to lay your head at night, your bedroom serves as a social space and an intimate retreat from the stresses of the day. Interior design of this mental oasis can be exacting, as you will spend more time here than any other room in your home and require a more personalized approach to daily living. Lighting plays a key role in the atmosphere of any space, but is absolutely critical in the bedroom. Accessibility, design, and management are all important factors to consider for a well lit bed room.

Choosing Great Lighting for the Bedroom


Consult with your interior designer

Light adjustments within a bedroom create additional hues and brightness where designed color essentials are concerned. Wall paint colors, bedding textures, and even dark furniture are all potential targets for a well lit imbalance. Be aware of where light density shifts, and work with your designer to develop a strategy for matching patterns and themes where gradations of light occur. This not only concerns light sources themselves, but shadows that are integral to any solid design plan.

Shadows break up solid forms of light, relieving strain on the eyes that will cause fatigue. Your bedroom is a place of reflection and relaxation, so creating imbalance with a fully lit space is not in your best interest. Establish swatches of dark tones with a selective absence of light along wall joints and beside large furniture pieces to create a perception of depth. For directing brighter light, make sure trip hazards are well displayed, including table legs and door frames.

Use the rule of three

Place lamps in a triangular pattern within your bedroom to create distinct and personalized spaces. Traditional placement includes both bedside night stands, and an opposite dresser. The lamps’ circles of illumination will converge in the center of the room, while fading to your shadowed areas in the corners.

On a similar note, vary the height of the dresser lamp and those on the night stands. This creates a multi-level approach to lighting that strengthens the room’s balance without washing out the intended purpose of each. The lamp on the dresser is to illuminate the mirror and surface of the dresser, not the opposite night stands. On the same note, the night stand lamps are for bedside use, not for applying makeup in the dresser mirror.

A word about dimmers

These multi-functioning light switches allow you to adjust the light density and tone of a room without draping handkerchiefs over the lampshade as you did back in college to create a mood. Have a licensed electrician wire your night stand outlets to the main switch plate on the bed room wall with a dimmer for ease of access. Lower lighting densities create a romantic tone for a night in, or even lower light for watching movies and television in bed.

The dimmer doubles as an energy saving device, as lower light settings creates less stress on your electrical budget each month. If you are going away for the weekend, you can dim the lights to suggest that you are home, even taking an extra step to install a programmable switch to turn lights off at a certain time.

When it comes to bulbs, the best bet is to consult a sales associate at your local lighting or hardware store. Packaging can be deceiving, and with the right notion in your head of how you want a bedroom lighting scheme to work, the salesperson can provide you with wonderful options. Choose low energy bulbs such as CFL or LED to further reduce your energy consumption in the bedroom, and once you’ve made a match, remember not to throw burnt-out away before replacing. This makes it easier to locate the same bulb without having to guess and start all over again.