The lighting for any interior space can make or break the overall design of the room. It’s incredibly important that the lighting also reflects the different ambiances that the user wants to be able to create and reflects what the room is used for. Areas like the living room for example, where multiple different activities take place such as reading, watching the television, and relaxing during the evening, all require different types and levels of lighting. 

Be creative with your bedside lighting and consider ceiling mounted pendants like this beautiful smoked glass piece.

Bedrooms are no different… Although many people believe lighting bedrooms is relatively straightforward – and it can be! – there are many different layers and types of fixtures to consider.

The overall aim of lighting a bedroom is to create a soft ambiance during the evening and nighttime and also provides the flexibility for lighting the whole space for getting ready each day and activities such as cleaning. This may seem like a tall order but it is quite effortless when the lighting layers for a bedroom have been understood.

Today we’re going to focus on how to get the lighting right in bedrooms, and follow this up with actionable tips on selecting the right light fixture too.

Let’s take a look!

Lighting Layers in a Bedroom

Before we can begin selecting the light fixtures themselves, it’s important to examine the lighting layers and what is required for lighting a bedroom environment.

If you prefer table lamps, there are many different styles available! We recommend lamps with interesting base details such as this textured ceramic base.

First, table lamps will be required for the nightstands. This forms the basis from which you can build out from. For more creative solutions for lighting the bedside area, you may want to consider wall-mounted lights positioned above the nightstand or ceiling hung pendants. 

Following the nightstands, it’s critical to examine the general lighting in the room. This refers to light fixtures that will provide adequate lighting for tasks like cleaning, getting ready for bed or getting dressed in the morning. In most cases, a central ceiling light will be enough for this but for larger bedrooms, you may want to add recessed ceiling lights to the perimeter of the room too. If the ceiling height for the bedroom doesn’t allow for a hanging ceiling light, recessed lights should be used.

Adding recessed ceiling lights to the perimeter of the bedroom can help to avoid shadows being created, particularly for medium to large sized bedrooms. Wall lights such as sconces should also be considered for ambient lighting.

A substitute to a central ceiling light is of course a ceiling fan. Many ceiling fans have the option of adding a lighting kit to them so it can double up as the main ceiling light too. This is incredibly helpful for warmer environments. You may find our recent post on how to select ceiling fans for your home helpful!

You may find it beneficial to have the main ceiling lights on a dimmable circuit. If this is the case, always check with an electrician.

We love this bedroom lighting example because they have used the principle of layers! The nightstands have lamps, with an additional floor lamp in the opposite corner to compliment and a main ceiling light. While we wish the central ceiling light is a little larger, this bedroom still shows adequate lighting layers!

Selecting Light Fixtures

We love this bedside reading light! A simple design that has USB charging capabilities too.

Once you have decided which type of nightstand lighting works for your space, the fun can really begin! 

There are so many different types, designs and styles available on the market for table lamps in particular that it can seem quite overwhelming. The main points to keep in mind while you’re shopping around is the design of the light fixture itself – does it work with the colors and textures in the room already? Do the metal details or design of the neck to the lamp compliment the overall design of the room? These are all key questions to have in the back of your mind when searching.

When you have narrowed down your initial selection, take a look at the size of the table lamp. Anything too big will look out of place and quite overpowering on the nightstand. A fixture that’s too small will look silly too! As a general rule, the overall width of the lamp should be slightly smaller than the nightstand itself. The height of the lamp though will depend on the distance between the nightstand surface and the top of the bed’s headboard. 

If you’re going down the wall-mounted nightstand light route, think about whether you need this to have an additional flexible reading light arm which can focus light on specific areas. This is useful for those that enjoy reading in bed or stay up later than their partner. 

In this example, we love how they have used ceiling mounted pendants for lighting the nightstands! The central ceiling light helps to provide general lighting to the whole room.

Other Aspects to Consider

We love this modern satin nickel wall lamp as it will work well with many colors already used in a bedroom design.

Lighting temperature is another aspect of lighting a space that should be carefully considered. This refers to the color of light that is emitted and plays a vital role in choosing which light bulb is suitable for each application within interiors. When shopping for light bulbs, look for a number followed by the letter “K” – this refers to the lighting temperature emitted.

For living rooms and bedroom lighting, a warm white or warm light temperature is recommended. This is normally between 2000K and 3000K. The main ceiling light may be better suited to a temperature within the higher end of the recommended scale as this is the fixture for general lighting.

We hope you have found this blog post useful for all your bedroom lighting needs! As always, we’re more than happy to help you with any design dilemmas you may be having – drop us a comment below!

Interested in learning more about how to light interior spaces like a pro? Enroll in our brand new Lighting Course!