April 12, 2024

A bedroom’s lighting should be versatile to suit the needs of the space throughout the day and night. The right lighting scheme can create a mood, highlight key design features and provide task light for reading or getting dressed.

A classic arrangement of lamps on either side of the bed can work well, but you can also free up space with a pair of sconces or a chandelier. Accent lighting highlights wall art, memorabilia, wallpaper and more to add a visual pop.

Ambient Lighting

The bedroom should be a place of rest and rejuvenation. It should also be a space that allows you to express your style and personality through the lighting options you choose.

Ambient lighting is the first layer of your bedroom design, providing a warm and welcoming glow that sets the stage for relaxation. This can be accomplished through natural light from windows or by using recessed ceiling lights, chandeliers or flush-mount fixtures.

For an added touch, consider adding wall sconces for a relaxing wash of soft light or hanging wall art that can be highlighted with track lighting. These lighting fixtures are available in many styles and sizes and can be controlled independently of overhead lamps for a customized look. They can also be adjusted to suit your mood or activity at any time of the day. This is a great way to create a unique, dynamic atmosphere in your room that will be admired by guests.

Task Lighting

A bedroom should include plenty of task lighting to reduce eye strain when reading or doing other activities. Direct task lights such as recessed lighting installed over closets, chest of drawers or near seating provide bright illumination where it is needed most.

Overhead task lighting such as a ceiling fan or a light fixture hung above the bed are also good options for bedroom reading areas. A bedside table lamp or a wall-mounted sconce is another option for task lighting.

When installing recessed overhead lighting, make sure you include a dimmer switch for flexibility in your bedroom lighting. This allows you to easily adjust the brightness of the room depending on what you are doing at any given time. Blue and white lights promote alertness and suppress melatonin production, so they are not ideal for the bedroom, where the goal is to relax. Installing a lamp or sconce with a warmer color temperature is better for a bedroom reading light.

Mood Lighting

Mood lighting influences how we feel in a room. Its color, tone, and brightness can be used to set a certain mood or trigger specific emotions. For example, brighter and cooler colors tend to be invigorating, while warmer and softer shades promote relaxation.

For bedrooms, a warm white glow is restful and relaxing, while a myriad of colors can inspire energizing energy. These effects can be achieved with a color-changing LED lamp, a strip light kit, or even by refashioning existing lights.

Flexibility is key when it comes to bedroom lighting ideas. Layering lighting solutions with dimmer switches ensures that you can change the mood as desired throughout the day and night. This flexibility is especially important in a bedroom where you’ll often need to transition between the alertness of the day and the calmness of sleep. Mood lighting is also a great way to highlight artwork and other unique features in a bedroom. Just be sure that your accent lighting is on a different circuit than your ambient and task lighting.

Accent Lighting

Adding the right accent lighting will help you create an elevated mood in your bedroom. These fixtures are typically three times brighter than ambient light and can be used to highlight artwork, architectural features, or special trinkets. They are often installed on a separate circuit to control their brightness.

Designer Brende Marshall uses a combination of picture lights and a floor or table lamp to create a romantic ambiance in this bedroom design. The lights also serve as a practical way to illuminate the space, helping to prevent the need for an overhead fixture.

A common mistake is installing too many overhead lights, which flattens the ceiling and creates a boxy look. Instead, add a few impactful lamps to give the room depth and dimension. Try a pair of bedside lamps with a unique sconce shape or even a neon accent for an eye-catching touch. Choose a style and finish that reflects your personality. This will be especially important if you plan to sell your home.

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