Lighting it right: homify’s best bedroom lighting ideas

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Interior Design : Wellington Court In:Style Direct Classic style bedroom
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Would you agree that your bedroom holds a special place in your heart? After all, it’s not just the space where you sleep, but also where you read, daydream, change clothing, etc. Thus, it should come as no surprise that a proper amount of planning must go into getting every element of the bedroom just perfect – and that includes its lighting.

But like all things in life, one can’t just dive in head over heels when it comes to bedroom lighting. First, a proper lighting guide to teach you what sort of lights must be included if you want your bedroom to be lit the proper way – and who doesn’t?

So, let’s see how to create a relaxing, comforting, romantic and (perhaps most importantly) stylish atmosphere in your sleeping zone with these bedroom lighting ideas.

1. Bedroom lighting ideas: The right layers

Montford Place Etre Classic style bedroom

Montford Place


Creating the perfect layered lighting in a room means finding the ideal balance between ambient, task and accent lighting. This allows you to easily switch from any mood or activity with the mere flick of a switch. 

Ambient lighting: The normal light that is already present in a room before any lights are added, like natural light streaming in through a window. In terms of artificial lighting, ambient lighting can be achieved with ceiling lights (including chandeliers and pendants) or portable fixtures, like floor lamps. These will offer an adequate amount of illumination for various activities that don’t require bright or focused light.   

Task lighting: Ideal for activities that require more focus, such as reading, working or applying makeup. Keep in mind that focused task lighting does not necessarily have to be confined to a traditional desk light – bedside table lamps, low-hanging pendants, and wall sconces are all ideal for lighting a specific area where a relevant task will be performed. 

Accent lighting: Meant to draw attention to a specific feature (like artwork), accent lighting in the bedroom can act as a softer version of ambient lighting, ensuring a pleasant glow and cosy atmosphere. Some of the most popular ways to include accent lighting in a bedroom is via wall sconces, tape lights, or the creative repurposing of other fixtures.

2. Bedroom lighting ideas: To dim or not to dim?

New Year - New Home Decor Ideas......... Graeme Fuller Design Ltd Modern Bedroom
Graeme Fuller Design Ltd

New Year—New Home Decor Ideas… … …

Graeme Fuller Design Ltd

Installing dimmers not only adds extra dimension to your room’s environment, but makes your lighting fixtures so much more multifunctional. From soft glows to full-on brightness, a dimmer can accommodate multiple lighting needs. Plus, a dimmer instantly affects a room’s ambience – perfect for when one wants to get romantic! 

And as dimmers as so easy to install (when the bulb type allows for it), just about any lighting fixture can be fitted with one.

3. Bedroom lighting ideas: The brightness of bulbs

The lighting emitted from, say, a kitchen does not have to equal the bedroom’s – those are two completely different spaces used for different activities. Thus, consider the type of bulbs you use for your bedroom’s fixtures. 

But don’t just grab any old bulb in the store – first, figure out the preferred brightness level (or lumens) for your bedroom. The suggested lumens for a bedroom is between 2,000 and 4,000, yet this can be altered based on the type of ambience required. 

After choosing the maximum lumen output of a bulb, determine whether said bulb type is dimmable. CFLs (or Compact Fluorescent Lamps) can be tricky to control with a standard dimmer, as well as some low-voltage LEDs. In these cases, special dimmers will be needed if one wants to enjoy smooth, flicker- and buzz-free lighting in the bedroom.

4. Bedroom lighting ideas: The colours of bulbs

Different light bulbs are created for different activities and, thus, give off different colours. While incandescent / halogen bulbs usually give off a soft white glow, CFLs tend to add in some blue. 

It has been proven that white and blue light colours can promote alertness, and therefore lighting with these hues are ideal for task- or directional lighting to support activities requiring a lot of focus. However, they also suppress the production of melatonin (the hormone that induces sleep), which means they are not recommended when one wants to wind down after a hard day. For a calming ambience, switch to lighting that diffuses warmer colours (like yellow) to enhance bedroom reading, watching TV, or just relaxing.

5. Bedroom lighting ideas: The importance of scale

Cloudsley Road 2 lovely gays Modern Bedroom
2 lovely gays

Cloudsley Road

2 lovely gays

Size matters, especially in the bedroom! That’s why it’s important to choose lighting fixtures that comfortably fit the space they occupy. 

We are all for a chandelier that draws attention, but if you’re struggling to make out the bed or wall art in a bedroom with a gigantic ceiling fixture, you may have gone a tad too far with your lighting design. Always aim to have at least 2m between the bottom of your chandelier and the floor.

6. Bedroom lighting ideas: Embracing shape

Just like décor accessories, your lighting fixtures need to complement the rest of your bedroom’s design. 

Got a new bedspread with bold patterns? Consider bedside lamps whose shapely silhouettes can be complemented by your bedding’s motifs. 

Always look at the colours, style and design of your décor before purchasing a new lighting fixture.

7. Bedroom lighting ideas: The right height

What is the ideal height for a bedside lamp? For some super comfortable in-bed reading, look for lamps that cast their light at the height of a book held in bed. 

For a more measurable hint, make sure the bottom of that lampshade is about 50cm above the mattress so those pages are comfortably illuminated while reading in bed.

8. Bedroom lighting ideas: Saving space

Art Collectors Residence JKG Interiors Study/office Solid Wood Amber/Gold
JKG Interiors

Art Collectors Residence

JKG Interiors

Nobody likes a cluttered look, and walking into a bedroom with a minimum amount of free space is sure to affect one’s mood and sleeping pattern. 

Not enough space on your bedside table for a lamp? Chances are you’re already using it to store books, your cellular phone, a glass of water, a box of tissues, etc. Ditch the lamp and install some swing-arm fixtures above the bed. Or opt for dangling pendants above your nightstands. 

Just be sure that those sconces have light-dispersing shades that keep direct light out of your eyes while sitting up in bed. 

That takes care of reading and relaxing, but what about cooking? See these Bright ideas for better lighting your small kitchen.

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