Sanctuary for Slumber: Bedroom Lighting Tips

Bedroom lighting ranges from basic to bold; from dimmed to dramatic. To help you properly light your bedroom, here are some tips.BE SIZE WISE: Before buying bedroom lighting, first determine the size of room. Take your room measurements, along with outlet locations and furniture placement to a lighting showroom. The experts there can help you fill in with just the right light.

HEIGHT RIGHT: Consider scale. Bedrooms typically have lower (8 or 9 ft.) ceilings. Avoid fixtures with longer bodies in favor of shorter or flush-mounted fixtures.

ROOM TO GLOW: Decide what you want to do in the room, and then choose appropriate lighting. Home computers, sewing machines and exercise equipment in the bedroom need directed lighting. Sitting areas beg for softer, shaded fixtures. Makeup tables demand brighter light.

THE LIGHTER SIDE: Avoid shades on lamps or lights that are too opaque, otherwise your bedroom will be too dark. The fixtures may look nice, but the light will not be as functional. When buying a table lamp, opt for one with a softly diffused shade. Spend a moment to see how you turn it on and off to make sure it is not going to be too difficult to manage when you are in bed. There are dimmers and switches available to provide an easier reach.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Don’t install lights directly over the bed. You will tend to look up at them while you are lying in bed. Direct light from overhead is less comfortable than soft light at face level.

MORE IS MORE: No single source of light is as visually comfortable as a combination of portable lamps and installed lighting. To get the best balance of illumination opt for layers of light.

IN THE MOOD: A strong dose of ambience is also important in the bedroom. Install dimmers on lights for an altering effect. Softer or colored light bulbs can also change a room’s mood.

CLOSET CONDITIONS: Few things are more frustrating that dark closets. Closets need good light, but are careful not to put a hot light bulb too near combustible clothes. Attach a closet light 12 inches from the edge of the rod or upper shelf. Lighting experts favor fluorescent lights because they provide lots of light are cooler, save energy and can be concealed behind the header of door. If you use a good color tube, you will be better able to tell the color of your clothing.

BEDSIDE READING: Books and bed seem synonymous. Portable reading lights set on nightstands offer book lovers flexibility. The same flexibility can be achieved with adjustable lights on the wall. The guiding principle in buying reading lamps should be the ability to adjust the light to your taste, either by swiveling or moving its arm. They should also be well-shielded so you don’t see the bulb and you are able to read without bothering your sleeping partner. Lighting controls located at the middle of the headboard allow you to turn off a snoozing partner’s reading light without disturbing him/her.

CONTROL POWER: Imagine pushing a bedside button and turning the lights off or on. No problem with high tech lighting controls. There are gadgets to turn off lights with an infrared remote like you use for your TV. Lighting professionals can help you discover these options.


To make sure you have proper lighting in your bedroom or master suite, ask the following questions.

  1. Can I see well enough to get dressed?
  2. Is there a light in the closet?
  3. Are there individual reading lights on each side of the bed?
  4. Is there an overhead light source?
  5. Do I have enough light to determine the colors of clothing in my drawers?
  6. Have I installed outlets in convenient locations while building/renovating my bedroom?
  7. Can I fill dark corners with portable lighting sources?
  8. Do I have a dimmer installed on the overhead light source?
  9. Are there lights at the dressing table to help with makeup?