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Lighting a Modern Bedroom, Simplified

Lighting a Modern Bedroom, Simplified

Any experienced designer will tell you that lighting is an essential ingredient when you’re decorating your bedroom — not the afterthought that many of us consider it to be.

Your bedroom is usually the only place in your house where you spend most of the time in the dark, entirely bright, or completely somewhere in between. So, getting your bedroom lighting design exactly right is critical to making it a comfortable environment to sleep at night, get up in the morning, and go about your day.

This bedroom lighting guide was put together to show you how to properly illuminate a bedroom. The first half will cover basic lighting recommendations for bedrooms, such as how to layer lights with ambient, accent, and task lighting. We’ll also go through how to choose the right bulbs for your bedroom so that their brightness and color complement your decor.

Bedroom Lighting Guide: The Basics

Layering The Lights In Your Bedroom

The key to getting the optimum lighting in your bedroom is to understand how to stack your lights. Finding the perfect blend of ambient, job, and accent lighting is essential. You’ll be able to produce illumination for every mood and activity with the flick of a switch once you’ve achieved this equilibrium.

Ambient Lighting

You’ll want to layer different types of lighting depending on what you want to accomplish in your bedroom on a regular basis, from general to specific. Begin by laying a lighting foundation with ambient lighting, often known as general lighting. Natural light from wide windows or skylights, as well as artificial illumination, give adequate lighting for general duties such as cleaning, folding clothes, and making the bed.

Ambient lighting is best achieved with ceiling fixtures (such as flush mount ceiling lights, chandeliers, pendant lights, and so on) or portable lighting, such as floor lamps. Both types of lighting will provide adequate illumination for activities that do not necessitate strong, focused light.

Task Lighting

Consider stacking task lights on top of your regular illumination if you plan to undertake things that demand a bit more focus, such as reading, working, or applying makeup. The standard desk task lamp does not have to be the only source of focused task lighting. Consider using bedside table lamps, low hanging pendants on both sides of the bed, sconces, wall mounted task lights on either side of a headboard, or other directional lighting above it.

In this respect, the bedroom work light can take on almost any shape as long as it provides enough light for continuous focus. A task light’s functionality is also found in its bulb, in addition to its design and location (more on that later).

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is used to bring attention to and emphasize specific items in a room, such as artwork. Accent lighting can operate as a reduced form of ambient lighting in the bedroom, emitting a lovely glow and creating a cozy ambiance. Recessed lighting, wall sconces, tape lights, and creative repurposing of other fixtures are just a few possibilities to include this feature in your bedroom’s lighting design.


“Proper lighting/dimmers are vital, because if there is only one bright light source, it is difficult to transition into a comfortable sleep-mode,” says Leah Harmatz, owner and designer of Field Theory. You can drift into sleep or wake up more gently with a bedside lamp or sconce.”

Dimmers play a crucial role in the larger scheme of things when it comes to customizing your bedroom lighting. Dimmers are versatile as well as allowing you to add another depth to the room’s environment. A dimmer can suit a variety of lighting needs, from dim lighting to full brightness. The dimmer lends itself to general lighting at maximum brightness, while lower settings allow for mood setting. Dimmers are simple to install (as long as the bulb type allows it), therefore any lighting fixture can be used for several purposes.

Choosing the Right Bulb


It’s also crucial to think about the sort of bulb you’ll use for each fixture as you stack your bedroom lighting. Depending on the intensity of the bulb’s brightness and the color it emanates, it has the potential to influence how you operate during and after a specific activity. But, before you go out looking for any old bulb, you’ll need to figure out what amount of brightness, or lumens, you prefer. While the recommended lumens for the bedroom range from 2,000 to 4,000, this is a personal choice that varies depending on the type of atmosphere you want in your room.

After you’ve decided on a bulb’s maximum lumen output, you’ll want to see if the bulb you desire is dimmable. CFLs (or Compact Fluorescent Lamps) and some low-voltage LEDs are difficult to dim with a normal dimmer. For smooth, flicker- and buzz-free operation, specific dimmers will be required in these circumstances.


In assisting specific activities, light color plays a vital role. Think first of all about the type of bulb: incandescent/halogen bulbs are often a gentle white light, while CFLs tend to disseminate a lot of blue (although they have developed to include a wider color range), while LEDs are able to operate with the color range.

Since white and blue light colors showed that attentiveness is promoted, lighting with such colors is best employed to enhance focused activity. Building on white and blue lights, the generation of melatonin (or hormones causing sleep) is more alert and therefore less effective, it is not ideal if you want to rest in the bedroom after a day’s work. Lighting, on the other hand (like yellow) that spreads warmer colors does not hinder the formation of melatonin. Warmer lighting is the greatest way to do things like reading, watching TV or resting in the bedroom.

In order to support these activities, the changing functions of the bedroom require the correct lighting. Between proper light layers, dimmers and appropriate bulbs, it is a reliable technique to make your room light comfortable. Be inventive and select the fittings you need to only get the illumination in the bedroom you want.