Your decor can be flawless but if the lighting’s not right, the mood won’t be either. To discover the best bedroom lighting ideas, you first need to understand the different types of lighting in a space. The most common three types of lighting are task, accent and ambient, all with different roles to play.
Getting the balance right between these lighting types, sources and styles can be tricky in a bedroom, but as as rule of thumb, remember that task lighting is directional lighting; accent lighting is used to illumine furniture and features and ambient lighting adds atmosphere and creates the mood.
“Bedrooms are practical as well as relaxation spaces, so plan your lighting accordingly. Use a mixture of task, mood and accent lighting to create a layered scheme that will work at any time of day and across the seasons – cosy in winter, light and airy in summer,” advises Peter Bowles, founder and MD at Original BTC
And when it comes to getting a good night sleep, lighting is key too. You don’t want to be spending time in a room full of harsh lighting just before you switch off to sleep, or have to flood the room with light every time you get up for the bathroom in the night. Making sure you have different light levels for different parts of the day and night is integral.
“Light affects us in various ways — including physically. Melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep, is vital to our internal biological clock and is affected by the light surrounding us. White and blue light have a particularly strong effect on our melatonin levels: cool light suppresses the hormone’s production and make us feel more alert and energized. Red-toned lights, which generally have a colour temperature similar to candlelight and sunsets, are best used to help you ease your body into its natural sleep cycle,” explains Giuliano Ghidini, Commercial Leader at Signify UKI
Bedroom lighting ideas
The bedroom lighting that you decide on will depend on the size and design of your room and on your preferred decorating style. In a very small bedroom, for example, wall-hung lights will tend to be preferable to table lamps as you may not have the space for bedside tables. In a more traditional scheme, classic sconce-design wall lights with silk or glass shades might be preferred over angled, adjustable styles in stainless steel or chrome, which are best suited to more contemporary decorating schemes.
Larger bedrooms will naturally allow for larger lamps – look at floor-standing versions that you could position in corners or behind bedheads or bedside tables. Fitted storage headboards may be suitable for built-in spotlights, while open shelving above a headboard is the perfect perch for clip-on reading lights.
1. Opt for lights that don’t distract
If you’ve chosen a show-stopping wallpaper in your bedroom, you won’t want it covered up by large bedside lamps. So choose a design with a glass base, so that your feature wall can still be visibly seen. Pair this with a shade that compliments the wall colour behind them and your beside lamps will help create a stunning bedroom scheme.
2. Add a pop of colour
Choose a bedside lamp that features a pop of colour, to add warmth and vibrancy to your bedroom. Try to match it with an accessory or two elsewhere in the room, to tie the whole look together and keep your bedside table as clutter free as possible as not to distract from your lighting choice.
3. Match your hardware to your lights
In this room, the homeowner has chosen to go for smart brass wall lights which compliment the striking teal shade used on the walls and furniture. But she hasn’t stopped there, and has matched her hardware, including light switches, plug sockets and door handles, to the same finish too, which unifies the look. In such a vibrant room, simple brass and glass wall lights don’t fight for attention, but merely enhance the overall look.
4. Use a mirror to bounce the light further
In dark corners or if you bedroom has little natural light, use a mirror hung behind your bedside light, to bounce the light further into the room and illuminate the space. These beautiful mercury mirrors have an antique effect that matches the style of the room and don’t distract from the decor. As well as a simple bedside lamp on the table, the homeowner has also chosen to fix an accent light above the mirror to create a feature of it and add another level of glow to the room.
5. Make your lights the star of the show
Rather than trying to seamlessly match your bedroom lighting to your decor, how about you make the lights the star of the show instead? Opting for vibrant yet petite wall lights, cleverly draws your eye to the bed, so would work perfectly in a guest bedroom where you want your guests to be comfortable.
6. Save space with ceiling hung options
If you’ve no space for bedside tables, and therefore no space for bedside lamps, opt to hang striking pendant lamps from the ceiling either side of your bed instead. Not only does this free up floor space (and plug space), it will create an attractive, symmetrical feature in your room. Ask your electrician to wire each light on a different circuit so you can control each lamp separately, ideal if you want to stay up reading, but your partners wants to catch up on some kip.