The 9 Best Lighting Picks for Your Bedroom

Though bedrooms are primarily for sleeping, they aren’t meant to be dark all the time. A bedroom should have a combination of both portable and installed lighting to provide illumination for tasks like dressing and reading. More than that, your bedroom's lighting should also create a calm and soothing atmosphere for relaxation. If you think about it, the lighting ideas that pertain to the rest of your home apply to the bedroom as well. Lighting experts agree that you should aim to light a room in layers. The most basic layer is general, or ambient, lighting. This allows for safe movement throughout the room and serves as a base upon which you layer the rest of your lighting design. Task lighting supplements general lighting where detailed activities take place, like reading, dressing, or applying makeup. Accent lighting highlights architectural features, artwork, or other focal points. Finally, decorative lighting creates the focal point itself, either through its fixture or the light it produces (i.e., a pattern on the wall). When planning the lighting for your bedroom, keeps two ideas in mind to help you achieve the right feel: abundance and flexibility. Multiple light sources with lower wattage are preferable to a single bright fixture. And don't overlook the power of dimmers: Installing them can help you achieve the right mood when it’s time to wind down at the end of the day. Click through for nine types of fixtures, each with its own place and functionality when it lives in the bedroom. Then, install a medley of these bedroom lighting ideas, and you'll be one step closer to your own oasis.

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Recessed Fixtures

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Like any other room, a bedroom needs general lighting. You want to provide enough light for dressing, while at the same time, keeping the tone warm and relaxing. Recessed lighting fixtures
controlled by a dimmer gives you the ability to dial up the light while getting ready on a cloudy morning, or dial it down for your bedtime routine.

Related:  Which Lighting Where? 9 Pro Tips for Improved Illumination


Wall sconces on either side of the bed can make nighttime reading all the more enjoyable. The rule of thumb for sconce height in a bedroom is 6 feet, with some adjustments if the ceiling is higher than average, or the bed is lower to the ground. Be sure upward facing sconces are above eye level so the bulbs are not visible.

Related:  Outdoor Wall Sconces—Lighting the Way with Style

Ceiling Fans

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Ceiling fans do double duty in bedrooms: regulating temperature and providing bright overhead lighting. For a softer effect, choose a light kit where bulbs are either covered by a shade, or are directed toward the ceiling. A ceiling fan controlled by a remote by your bedside will keep you from getting out of the covers once you’ve cozied yourself in for the night.

Related:  Blades of Glory—10 Ceiling Fans with Sharp Style

Table Lamps

Table lamps provide both task and accent lighting. Placed on a dresser, a table lamp can illuminate socks, jewelry, and other accoutrement. On a nightstand, it’ll offer easy access to reading light. Before deciding on a bedside table lamp, test the switch to be sure it’s easily reached and controlled from the bed.

Related:  7 Totally Unique Table Lamps for a Modern Home


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Pendant lights are most often seen in the kitchen, but if you want to mix things up, they can boost your bedroom style. Hanging pendant lights on either side of the bed frees up precious space on bedside tables, and hanging them over dressers and vanities contributes to the fashion and function of the room.

Portable Reading Lights

Portable reading lights offer great flexibility for nighttime readers sharing sleeping space with those who hit the pillow early. Versatility is the key to selecting one for your space. Make sure you can swivel or bend it to provide the right amount of light, while keeping the bulb out of your direct eye line.

Related:  The Three Types of Lighting

Standing Lamps

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A standing lamp is an excellent choice for a bedroom reading nook. Choose one that is focused downward, to provide the best task light. A standing lamp offers design flexibility as well. Should you decide to rearrange the furniture, your lighting can also be easily rearranged.

Related:  5 Easy and Creative Lamps

Rope Lighting

Bedrooms are a space for rest and relaxation, and properly placed rope lighting can play a big role in creating the right mood. Running rope lighting on the underside of a bed frame or the back of a headboard will produce a warm and welcoming glow. Add rope lighting to a tray ceiling to create a tranquil atmosphere in the entire room.

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