Illuminate your dreamy bedroom retreat with luxurious lighting, from bedside sconces to Modern pendant fixtures. Use our top lighting ideas and designer tips to help you choose the best sources for your space.
Be Size Wise
Before buying bedroom lighting, first determine the size of room, says Lighting Designer
Consider scale. Bedrooms typically have lower 8 or 9 ft. tall ceilings. Avoid fixtures with longer bodies in favor of shorter or flush-mounted fixtures. "You want a certain level for reading and enough lighting for dressing," says Thompson. "You also need light to be high enough to reach all the areas."
Room to Glow
Decide what you want to do in the room, then choose appropriate lighting. Home computers, sewing machines and reading nooks in the bedroom need directed lighting. Sitting areas beg for softer, shaded fixtures. Vanities demand brighter light.
The Lighter Side
Avoid shades on lamps or lights that are too opaque, otherwise your bedroom will be too dark, say Thompson experts. 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.
Location, Location, Location
Don't install lights directly over the bed. You will tend to look up at them while you are laying 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. "Too much light in one place is unpleasant and glaring. "It's better to use more light sources of lower wattage."
In the Mood
"A strong dose of ambience is also important in the bedroom," says Thompson, who suggests installing dimmers on lights for altering effect. Softer or colored light bulbs can also change a room's mood.
(Tip: You want to be able to answer "yes" to all!)
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. Do I have a light source near the door?
7. Have I installed outlets in convenient locations while building/renovating my bedroom?
8. Can I fill dark corners with portable lighting sources?
9. Do I have a dimmer installed on the overhead light source?
10. Are there lights at the dressing table to help with makeup?