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How to Choose the Best Lighting for Your Bedroom

When designing a bedroom, many homeowners don’t spend enough time planning their lighting.  At first glance, this is understandable – after all, a bedroom is primarily a place for sleeping, and the best sleep often requires no lights.

However, when you stop to think about everything you typically do in your bedroom during waking hours, it becomes clear that your lighting needs in the bedroom can actually be quite complex.

In order to properly light your bedroom, you’ll want to be able to answer these 4 questions:

How Will You Use Your Space?

Everybody uses their bedroom differently.  Depending on your lifestyle and how large your bedroom is in comparison with the rest of your home, it may be a place to relax, to watch tv, to read a book, to exercise, to get yourself ready for the day, and maybe even to work.

If your bedroom is a space where you pursue multiple kinds of activities, you will probably need multiple layers of light.  You will need general lighting (which may even mostly be provided through a large window on a sunny day – but will you do when it’s dark?).  You will also probably need task lighting and accent lighting, in order to properly illuminate various activities and create various moods.

How Much Lighting Do You Need in Each Area?

Once you’ve determined what you need lighting for, it’s time to figure out where you will put your lamps.

Figure out where you have available outlets so you can avoid the need for extension cords, if possible. Once you know where the lamps will go, it will be easier to decide what size lamp you need where.  Maybe you’ll need a short lamp with a narrow base, or a tall lamp with a wide shade.  Not every variation will work in every spot.

What Types of Lighting Fixtures Will Work Best?

A table lamp on your nightstand and an overhead light with a ceiling fan are classic bedroom light fixtures. But depending on your needs, tastes, and the dimensions of your space, you may want to consider other options.

One new trend in bedroom lighting is the use of multiple pendant lights hanging from the ceiling with sconces next to the bed.  This creates a clean, minimalist look that can be configured to match the different activities you may pursue in different areas.

Lights with dimmer switches are also generally useful in a bedroom, so you can cast a softer glow when it’s time to relax.  The more table lamps, floor lamps, and sconces you have placed throughout the room, the more options you will have to create a different ambiance. 

What’s Your Personal Sense of Style?

Ultimately, you need to consider your own personal sense of style to choose the particular fixtures that will complete the bedroom of your dreams.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the color choices in your bedroom, because the lighting will have an effect on how the color is perceived.  Generally, brightly colored rooms will need less lighting than darker rooms.

For more bedroom lighting inspiration, check out Going Lighting’s collection on our website!