Guide to Bedroom Lighting

Your bedroom should serve as a tranquil sanctuary—a warm and inviting place where you can escape, relax and rest. More than just a calming spot to lie your head, the ideal bedroom also often contains dedicated areas for tasks such as working, reading, watching TV and dressing. So, a range of lighting—from basic to bold and dimmed to dramatic—is required to complete that whole sanctuary feel. Here, some do-it-yourself bedroom lighting ideas to help you create a functional, restful and modern bedroom.

Image via Adesso Home

Balanced design

Symmetry is key to creating a clean, balanced look with a touch of flair. Buy bedside lamps, nightstands and coordinating accessories in pairs. For example, a matching pair of metallic table lamps and an elegant crystal chandelier are great options for the bedroom’s primary light sources.

Elegant and convenient

Try employing eye-catching and dramatic elements such as gold-accented pendant lights suspended above the nightstands. Not only are they functional and dramatic, they keep the top of the nightstand free for other items. These can even be dimmed instantly alter the mood of the room.

Rosalie Wall Sconces from Kichler

Complementary lighting

Choose one primary source of lighting and then add smaller fixtures for soft additional lighting. Each light can be used for a specific task or in conjunction to set the mood of the room. Plus, you can easily alter the tone of the room by using a dimmer or three-way bulb on the main source of lighting.

Limited lighting

Task lighting is perfect for those who like to read and work in bed. This type of lighting includes any fixtures, such as table and swing-arm lamps, that are primarily used to illuminate a specific area or task. A sleek, arched floor lamp can provide a high light level perfect for nighttime reading and dimmed when you’re not working.

Mix it up

Coordinating different types of lighting can enhance certain areas of the bedroom without washing it out. Install various light fixtures with different tasks in mind. Recessed accent lights can bring the focus to tapestries and wall art, while recessed can lights around the room provide the most lighting possible while also opening up the space. Matching table lamps also can be used as task lighting when the can lights feel too harsh.

Dobson Grande Pendant from Tech Lighting

Contemporary alternative

Create a modern look in your bedroom while also saving space by hanging low-watt pendant light fixtures from the ceiling right above your nightstands. Hang the fixtures at different heights to add even more interest to the space. Pendants offer a soft, soothing source of light and provide a contemporary decorative element. Since these won’t completely light up the room on their own, add complementary light sources, such as a table lamp across the room.

Bright whites

A separate seating area is an ideal spot for an illuminating light fixture of its own. When natural light isn’t an option, a swing-arm floor lamp can offer the perfect amount of light. To ensure a dark room doesn’t feel cold and dark, use white accents to brighten up the space, as well as a crisp, white lampshade to guarantee the fixture emits as much light as possible.

At-home getaway

Evenly spaced recessed can lights can truly enhance a bedroom’s color scheme. For additional lighting, use multiple table lamps to deliver focused task lighting around the bed and dressers. Plus, dark floor-to-ceiling draperies can help shield the natural light from the window and quickly set the mood. Augment that with a myriad of light sources on dimmers.

Image via Surya Social

Enhanced ambience

Recessed lighting can draw attention to any part of the bedroom. Try using smaller recessed lights around the entire room, along with hidden accent lights above the headboard and antique bedside sconces to create a soft, ambient feel.