Bedroom Lighting Ideas

Create a relaxing, comfortable, and romantic atmosphere in your bedroom with these lighting ideas.


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Bright Bedroom
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Balance the Light Sources

    A balanced lighting plan has fixtures at different height levels in the room and in at least three locations. Here, sconces beside the mirror cast gentle ambient light, while the bedside lamp offers focused light for reading.

    Position a bedside lamp so the bottom of the shade is about 20 inches above the mattress. At that height it should clearly illuminate the page when you're reading in bed but not cast glare in your eyes.

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Supply Ambient Light with a Chandelier

    Instead of the usual ceiling light, supply ambient light in the bedroom with a chandelier. Wire it to a dimmer switch so you can control the light level.

    Boost the femininity of the light fixture by dressing it in dangling beads. This large gray metal chandelier grounds a pale color scheme, but the beads keep the look lively.

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Mix and Match Lighting

    A dainty crystal chandelier supplies romantic illumination in this bedroom, and a bedside lamp offers practical task lighting. For drama, hang a small chandelier lower than normal, but be sure it's high enough so no one hits their head.

    Keep the bedside lamp in scale with its table so it won't appear top-heavy. This slender, shapely lamp and conical shade match the tiny table's proportions.

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Use Multiple Sources of Light

    Bedroom lighting can be subtler than lighting plans for other rooms in the house. This is a room for relaxing and sleeping, so keep the ambient lighting gentle.

    A scrollwork chandelier with electrified candles provides overall lighting in this bedroom and contrasts with the furniture's straight lines. A candlestick lamp on the dresser banishes shadows in the corner, while a floor lamp sheds brighter task lighting on the breakfast table.

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Add Romance with a Chandelier

    Nothing says romance quite like a chandelier. Long relegated to the dining room, these elegant beauties are the perfect crown for a royal bedroom, too.

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Match Lamps for a Formal Look

    Matching bedside lamps suit a formal style in the bedroom. Crystals hanging from the arms of these lamps are like jewelry embellishing the traditional shapes. And when the light strikes the pendants, they throw prisms on the walls.

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Add Candles for Mood

    Candles offer special-occasion lighting in the bedroom. A swoosh of candles above this dressing table makes a decorative statement even when the candles are unlit.

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Provide Layers of Light

    The most successful bedroom lighting schemes blanket a room in layers of illumination. Here, bedside lamps provide soft task lighting for nighttime reading, a crystal chandelier (hung inside the silk canopy) bathes the bed in a soft glow, and a floor lamp sheds ambient light around the entire room.

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Embellish Lamp Shades

    For a flirty finish on ordinary lamp shades, add tassel fringe. With matching shades to hold the look together, the lamp bases needn't even be identical--spice things up using a mix-and-match approach.

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Save Space with Swing-Arm Lamps

    Free up bedside tables from lamp duty and bring light right where you need it by installing swing-arm fixtures above the bed. Surrounded by similarly colored folds of fabric, these lamps practically disappear into the bed's canopy.

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Wash the Walls with Light

    Wall sconces offer a dramatic alternative to bedside table lamps. In this bedroom, conical uplights wash the upper walls with light. If you opt for fixtures like this, wire them to dual switches, one within reach of the bed. That way, you can turn on the lights when you enter the room and turn them off after you get in bed.

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Create Sparkle with Accent Lighting

    Use accent lighting to spotlight special collections or features in the bedroom. Picture lights cast a glow on paintings hung against the bed curtains in this guest room, drawing attention to the distinctive bed treatment.

    The half-tester canopies and curtains create a sheltered feeling; adding a painting makes the canopied space feel like a little room with its own light source.

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Share a Bedside Lamp

    Twin beds can share a bedside lamp if space is tight. Make sure the lamp is in scale with the space. A smaller lamp here would look unimportant, but a larger one would overwhelm things.

    Keep color in mind, too. The dark shade and base of this lamp give it greater visual weight, balancing it with the tall headboards.

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Feature the Lamp in a Bedside Display

    In addition to its functional role of providing task lighting, the bedside lamp has a decorative role as the star of a bedside tablescape.

    Note how the painted-wood urn lamp on this English bamboo table leads the eye from the tabletop to the painted back of the bamboo table, the decorative plates, and a framed painting. This balanced grouping creates a secondary focal point beside the bed, giving your eye a pleasing place to rest.

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Keep Fixtures in Scale

    Choose lighting fixtures that comfortably fill the space they occupy. The 1910 nickel Arts and Crafts chandelier is slim-lined but hefty, in keeping with the soaring ceiling. The bedside lamps are boldly scaled as well to suit the proportions of the room.

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Adjustable Lamps for Twin Beds

    Gooseneck lamps provide each bed with its own reading lamp in this guest room. The adjustable iron lamp bases offer flexibility for positioning the light at the right height for each person. The linear shape of the base and its metal finish coordinate with the shape and texture of the wrought iron beds, unifying the two elements.

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