Bedroom Lighting Ideas

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

Pay Attention to Scale

Proportion is key to a serene bedroom retreat, and it's important to choose lighting fixtures that comfortably fill the space they occupy. For example, this room's bold, boxy chandelier matches the scale of the bed. In a modestly scaled space, make sure to leave at least 7 feet between the bottom of the chandelier and the floor.

Tip: Wire the chandelier to a dimmer switch so you can control the light level.

Use Multiple Sources

During daytime hours, natural sunlight can do much of the work for illumination. For other times, layers of light are necessary. Place a ceiling fan overhead to provide overall light, and use lamps throughout the room to offer task and accent lighting. If you're unsure about mixing and matching fixtures, start with families of light products. They guide the design work for you and offer many sizing options.

Embrace Shape

There's power in shapes and the way they can enhance a room's decor. Here, the bold patterns on the comforter and shams coolly complement the shapely silhouettes of these matching bedside lamps. When styling your bedroom's lighting, be sure to consider the look, colors, and style of your decor.

Add Ambient Light

If you're looking for a subtle lighting technique, supply ambient light in the bedroom with a style-setting chandelier. Long relegated to the dining room, these elegant beauties are the perfect crown for a royal bedroom, too.

Five big trends in lighting fixtures and lamps/

Lighting Trends

Learn lighting tips and trends with these five hot lessons in scale, color, and more.

Find the Right Height

Ever wondered how to right-size a bedside lamp? For an ideal height, look for lamps that cast the light at the height of a book held in bed. Be sure the bottom of the lampshade is about 20 inches above the mattress, so pages are clearly illuminated while reading in bed.

Save Space

Free up bedside tables from lamp duty and bring light right where you need it by installing swing-arm fixtures above the bed. You can easily re-create this look with your favorite wall-mounted light fixtures. Be sure your sconces have light-dispersing shades to keep direct light out of your eyes while sitting up in bed.

Keep It Bright

Pick up a lampshade with a lighter color. Resist the urge to choose lampshades that are too dark, which can make a bedroom feel gloomy. Use shades that diffuse the light, as well as lower-lumen lightbulbs. Enlist additional fixtures when more bright light is needed.

Boost Drama

Looking for a dramatic alternative to bedside table lamps? Choose low sconces that will wash walls with light. If you opt for these wall fixtures, wire them to dual switches—one within reach of the bed and one by the door. That way, you can turn on the lights when you enter the room and turn them off after you get into bed.

Share a Bedside Lamp

If space is tight in a shared bedroom, place a lamp between the twin-size beds. This bedside lamp is decorative without being overdone, and its base color and form complement the room's design aesthetic. Be sure to place the lamp switch directly in the middle so there's no fighting!

Make It Pop

If you're looking for specific task lighting, don't be afraid to let it pop! There's no rule that says a bedside reading lamp has to be a drum shade. Choose a lamp with funky colors or a cool shape to give your bedroom's lighting that extra something.

Make 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 display. This balanced grouping creates a secondary focal point beside the bed, giving your eye a pleasing place to rest. Create a tablescape like this by placing a beautiful lamp front and center, then surrounding it with small, stylish trinkets or plants.

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