How big should my bedroom light fixture be? Designers give us the perfect formula

Experts share the industry secret behind an ambient space – this is the only formula you need to remember

Bedroom ceiling light with crystal chandelier
(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

'How big should my bedroom light fixture be?' It's the question that is becoming ever important due to the interest in wellbeing in the bedroom – but the answer is simple.

Industry experts have shared the formula they use to create a space which is neither overpowered by light nor underwhelmed by a small fixture. And while curating balanced bedroom lighting ideas may sound somewhat technical, their secret is refreshingly seamless. 

When it comes to creating therapeutic bedroom ideas, you may start with large surface areas, like the hues on the wall or the colors of your best bed sheets. However, your light fixture has a significant impact on the ambiance of your room, and therefore, it's important to get the ratio right. This is the formula the experts follow. 

Contemporary, light and bright bedroom with double bed, rounded small mirror mounted on wall above, large textured pendant hanging above bed, brown small sofa at foot of bed, large patterned grey and brown rug at end of bed, sofa in large bay window area

(Image credit: Jessica Bennett of Alice Lane Interior Design, photography by Nicole Gerulat)

How big should my bedroom light fixture be?

'There is an industry formula that is used as a guide to help choose the diameter of your bedroom light fitting,' says Alina Enache, a registered ARB Architect and Head Interior Design Consultant at Scotlight Direct

'Measure your bedroom width and length in feet and add these up. The resulted sum, but this time expressed in inches, will give you a starting point of what diameter would look best.'

Alongside this, Alina urges you to consider your ceiling height (in your bedroom, but when considering all other lighting ideas, too). 

'We always advise a clearance of at least 7 feet between the underside of the light fitting and the floor finish level,' she says. 'This is important to enable clearance for anyone walking below your light or coming into contact with it from the side.'

Bedroom ceiling light chandelier with wood headboard

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

And for low ceiling ideas, Alina recommends using flush and semi-flush alternatives (if you do not have enough room for a pendant or chandelier). 

Can a light fixture be too big for a room?

Yes, there is a possibility your light fixture might be too big – especially if you're working with particularly small bedroom ideas.

'Remember that using a large light fixture that has a high number of light bulbs can overpower a bedroom in terms of light levels,' Alina explains. The best way to see if a light is suitable is to follow the formula above, but you can also use a dimmer switch to ensure your fixture is not too bright in a compact space. 

'Wiring your ceiling light fixture to a dimmer switch and using other light sources to layer your fixtures – such as table lamps and floor lamps can help keep your room feeling welcoming and create a warm ambiance throughout,' Alina says. 

A bedroom with a chandelier and yellow rococo-style wallpaper

(Image credit: Spike Powell)

How do you determine the size of a chandelier for a bedroom?

When playing with bedroom chandelier ideas, it can feel hard to go wrong. However, in all its glamor, this fixture can overpower a space and create a less-than-desired effect. However, there is another formula to determine whether the chandelier size is right for your room. 

'Unless you're going for an asymmetric look, the general rule of thumb for the size of your pendant would be a maximum of 1/3 of the longest wall in the room,' says Connor Prestwood, an interior designer from Dowsing & Reynolds. 'This helps keep the balance of the space.'

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.