Getting your lighting right is possibly the single most important decision you will make when decorating a room. It isn’t simply a matter of function – ceiling lights can be objects of beauty and the right choice can transform the character of your scheme. These bedroom ceiling light ideas will inspire you to create your dream scheme.
HOW DO I CHOOSE A CEILING LIGHT FOR A BEDROOM?
It’s vital to consider both ambience and practicality when lighting a bedroom, especially if it’s a compact space. Choose layered lighting that can be used for different purposes. A pendant or ceiling lamp will illuminate the whole room, which is perfect for dressing.
‘Ceiling lights provide an opportunity to be more creative,’ explains Rohan Blacker, founder of Pooky. ‘Choose a colourful or ornate piece to provide a focal point in the room, or for the more adventurous, a chandelier is a great addition to a bedroom to create a sense of grandeur. Consider hanging pendants over each bedside table for an interesting alternative to a table lamp or wall light. A dimmer switch is always a good option for the bedroom, it offers flexibility, providing brighter lighting for when you are getting dressed and softer mood lighting for bedtimes.’
Bedrooms are all about creating atmosphere, and mood lighting plays an important role. ‘In a modern scheme, lighting needs to be both architectural (almost invisible) and also decorative,’ advises interior designer Staffan Tollgård.
‘Pendant lights should add to the design and enjoyment of the room. Soft, atmospheric lighting that doesn’t create glare can be achieved with angled downlights from the ceiling, while pendants next to the bed that hang down to between a metre and 150cms from the floor level add a beautiful touch.’
For more bedroom ceiling light ideas, see: Bedroom lighting ideas – 15 ways with lighting, and your questions answered
BEDROOM CEILING LIGHT IDEAS
1. GO FOR A LARGE LIGHT
‘The trend for oversized pendant lights is gathering pace,’ says Charles Edwards, Charles Edwards Lighting. ‘Hanging a light above a bed or dressing table will define the area and add a decorative element. Lights hanging above a bed can be positioned slightly lower. Consider a light that is fitted with a diffuser, to avoid unwanted glare and reflection.’
2. CREATE A LAYERED LOOK
‘All types of lighting should be considered when creating a restful bedroom environment,’ explains Chris Jordan, Managing Director at Christopher Wray. ‘For bedrooms with higher ceiling heights there is a greater flexibility in terms of the types of fittings that can be used. The light cast by a shade suspension, pendant or even a small chandelier can tend to be too dim on its own, resulting in poor lighting. However, paired with a table or wall lighting this adds to a layered effect that can be built on when needed, meaning you do not need to compromise on a beautiful and key design feature in the room. A general rule would be to use a flush mounted ceiling or pendant light, if the ceiling height permits, alongside table or floor lamps to create a soft warm feeling in a bedroom.’
3. INVEST IN QUALITY
Go for a decorative, design-led approach when choosing a ceiling light. ‘In terms of materials, Murano glass is one of our favourite materials to use as the colours and effects which can be created are incredible,’ says Chris Jordan. ‘The crystal sparkles and refracts the light better, creating multiple spectrums of colour. Additionally, the skill and craftsmanship that goes into creating such pieces is second to none and only adds to its appeal.’
For more bedroom lighting, see: Bedroom wall light ideas – illuminate your space with well-positioned task lighting
4. INCORPORATE DIRECTIONAL LIGHT
Adding discreet warm white LEDs in the ceiling can help channel light to the right places. Here, they illuminate an artwork, which gives the eye something striking to focus on.
5. HANG IT
No space for a bedside table and lamp? Simple pendant lights can be suspended in the best position for reading, adding a feature that is as eye-catching as it is practical.
6. MAKE A STATEMENT
‘My advice is to go as big as you dare,’ advises interior designer Emma Sims Hilditch. ‘Large lamps make a statement and glass options are good, as they don’t look too bulky.’ Always put lights on dimmers; lamps should be on a 5-amp circuit and switches placed at the bedside and the door.
7. HIGH LIGHT
Pendant lights catch the eye and can be used to highlight a focal point; in this case, the beauty of the intricately patterned wallpaper.
8. ADD GLAMOR WITH A CHANDELIER
The star of the show in this elegant bedroom is a sparkling chandelier, which makes a beautiful statement, whether on or off. A king-size bed with unique headboard accentuates the dramatic effect in this design.
9. TASK IT
LED downlights provide the general lighting and wash down the tall cupboards to striking effect in this scheme. Adding a few LED downlights creates reflected light on the walls for a subtle lighting boost.
10. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Light fixtures don’t always have to be eye-catching. If your ceiling is the star of the show, keep lampshades simple, understated and elegant. This clear, glass design is the perfect example of sophisticated designed.
WHAT IS THE BEST LIGHTING FOR LOW CEILINGS?
Low ceiling is a common problem in a bedroom – it crops up in period properties but also in modern basement conversions and it can feel a little claustrophobic. It is not a feature that is easy to change in itself but you can play clever games with layout, finishes and lighting to balance proportions and create and illusion of great space.
Make sure you consider the size of your room before choosing your ceiling lighting and think about the functionality. While a low hanging pendant may fit in a dining room setting, we recommend opting for something a little more practical in a smaller space, such as the bedroom.
Positioning lamps in the corner of a room will naturally take the eye out to the edge of the room and make it appear more expansive. Bedroom with low ceilings can also benefit from one or two uprights, too, as they throw light onto the ceiling, which then bounces back into the room.
You may want to consider up-lighting above tall wardrobes and bookcase, which can make a ceiling appear higher, and recessed or wall instead of pendant lighting.
CAN I PUT A CHANDELIER IN MY BEDROOM?
A chandelier is not just for the living room or hall. In fact, in the right scheme, it can make a wonderful addition to a bedroom. ‘Aim for a mix of traditional and contemporary styles within a home,’ says Luke Thomas, John Cullen Lighting. ‘In a period bedroom with decorative cornicing, for example, why not consider a very modern chandelier, rather than a classic option. Discreet, low-glare, architectural style lighting can work well with most schemes, as it will subtly enhance your chosen style.’