Bedroom lighting ideas – Create ambience in your sleep zone

The key to a well lit bedroom is to introduce multiple layers that integrate both ambient, decorative and task lighting seamlessly.

‘Lighting is a versatile design tool that can be used to enhance your home in many ways, by highlighting architectural features, providing dramatic decorative effects, creating illusions of space and defining zones in open plan areas,’ explains Sally Storey, design director at John Cullen Lighting. Reenergise your space with  these smart bedroom lighting ideas.

WHAT LIGHTING IS BEST FOR BEDROOMS?

Bedside lamps create the softest, prettiest light in a country house bedroom, but they may not offer sufficient light to read by. This is particularly true of card shades, which tend to push light up and down, not sideways. If you want to read by your bedside lamp, consider a linen or cream silk shade, which offers more sideways light, better for reading, or add a task reading light.

Any light fitting will have two personalities, lit and unlit, so a piece may only reveal its full potential when illuminated. Something subtle in the day may become far more exotic once darkness falls, casting wonderful rays and shadows, so consider its effect on a room at all times of the day.

small bedroom ideas

Photography: Emma Lee

See: Lighting trends 2020 – to illuminate your space throughout the year

HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY BEDROOM LIGHTING?

Lighting can totally transform a room – from a simple dimmer switch to create a moody feel to a bright spotlight that draws attention to details, a clever lighting scheme can make more of every room in your home. A fitting doesn’t have to be big and bold to add wow-factor to a scheme. Just by being creative with shape, proportion, volume and materials you can instantly transform your room. Something as simple as the symmetrical placement of a pair of table lamps can help balance an interior scheme.

HOW DO YOU LIGHT A SMALL BEDROOM?

Lighting will help to visually maximise a small bedroom. For example, try lighting the narrower sides of the room to provide a sense of width, whether with wall lights or tiltable recessed spotlights. Choose lampshades that allow light to reflect upwards if you need to give some height to a low ceiling too.

BEDROOM LIGHTING IDEAS

Photography: Katya De Grunwald

1. INTRODUCE ADJUSTABLE LIGHT FIXTURES

‘Well-planned lighting can make a small bedroom look larger or a basement bedroom feel as if it is above ground,’ says lighting designer and Design Director at John Cullen, Sally Storey. If floor space is at a premium, or you prefer a relatively minimal scheme, then wall-hung light fixtures are the best option. Opt for one that is fully-adjustable, with a far reach.

Photography: Emma Lee

See: Garden lighting ideas – to illuminate your outdoor space

2. MAKE A STATEMENT

Your lighting doesn’t have to be purely functional, it can be pretty, too. Here, a decorative light adds a gentle glow, and washes soft light across the pretty wallpaper.

small bedroom ideas

Photography: Simon Bevan

3. DOUBLE UP YOUR LIGHTING OPTIONS

Always make sure you have directional light for reading, as well as an ambient option. ‘I often double up by combining a task light, such as an Anglepoise, with a lamp on a bedside table or pendant hung above,’ explains Interior Designer, Suzy Hoodless. ‘I also like to use decorative wall lights as well as a central pendant in bedrooms. They offer an opportunity to create a sculptural look on the walls as well as providing soft, warm light.’ Use dimmer switches to avoid harsh lighting at night.

small bedroom ideas

Photography: Emma Lewis

4. PROVIDE ENOUGH LIGHTING FOR GUESTS

‘I like the main lighting to be provided by lamps in a guest room,’ says Sally Storey. Good lighting can make a small bedroom feel bigger or add intimacy to a larger room. Bedside lighting helps to make a statement of the bed, but ambient lighting isn’t always enough so incorporate subtle additions.

small bedroom ideas

Photography: Chris Everard

See: Small bedroom ideas – to make the most of a compact space

5. GIVE YOURSELF OPTIONS

Where lighting is concerned, more is often better. There are many studies that suggest optimal lighting can improve happiness, positivity and increase energy, so it could prove beneficial to give yourself plenty of options when it comes to lighting. Of course, natural light will always be considered to be the gold standard, but once the sun sets, artificial light really comes into its own. If a bedroom features a striking headboard or statement bedding, lighting it from above with a large pendant can produce a beautiful effect, while throwing light onto artwork adds texture. Here, wall-hung lamps and a table lamp mean you will never be in short supply of lighting.

Photography: David Lovatti

6. IS YOUR LIGHT FIT FOR PURPOSE?

Bedside lamps create the softest, prettiest light in a bedroom, but they may not offer sufficient light to read by. This is particularly true of card shades, which tend to push light up and down, not sideways. If you want to read by your bedside lamp, consider a linen or cream silk shade, which offers more sideways light, better for reading, or add a task reading light.

Photography: Jonathan Gooch

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