Bedroom lighting is not just about functionality, it’s an art that combines aesthetics and purpose to create ambience and atmosphere. Whether it’s soft ambient lights, task lighting for reading, or decorative lamps, the right lighting can transform a bedroom.
Key points when choosing your bedroom lighting are:
- Type of lighting: Ambient, Task, Accent.
- Factors influencing purchase: Room size, décor style, and budget.
- Ways to create different moods: Positioning, styling, bulb colour, and intensity.
- Price points for different fixtures.
If you’ve ever walked into a bedroom and felt instantly drawn to its ambience, the secret often lies in effective lighting. At Universal Lighting, with a vast collection of over 13,000 lights, we’ve lit countless bedrooms across the UK.
Find your perfect bedroom lighting here or read on for everything you need to consider when installing or improving your bedroom lighting.
Types of Bedroom Lighting and Their Uses
Ambient Lighting: The primary source of lighting, usually from bedroom ceiling fixtures, which sets the mood for the room. Common ambient lighting includes chandeliers, pendants, and ceiling flush mounts. Their bright, wide distribution of light provides overall visibility. Ambient lighting forms the foundation of every bedroom scheme.
Task Lighting: Focused lights are used for specific tasks, such as reading. Bedside table lamps, wall lights, swing arm sconces, floor lights, pendant lights, and under-cabinet fixtures are ideal for task lighting. Their directional beams illuminate a concentrated area, providing clarity for activities and complementing ambient light options.
Accent Lighting: Highlight specific areas or objects, creating depth and adding character. Picture lights, step lights, and wall lights are a great way to add accent lighting. Their narrow beams draw attention to features like artwork or architectural elements. Accent lighting adds flair to any design.
Factors to Consider When Buying Bedroom Lights
Room Size and Layout
Understand the area and dimensions to determine the number and placement of fixtures. For large master suites, multiple ambient lights work well to illuminate the entire space. Smaller rooms may need just one ambient fixture and more portable task options.
Décor and Style
Matching lights with the room’s theme—be it vintage, contemporary, or minimalist—creates cohesion. Crystal chandeliers suit traditional bedrooms while sleek pendants fit modern aesthetics. Know your style before choosing fixtures.
Budgeting for Bedroom Lights
Exploring options from affordable to premium ensures quality within any price point. Well-made portable lamps start around £30 while statement chandeliers can cost over £500. Setting a budget helps narrow choices.
Creating Ambience with Lighting Position and Intensity
The Power of Position: How placing a light in different areas can drastically change the room’s feel. Fixtures such as a bedside lamp can create intimacy while ceiling lights make spaces feel more open. Strategic positioning sets the desired tone.
Bulb Colour and Brightness: From warm hues for a cosy atmosphere to cool ones for a serene vibe. Lower lumen bulbs emit a soft glow for relaxation while brighter lights facilitate tasks. Dimming lets you adjust the mood.
Price Points and Value
Deciding on a reasonable budget without compromising on quality. Factors like material and energy efficiency influence cost. But quality fixtures start around £100, with bespoke pieces running into the thousands.
Explore Universal Lighting’s Collection For Your Bedroom
Ambient Bedroom Lighting
As the primary light source, ambient lighting can come from several places. Ceiling-mounted fixtures like chandeliers and pendants work well for dispersing an overall glow. But ambient lighting can also come from alternative sources like wall lights, floor lamps, and even table lamps. The key is bright, widespread illumination.
When selecting ambient fixtures, consider the mounting height and light projection. Chandeliers and pendants work best when hung with a drop of around 750mm from the ceiling. This prevents glare while emitting ample glow. For wall lights, opt for designs with wide-ranging beams. Floor and table lamps should point light up toward the ceiling for diffuse radiance.
The number and placement of ambient lights depend on room size and existing elements like windows. Here are some general guidelines:
- Small bedrooms under 10 m2 need at least one central overhead light. Wall lights also work for compact spaces.
- Medium rooms of 10-15 m2 call for 2-3 sources placed at opposite ends to cast light into all corners.
- Large master suites over 15 m2 can accommodate multiple fixtures including central and peripheral ambient lighting.
When switching on all ambient lights, the room should have minimal shadows with a bright yet cosy feel. If dark pockets persist, consider adding more fixtures. The goal is to make sure to bathe the entire space in a warm, welcoming glow.
Endon Zelma LED Ring Ceiling Pendant in Brushed Copper
Meticulously designed with a brushed copper finish, this contemporary pendant light, showcases a beautiful cascade of fine copper finish chains, diffusing warm white LED light..
- Design: Contemporary brushed copper ring with a waterfall of fine copper finish chains.
- Lighting: Warm white LED module (SMD 2835) that creates a captivating illumination.
- Adjustable Height: Tailor the pendant’s drop to your space at the time of installation.
- Quality: A premium offering by Endon Lighting, a renowned British lighting brand.
- Specifications: 25W LED, K: 2800, Lm: 465, Lm/W: 19.
- Collection: Matching products are available to complete the cohesive look.
Special Considerations for Task Lighting
While ambient light provides overall illumination, task lighting enables you to see clearly for specific activities like reading in bed. The ideal task light has adjustable positioning, focused direction, and proximity to the task area.
Swing arm sconces offer the flexibility to place light precisely where needed. Look for a reach of at least 450 mm so the beam can be positioned in front, beside, or behind you. The lamp head should also tilt and rotate to direct light on the book rather than your eyes.
Clip-on reading lights for headboards take up no nightstand space and put light right above your shoulder. Go for LEDs over halogens for cooler operation and energy savings.
Under-shelf task lighting provides a focused glow without occupying floor area – perfect for tight bedrooms. Opt for hardwired installations rather than plug-ins for cleaner looks.
When choosing lamp shades, lighter colours like white and cream enhance visibility, while darker shades create mood. Translucent materials diffuse glare. And larger shades up to 20 cm amplify brightness.
The key is positioning task lighting close to your line of sight around 16-35 cm away. This facilitates seeing without shadows or eye strain. Install dimmers to adjust brightness as needed. Proper task lighting makes late-night reading truly enjoyable.
With its antique brass finish, this lamp exudes a vintage charm that’s accentuated by an adjustable clear glass shade. Whether you’re delving into a novel in bed or setting the ambience, this floor lamp stands tall with its arched arm and foot-operated switch, seamlessly blending functionality with style.
- Design: Vintage industrial design, complemented by an antique brass finish.
- Functionality: Ideal for reading or as a task light, equipped with a foot-operated on/off switch.
- Shade: Adjustable clear glass shade for precise lighting.
- Material: Durable antique brass plated steel ensures longevity.
- Power: Max 40W E27 GLS compatibility (bulb not included).
- Safety: Class 2 double insulated—no earthing necessary.
- Convenience: Comes with a 2.0-metre black fabric cable and a 3-pin plug.
- Recommendation: Use a filament LED lamp bulb for a complete vintage industrial appeal.
Using Accent Lighting to Make a Statement
After establishing ambient illumination and task lighting in the bedroom, consider accent lighting to add personality and flair. Accent lighting casts narrow, dramatic beams to highlight specific areas and architectural details.
Wall lights used for framing artwork or the bed can make displayed pieces “pop”. When spotlighting artwork, place lights 800-2700 mm apart with bulbs at eye level pointing toward the centre. This provides even illumination.
Rope lights or LED striplights outline architectural elements like tray ceilings, columns, and window frames. Place behind crown moulding or underside of ledges to graze surfaces with delicate light.
Picture lights illuminate artwork while preventing glare. Opt for LEDs without UV/IR radiation which can damage artwork over time. Position lights approximately 75 mm above and 150 mm wider than the art’s edges for ideal coverage.
Lighted display shelving and illuminated headboards also make accent lighting focal points. Get creative with unexpected accent lights that show off special features.
Kichler Celestial 1 Lamp Crinkle Shade Wall Light in Cambridge Bronze
Designed by the renowned Kichler and supplied by Elstead Lighting, this wall light shines with its optical crystal spheres accentuating the lustrous Cambridge bronze finish perfect for modern and classic interiors.
- Design: A blend of contemporary and traditional styling, featuring a crinkle fabric shade.
- Finish: Rich Cambridge bronze finish with optical crystal sphere accents.
- Lighting: Soft illumination through a satin-etched glass bottom diffuser.
- Versatility: Suitable for both contemporary and traditional interiors.
- Collection: Celestial lighting suite offers matching pendants, chandeliers, and semi-flush ceiling lights.
Setting the Mood with Lamp Colour and Brightness
The colour temperature and intensity of lighting affect both visual acuity and ambience.
Follow these tips for selecting bulbs and using dimmers to set the perfect mood:
- For general ambient lighting, choose warm white 2700-3000K bulbs to feel cosy and inviting. Limit cooler hues above 3000K which can seem clinical.
- Task lighting for reading benefits from cooler 3000-4000K lights for maximum visibility. But limit brightness to 600-700 lumens to prevent eye strain.
- Use dimmers to adjust the brightness of overhead and portable fixtures. Lower light levels relax before bedtime while full brightness energises in the morning.
- Programmable smart bulbs make it easy to tune lighting through colour temperature and dimming. Save your custom settings to recall with just a voice command.
- Take advantage of colour-changing effects to transform mood. Cool blues and greens evoke relaxation while warm reds provide stimulation.
- Follow the natural rhythm of daylight by programming lights to become warmer and dimmer into the evenings. This aids melatonin release before bed.
Achieving Quality Bedroom Lighting on Any Budget
With the vast range of lighting available today, quality fixtures to fit any budget can elevate your bedroom ambience.
Follow these tips to get great value at different price points:
- Under £100: Portable table and floor lamps offer lots of options. Look for solid construction in materials like metal with linen or silk lampshades.
- £100-£300: Well-made portable lamps and wall lamps fall in this range. Seek interesting shapes, natural materials like wood, and dimmable functionality.
- £300-£600: Distinctive ceiling lights like small chandeliers and LED panels meet the need for ambient overhead lighting. Focus on energy-efficient fixtures.
- Over £600: For statement pieces, bespoke chandeliers and pendants made from premium materials like crystal and wrought iron make luxurious additions.
- DIY: Simple pendant kits and plug-in track lighting cost under £100 for creative flair when installed yourself. Watch out for electrical hazards though.
Prioritise quality fixtures with dimming capability and smart compatibility. This ensures long-lasting performance you can control. A mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting takes bedrooms from basic to beautiful on any budget.
Embracing the Benefits of a Well-Lit Bedroom
Creating a thoughtfully illuminated bedroom provides far more than just better visibility. An enveloping glow fosters relaxation and rejuvenation while focused task lighting enables comfortable use. Accent lighting adds depth and dimension to the space. Beyond the functional benefits, lighting influences our mood and emotions on a subconscious level. Some key perks of quality bedroom lighting include:
- Sets a welcoming, cosy tone for rest and romance.
- Facilitates leisurely reading or getting ready at the vanity.
- Highlights special architectural details and accessories.
- Promotes better sleep by regulating circadian rhythms.
- Provides safety and convenience for middle-of-the-night needs.
- Reflects your signature decorating style and tastes.
- Serves as an artistic feature and talking point unto itself.
Take time to envision the many roles lighting plays in your bedroom sanctuary. Then leverage the myriad options for fixtures and bulbs to bring that vision to life. An artfully illuminated bedroom does far more than just brighten up the space—it enriches your experiences within it.
Lighting Tips for Different Bedroom Layouts
Bedroom layout, size, height, and existing elements all influence lighting design. Take these room-specific factors into account for the ideal lighting scheme:
- Vaulted Ceilings: Take advantage of height with long pendants and chandeliers with extendable rods. Wall lights also work well.
- Sloped Ceilings: Flush mounts, semi-flush lights, and recessed cans shine down unaffected by angles. Avoid pendant glare.
- Alcoves: Spotlight alcoves with wall-mounted sconces or directional recessed lights. Hide strip lighting behind ledges.
- Four Poster Beds: Position swing arm sconces or pendants on either side of the posts for task lighting.
- Windows: Layer ambient lighting to balance daylight. Sheers soften the glare. Blackout shades for complete darkness.
- Reading Nooks: Swing arm, clip-on, and floor lamps positioned by chairs offer targeted beams.
- Walk-in Closets: Line shelves and wardrobes with LED tape lighting top and bottom for visibility.
- Bedroom Seating Areas: Place floor lamps next to chairs and sofas for a localised glow that draws guests in.
Pre-plan fixture placement and visualise lighting layers for your distinct bedroom layout. This ensures the final scheme ties together seamlessly.
How can smart bulbs enhance the bedroom experience?
Smart bulbs that connect to home automation systems allow convenient voice or app-based lighting control. With scheduled routines, you can program the ideal lighting scene for waking up or winding down. Tunable whites let you adjust colour temperature for energizing or relaxing effects.
Do I have to have a ceiling light?
No, you don’t have to have a ceiling light in your bedroom. While ceiling lights are common and can provide general illumination for the entire room, there are several other lighting options that can offer both functionality and aesthetic appeal. For instance wall wall-mounted lights, floor lamps, table lamps, fairy lights or recessed lighting.
Are floor lamps suitable for bedrooms?
Floor lamps work very well in bedrooms. They provide ample task and accent lighting while occupying minimal floor area. Floating shelf floor lamps save even more space. Position them in corners or near seating spots to illuminate without cluttering.
How does outdoor lighting influence bedroom ambience?
Outdoor lighting can make a big impact on bedrooms. Well-placed garden or patio lights shining through windows create a magical ambience. Landscape lighting also adds security for peace of mind. Just take care to avoid glare.
By understanding the types of lighting, their purpose, and the variety of ways they can be positioned and adjusted, you can truly transform your bedroom.
Start with bright ambient overhead lighting to illuminate the whole space. Supplement with focused task lighting where activities take place. Finally, add accent features to highlight special details.
Factor in the size and proportions of your bedroom along with the decor theme to select fixtures that enhance the existing architecture and design. Take advantage of technologies like dimmers, smart bulbs, and tunable whites to set the perfect mood and transform the atmosphere from day to night.
At Universal Lighting, we offer a broad range of lights to suit every style, taste and budget helping you to create the perfect bedroom sanctuary.