4 steps to getting your bedroom lighting right

Vanessa Brunner of Houzz came up with this bedroom lighting solutions i thought would be wise to share with you, since we cannot think it all, sometimes we have to rely on others for an eye.

Your bedroom should be your sanctuary. At the end of a long work day, there needs to be a place where you can flop on top of your fluffy duvet, sink into a comfy chair, and snuggle under the covers to let your stress slip away. The atmosphere needs to be just right!

However, today’s bedrooms have become multi-functional rooms, which can make creating the right atmosphere slightly difficult. As homes decrease in square feet, the bedroom — like many rooms — has become a place of compromise. Instead of simply having a room with a bed, modern bedrooms often include small work or reading areas, making lighting especially tricky.

But the process can become much easier when you break it down and consider 1) the type of lighting you need, 2) the functionality of your space, 3) how much lighting will be needed in each part of the room, 4) and the style you want for your bedroom.

1. Think about the type of lighting you want and need. Bedside lighting is one of the first points of consideration for a bedroom. These lights can be a great excuse to add something fun and unique to accessorize your room. Table lamps on bedside tables or nightstands is a classic option that provides a good sense of symmetry and balance to a room.

The unusual use of Serge Mouille’s Spider Sconce in this room creates a sleek and modern look that is still extremely functional. The multiple arms allow for an array of light at several angles in the room, while also allowing for an adjustable reading light at night.

I love the use of pendant lights and sconces for bedside lights. It’s an incredibly simple and minimalistic look, but still allows for a splash of flair and style with lighting choice. This master bedroom in Hawaii didn’t use any bedside tables with the pendants, but adding them in would still keep the look clean.

It’s always good to implement a ceiling light with a dimmer, or a piece that casts more of a soft glow throughout the bedroom. While overhead lighting could light the entire room, the ambiance is better when table lamps, floor lamps, and sconces brighten the parts of your bedroom that need it.

Sconces and wall lights can also be used to enhance the ambiance of a room and cast light in areas that lamps and ceiling lights won’t quite reach. These are also great for highlighting a particular part of the room — for example, if you have a piece of wall art you want to draw attention to.

Floor lamps are a good option if you don’t plan to use much overhead lighting in your bedroom. Because of the structure of these lamps and the fact that they use bulbs with a high wattage, placing a few throughout your bedroom will spread light more effectively than several table lamps.

2. Think about how each piece of lighting will be used. Decide where you want to put the lamps. Make sure there is an outlet nearby to avoid unsightly extension cords. Determining the space where the lamp will go will help you decide what size is needed where. Do you need a lamp with a narrow base? Do you want a tall lamp with a wider shade? These variations won’t work in every part of the room.

Bedside lamps should be the correct height. When you sit up in bed, you want the light to shine on any reading material, but not hit you square in the eye. These lamps provide enough close-range light and are easy to switch off when you’re lying down. (Hey, when you’re in bed, why not be lazy?) A good test is to see if the bottom of the shade is at your eye level when you’re sitting up and reading in bed.

A great alternative to a standard bedside lamp is a lamp with a swing arm, which is adjustable for any bed or person’s height.

3. Think about the amount of lighting you want in each area of your bedroom. In many homes, bedrooms have become rooms for lounging, watching TV, reading, exercising and even working. This means you need multiple layers of light to focus on particular areas, and illuminate the entire space. If you have a workspace in your bedroom, be sure to include a table or floor lamp nearby to help with reading and late-night study sessions.

Overhead and portable lights can help provide a general ambiance, while pendants next to these mirrors provide high-intensity light that helps when primping and applying makeup.

Overall, you want to accomplish a sense of soft lighting, and lighting that will allow you to accomplish specific tasks. Be sure to take natural lighting into account as well. What will your bedroom look like at different times of day? When do you spend the most time in your bedroom, and doing what? What is the lighting like then?

Don’t forget about your closets! (Who doesn’t dream about having a divine closet like this?) Recessed, overhead lighting tends to work well in a large closet space. Make sure you have adequate light to see everything — but also flattering light that actually makes it fun to try on clothes.

4. Think about your bedroom’s style. Lighting is a huge part of your bedroom’s style. Really think about the look you’re trying to achieve, and carry that theme through in your lighting. You want your room to flow. The lighting in this room is decidedly industrial, which works incredibly well with the stark decor, black and white color scheme, and bare concrete floors.

Remember that a bedroom is a place that that is supposed to bring you peace and relaxation. It should be an oasis of calm in your home. And while it absolutely should be a statement of your personal style, you also want to have an ambiance that you’ll find soothing and enjoyable. Lighting is a huge part of that.

Pay particular attention to the color theme in your bedroom, because your lighting will effect how this color is perceived in the room. Brightly colored rooms tend to need less light than darker rooms, but natural light will have to be taken in account as well.

Last … Don’t forget to plan for the placement and arrangement of switches. You want things to be convenient — when are you going to use each piece of lighting, and where will you be when you want that light to be off? Make sure bedside lighting has an easily accessible switch that can be turned off while you’re in bed.