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6 things to know about properly lighting your bedroom

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Barcelona Apartment Eclectic style bedroom by ARRCC Eclectic
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Did you know that the average person sleeps for about one-third of their life? That places rather a big importance on a bedroom’s design, doesn’t it? But as we all know, more than sleeping goes on in a bedroom: spending time with that special someone, relaxing, reading, watching TV, etc. 

That brings us to bedroom lighting. Light is one of the most important factors when it comes to our circadian rhythms (the daily cycle of us sleeping and being awake). Thus, we need to properly manage it in the space where we’ll be spending roughly one-third of our life.

Let’s see how you can light up your bedroom to make it more stylish, but also more practical. 

1. General lighting for your bedroom

House Oranjezicht Classic style bedroom by KMMA architects Classic
KMMA architects

House Oranjezicht

KMMA architects

Generally, a bedroom needs ambient- and task lighting, but also accent lighting if certain pieces need to be highlighted (like artwork). Consider your bedroom’s size and how much of it you really want to illuminate (and in what way). And remember:

• Take into account what daily activities you do in your bedroom and what type of lighting they might require (task, accent, or ambient)

• Lighting fixtures must be spread out and layered. A single bright light can appear harsh and cast lots of shadows, while various light sources with a lower lumen level can result in a warmer and more welcoming look and feel. 

• Lighting fixtures can always be dressed up, such as lamps that become part of décor. 


2. Lighting for your bedside and reading nook

Slim Shady Wall Lamp in White and Brass: minimalist  by Hoi P'loy, Minimalist Copper/Bronze/Brass
Hoi P'loy

Slim Shady Wall Lamp in White and Brass

Hoi P'loy

Your bed and the immediate space around it need to help you relax, and that includes the lighting. Thus, avoid melatonin-disrupting blue lights and opt for very warm or warm white – a colour temperature between 2,000 – 2,700K.

Don’t install lights directly above your bed – you want soft lighting from the sides instead. Rather go with well-shielded fixtures and a beam angled downwards to avoid bright light in your eyes. 

To avoid tired eyes while reading in bed, opt for warm light with a higher lumen. Bonus points if you can include a dimmer switch that allows you to adjust the brightness as needed. 

3. Lighting for your dressing space / wardrobe

Ideally for this area, you want a light bulb with a cooler colour temperature that can mimic daylight—about 5,600k. And here, the fixtures must be aimed downwards to keep the light out of your eyes. 

We recommend going with LED strip lights or rope lights, as they consume minimal energy, are flexible and easy to attach. 

4. Lighting for your vanity

For your vanity mirror (or wall sconces at eye level on either side of a normal wall mirror), go with fixtures with a diffused shade or frosted glass for good, even lighting. In terms of colour temperature, it will depend on your wants and needs. While a cool daylight might help to wake you up each morning, a warmer tone is more flattering. But for the best reflection, pick a bulb with a great colour rendering index (CRI) around 80 or higher. 

5. Lighting for your work area

We know a lot of people prefer a little workstation in their bedrooms; however, not all of them adjust the lighting to differentiate their working zone from their sleeping one. 

For your little office area in your bedroom, you’ll require task lighting that is bright and cool to avoid eye strain and keep you attentive. Go with a fixture with directional lighting that you can control and aim directly at your work, like a task lamp. 

6. Switches for your bedroom lighting

Barcelona Apartment Eclectic style bedroom by ARRCC Eclectic
ARRCC

Barcelona Apartment

ARRCC

Convenience, convenience, convenience! Multiple switches throughout your bedroom that allow you to control all light fixtures (in your working zone, and dressing area, etc.) means no more getting out of bed to switch off a light (and then stumbling back to bed in the dark). Bonus points if you can add a dimmer switch to gain even more control over light levels and your bedroom’s ambience!

From perfect lighting to just about everything else, let’s see 10 ways to make your bedroom look like a hotel

Will you be updating your bedroom’s lighting to make it more perfect for dressing, reading, etc?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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