How to Light a Bedroom

Because bedrooms are for more than sleeping

April 12, 2019

Aside from the kitchen, the bedroom is probably the most used room in the home. Bedrooms aren’t just for sleeping, either. Several other activities take place in this personal space, from sorting clothes to relaxing with a good book after a long day. Having the proper lighting in place makes performing these, and other, tasks much more feasible. There are three main types of bedroom lighting: general, task and accent. Each one is discussed below, along with a few examples of the kinds of fixtures that fall into each category.


It’s a good idea to start by thinking about general, or ambient, lighting first. This is the lighting used most frequently. It’s typically diffuse and non-directional. A centrally-located, ceiling-mounted fixture is usually the best option. If the ceiling isn’t practical, consider a strategically-placed floor lamp instead.

flush mounted round light in a nursery

Flush-mount fixtures create diffused light, cutting down on shadows.

Flush-Mount Fixtures
  • Little to no gap between fixture and ceiling
  • Good for low ceilings
  • Easily blend in with decor
semi-flush lighting fixture over a bed

Semi-flush fixtures are often hung 8-12 inches from the ceiling.

Semi-Flush Fixtures
  • Drop down from ceiling several inches
  • Good for high ceilings
  • Often more ornate than flush-mount
celing fan with lighting kit over bed

Frosted or opaque glass works best in the bedroom to diffuse light.

Ceiling Fans
  • Can be flush-mount or semi-flush-mount
  • Perform dual duties of lighting and temperature control
  • Can be remote-controlled to prevent need for getting out of bed
floor lamp against wall

Floor lamps are great when installing a celing fixture isn't possible.

Floor Lamps
  • Portable
  • Inexpensive to install
  • Come in a variety of styles and shapes


Those who enjoy doing concentrated activities in the bedroom will appreciate the space being properly lit. Task lighting is often bright and directionally-focused. Fixtures can take on just about any form. The goal is to shed light specifically on whatever project is being carried out.

lamps on bedside tables

Table lamps are one of the most common types of bedside lighting.

Bedside Lamps
  • Easy to install
  • Tons of color and style choices
  • Can be turned on or off from bed
pendant lights next to a bed

Pendants often become part of the decor, themselves.

  • Great for high ceilings
  • Look best next to bed or above other furniture
  • Frees up space on bedside tables
celing fan with lighting kit over bed

Sconces are great for tasks in bed, such as reading.

  • Usually mounted about 2 feet above mattress height
  • Keep room from looking cluttered
  • Allow full use of bedside tables


Accent lighting can be used to draw attention to a particular fixture or piece of artwork, while leaving more boring areas in shadows. Alternatively, it can be a great choice for more ambient, mood lighting - perfect for relaxing. Whatever the intention, there are lots of options available to suit any style of decor.

light strings in a bedroom

Light strings are great for setting a relaxing ambiance.

Light Strings and Tape Lights
  • Come in a variety of lengths
  • Easily fit around existing artwork, furniture and room fixtures
  • Simple to install
recessed light above picture in bedroom

Recessed lights are perfect for drawing attention to items of iterest.

Recessed and Spot Lights
  • Great for illuminating entire walls
  • Use with a dimmer to prevent glare
  • Can make ceilings feel higher
candle lantern next to a blanket

Candles are a timeless way to set the mood.

  • Very portable
  • Often smell amazing
  • Inexpensive

Related Posts

Other Articles You May Like

wooden window box with flowers
Tips for a Perfect Window Box

Window boxes never go out of style and are a wonderful way to add curb appeal to any home or apartment. Below are a few basic tips to achieve beautiful flower boxes, overflowing with healthy greenery.

Read Now!
modern kitchen with neutral backsplash
How to Choose a Kitchen Backsplash

Choosing a backsplash is a big decision. With the abundance of colors, styles and materials available at even the smallest of home improvement stores, making a selection can be overwhelming.

Read Now!
modern kitchen with neutral backsplash
5 Home Trends for 2019

2019 has brought about a myriad of changes when it comes to home remodeling and decoration. The list below highlights some of the most common ones J & J Farms General Contracting has seen over the last few months.

Read Now!