Your bedroom is probably the only room in your house where you spend time when it’s completely dark, completely bright, or completely somewhere in between. In this article we will give you some ideas to get your bedroom lighting design just right.
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Bedroom Lighting Guide: The Basics
Here are some basic bedroom lighting tips and how to layer your lights using ambient, accent, and task lighting. We will also go over picking the right bulbs for your bedroom so that their brightness and colour match your bedroom perfectly.
Layering The Lights In Your Bedroom
Knowing how to layer your lighting is the key to creating the best lighting for your bedroom. This means finding the right balance between ambient, task, and accent lighting. By creating this balance, you will be able to create the lighting for any mood and any activity with the flick of a switch.
For starters, begin building your lighting foundation with ambient lighting, or general lighting. Proper ambient light includes natural lighting via large windows, or artificial lighting; whatever provides a decent amount of lighting that’ll enable you to perform general tasks like cleaning, folding clothes, or making the bed.
In terms of artificial lighting, ambient light is best achieved with ceiling fixtures (like for example flush mount ceiling lights, chandeliers, pendant lights) or the use of floor and/or bedside lamps. Both lighting types will offer enough lighting for activities that don’t require bright, focused light.
If you expect to do activities that require a bit more focus, like reading, working, or applying makeup, then consider layering on top of your general lighting with task light fittings. Focused task lighting need not be confined to the traditional desk task light. Consider bedside table lamps, low hanging pendants on either side of the bed, sconces, wall mounted task lights on either side of a headboard or other directional lighting placed above it.
In this sense, the bedroom task light can essentially take on any form, if it offers ample lighting needed for sustained concentration.
Accent lighting is typically meant to draw attention and highlight features–like artwork–within a given space. For the bedroom, accent lighting on its own can act as a subdued version of ambient lighting, giving off a pleasant glow and creating a cozy atmosphere. Utilising recessed lighting in the bedroom, wall sconces or creative repurposing of other fixtures are a few ways to incorporate this feature in your bedroom’s light design.
When layering your bedroom lighting, dimmers play an important role in the grander scheme of the design. Not only do dimmers let you add an extra dimension to the room’s space, but they’re inherently multifunctional. Between low lighting to full brightness, a dimmer can accommodate multiple lighting needs. At max brightness, the dimmer lends itself to general lighting, while at lower settings, the feature allows for mood setting. Because dimmers are easy to install (and if the bulb type allows for it), any lighting fixture can take on a multipurpose role.
Choosing the Right Bulb
As you layer your bedroom lighting, it’s also important to consider the type of bulb you’ll use for each fixture. But before you set out to hunt for any old bulb, you’ll want to figure out your preferred brightness level, or lumens. While the suggested lumens for the bedroom range between 2,000 and 3,000, this is a subjective decision that changes based on the type of ambience you desire for your bedroom.
After settling on the maximum lumen output of a bulb, you need to consider if the bulb type you want is dimmable. We would advise the use of LED lighting as these fittings use less power and are dimmable.
Light colour plays an important role in supporting certain activities. For starters, think about the type of bulb: incandescent/halogen bulbs typically give off a soft white glow and have a high running cost, while LEDs can run the colour temperature gamut and are energy efficient and a low cost to run.
As white and blue light colours have been shown to promote alertness, lighting with such hues is best used with the task or directional lighting to support focused activities. Because blue and white lights increase alertness and subsequently suppress the production of melatonin (or hormones that induce sleep), they are not ideal if you’re trying to wind down and relax in the bedroom after a long day. On the other hand, lighting that diffuses warmer colours (like yellow) don’t interfere with melatonin production. So, warmer lights are best for bedroom activities like reading, watching TV or simply relaxing.
With the evolving functions of the bedroom comes the need for proper lighting to support these functions. Between appropriate lighting layers, dimmers, and suitable bulbs, getting these aspects right is a sure-fire way to ensure a comfortable lighting situation in your bedroom. So, get creative and choose the fixtures and light fittings you need to get just the right balance for your perfect bedroom lighting design.
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