Bedroom lighting should be at the forefront of any bedroom decorating scheme.
Designer bedroom lighting plans should incorporate ambient, accent and task lighting. Ambient lighting serves the same function as natural sunlight, bathing your entire bedroom in light. Accent lighting highlights visual features and task lighting makes light work of reading in bed. Your bedroom should be a place to relax, so make sure your lighting scheme reflects that.
The bedroom lighting that you decide on will depend on the size and design of your room and on your preferred decorating style. In a very small room, for example, wall-hung lights will tend to be preferable to table lamps as you may not have the space for bedside tables. In a more traditional scheme, classic sconce-design wall lights with silk or glass shades might be preferred over angled, adjustable styles in stainless steel or chrome, which are best suited to more contemporary decorating schemes.
Larger bedrooms will naturally allow for larger lamps – look at floor-standing versions that you could position in corners or behind bedheads or bedside tables. Fitted storage headboards may be suitable for built-in spotlights, while open shelving above a headboard is the perfect perch for clip-on reading lights.
All bedrooms need an all-over ambient pendant light alongside task lights that you can operate from the bed. Be sure to pick out styles that you love and that you will appreciate every time you wake up to them.
Looking for more bedroom inspiration? Take a look at our romantic bedroom ideas
This chalet-style bedroom features an attractive symmetrical arrangement of two adjustable wall lights, making it easy to read without needing to keep the main room lights on. When not in use, the lights can be rearranged to return the bedroom to its calm, symmetrical and composed state.
Cast a comforting glow in your bedroom. Give fairy lights a permanent home and they’ll add a magical glow to any space. Fairy lights are the perfect solution if you live in a rented property and don’t have the freedom to decorate. This set of fairy lights twinkles like stars against the midnight sky tones of the wall.
Similar fairy lights
Farrow & Ball
A striking lampshade in a bold houndstooth pattern draws the eye in this eclectic bedroom. Strong block colour on the walls is carried through to the accessories and soft furnishings, while the bold paisley print on the beautiful upholstered bed helps to unify the striking scheme.
LED spotlights have been built into the frame to illuminate this vanity mirror, perfect for grooming and make up application. Here, the black-framed mirror with LED lights is a direct reflection of the framed prints on the opposite wall.
If you only have space on one side of the bed, then consider an adjustable wall-hung lamp. This lamp has a long arm that can be angled to make it easy to read or perform a variety of tasks when the main light is off.
While the letterbox window of this bedroom floods the bed and the room with light during the day, at night, bedside lights are essential. The table lamps seen here are tall enough so that when switched on, a broad shaft of light falls across the pillows, while their sculptural forms provide a link between the top and bottom halves of the room. Their semi-transparent white shades also mean that, during the day, natural light streams through them, enhancing, not upsetting, the dreamy effect of the glamorous bedroom.
Similar mirrored chest
An oversized, bulb-lit anchor serves as a practical but fun and decorative source of light in this child’s bedroom. Its distinctive shape also instantly creates a sense of a theme for the easily tidied scheme. As with all electrical accessories, make sure the light is safe; a light this size needs to be securely fixed so that it does not fall over at any point.
In a small bedroom there are only so many ways of arranging a bed, so fixed lighting is less likely to cause problems later on. Wall-mounted or ceiling-hung bedroom lighting is particularly effective as it leaves you with more floor space to use for furniture, as well as access to the bed, drawers and cupboards. This bedroom pendant light is both decorative and practical and is a clever way to make a focal statement in a relaxed bedroom scheme. To get the position absolutely right, first position your bed.
A combination of fittings is used to light this contemporary bedroom. Mood lighting is provided by the paint-matched uplighters set at picture-rail height around the room, while the task lighting takes the form of neat reading lights positioned above the headboard. Their flexible design, rendered in industrial aluminium, adds a sculptural twist to the monochrome scheme.
Mismatched white bedside lamps set against the bold poppies and peonies mural in this vibrant bedroom are a simple way of making sure that nothing competes with the oversized floral design. For a more formal effect, you could use large drum shades in a rich red or orange and stand them on substantial bases coloured to match the painted wood of the four poster bed.
A sculptural pendant light in brilliant white shines out from the graduated grey palette of this bedroom, adding visual interest to the corner of the room. The soft glow provided by the shade will help emphasise the sensory appeal of the soft velvet and crinkly waffle weave fabrics used to create a sense of understated glamour in this contemporary bedroom.
In a small bedroom with limited natural light, position the bed as close to the window as possible for daytime reading. Once evening falls, wall sconces flanking the bed are a space-saving way to provide additional illumination and evoke a sense of nostalgia in the pretty bedroom. An overhead pendant will throw light across the wider space, essential if you are to use the mirror to look in, and not just as a light reflector.
While recessed spot lights are often used to light attic bedrooms where natural light is rare to non-existent, they are hardly the best way to create that cosy, up-in-the-roof mood that such rooms should have, even if you use dimmer lights. Table lamps and or a wall sconce or two (the bedside light seen here is in fact a wall sconce) will provide you with essential task lighting and a flexible way for you to create washes of mood lighting for the room.