The Perfect Lighting for your Bedroom

Sunlight is a natural, positive source of energy during the day but at night, light can disrupt your deep and restful sleep.

The light from the rising sun is the body and brain’s most powerful signs for it to wake up. Darkness stimulates the production of melatonin, which makes us sleepy and is a sign for the body and mind to switch off, rest and rejuvenate.

It is also the reason why in winter when the days are shorter and darker, we feel more sleepy. Our instinctive nature and primordial designed bodies would prefer us to hibernate.

Your sleep may be affected by:

  • Light coming through your curtains or blinds during the night or early hours of the morning.
  • Lights in the hallway left on after you go to sleep.
  • The light from televisions, alarm clocks, alarm keypads, mobile phones, computers that are facing you throughout the night.


To create the perfect feel for your room, lighting is just as important as the colour and decor. Correct lighting sets the right mood – it must be functional and create a warm welcoming and relaxing ambiance.

Correct planning and placement of necessary different light sources is important in the early stages of designing the bedroom.

There are 4 types of lighting needed in a room:

  1. Natural light – from outside
  2. Ambient or mood lighting
  3. Task lighting
  4. Accent lighting


When deciding how much wattage you’ll need for your ambient lighting, use the following equation often used by lighting designers: Multiply the room’s width by its length and then multiply that number by 1.5 to get the recommended minimum number of watts. For example, a 10 foot x 12 foot bedroom would need at least 180 watts (120 x 1.5 = 180) to be well lit. So, installing a hanging chandelier with five 40-watt bulbs should provide ample light.


Ambient is general lighting and provides overall illumination and serves as the main light source. Your room’s primary ambient light could be a low- hanging chandelier, a standard ceiling-mounted fixture, a series of recessed down- lights or a cutting-edge track light.

In your bedroom where you want to create different moods, a dimmer on your lights will enable you to set a more intimate mood when needed. Replacing a standard light switch with a dimmer switch will enable you to increase or decrease the intensity of your ambient lighting to fit your needs.


Task lighting illuminates spaces for specific tasks. Pendant lights, recessed lights, track lighting or table lamps for reading while you sit in bed or at a desk. If you need more light to get a job done in a specific area, its called task lighting.

Task lights are usually brighter than ambient lighting. Task lighting should fall directly on the area requiring more illumination without forming shadows.

Table lamps and floor lamps are often used as task lighting when placed near couches, chairs or desks or beds. When choosing a bedside lamp, make sure that the shade is shaped wide enough that it casts light down directly onto the book or other task you need to perform.


Accent lighting is the third and final layer to any complete lighting plan. It draws attention to areas of interest in the room, from architectural details like archways, replaces, or tray ceilings to unique artwork, photographs, dishes or collectables. Sconces, strip lights, wall-mounted picture lights, miniature recessed lights and track lights are popular forms of accent lighting. Choosing lighting that is stronger than the ambient light surrounding it will create a strong impact.

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