A lot of the time we spend in our bedrooms is taken up with sleeping (or trying to sleep) but whether it’s a tiny attic or a master suite, lighting is as essential here as it is in any other room in the house. The range of activities that are performed in the bedroom is perhaps more diverse than in other rooms too, so the right light for the right activity is important.
Here are a few points to remember when you’re trying to get the lighting right for sleep, near-sleep, dressing, putting on make-up etc.
- Think about the activities that take place in your bedroom and what lighting problems you’re currently having. Is it impossible to get your make-up right or do you go out with odd socks on because the light’s too dim? Or is it too light to sleep well? Are the lights in the wrong places?
- Before you go shopping, take note of the size of your room and where the power points and furniture are placed.
- Choose direct lighting for reading, one that you can swivel to the right angle; a broad, bright light for dressing; direct bright light for applying make-up etc and low level dim light for relaxation.
- And choose lights with switches you can easily reach – from the bed, at the door when you enter the room etc. If you have the resources, consider a master control panel for the room which a lighting professional will install for you.
- The lamp shades and light bulb wattage you choose will also influence the brightness of the light – dark, opaque shades will make the light appear dim and a softer diffused shade will give an inviting but relaxing feel to the room. Buy a variety of bulbs, both clear and pearl glass and try them in the fittings you have chosen so that you can achieve the look and feel you want.
- Decide whether you prefer wall-mounted fixtures, overhead lights (ceiling mounted), free-standing lamps that sit on the floor or on bedside tables etc or a mixture of these.
- Think about your cupboards/closets. Do they need a light so that you can see what’s in there? Some simple set ups allow the light to come on when the closet door is opened and switches it off when it’s closed. Ask your local lighting specialist about these.
- If the room is too light when you are trying to sleep, where is the light pollution coming from? If it’s from street lamps outside then look for blackout material that can be sewn into draperies/curtains or perhaps fit blinds in the window as well as having drapes/curtains. If it’s from the hallway or others’ bedrooms, but you like to have your bedroom door open at night, perhaps a drape/curtain across your bedroom door would block this light out.
Getting the lighting right can mean the difference between a relaxing, inviting room and one you don’t feel comfortable in. And if you’re not comfortable then you won’t sleep well.