Lighting According to Your Mood

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Of all the rooms in your home, your bedroom is probably the only one you spend time in when it’s completely dark, completely bright, and completely somewhere in between. So, getting your bedroom lighting design just right is essential to making it a convenient place to rest your head at night, to rise and shine each morning, and to go about your day.

We’ve compiled this bedroom lighting guide to teach you how to light a bedroom the right way. The first half will go over 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 color match your bedroom perfectly.

The second half of our bedroom lighting guide is a Q&A with Los Angeles-based interior designer, Jamie Bush, recognized for his ability to combine period and contemporary decor, sharing his secrets for a well-lit, functional, and restful modern bedroom.

Click through our table of contents to find the topic you are interested in, or read through for our bedroom lighting tips, including:

Bedroom Lighting Guide Basics
How to Layer Your Lights
How to Choose the Right Bulb
Expert Bedroom Lighting Tips from an interior designer, Jamie Bush
Bedroom Lighting Guide: The Basics
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.

Ambient Lighting

From general to specific, you’ll want to layer the kinds of lighting depending on what you anticipate doing in your bedroom on a regular basis. For starters, begin building your lighting foundation with ambient lighting, or general lighting. Proper ambient light includes natural lighting via large windows or skylights, 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 flush mount ceiling lights, chandeliers, pendant lights, etc.) or through portable, like floor lamps. Both lighting types will offer a sufficient amount of lighting for activities that don’t require bright, focused light.

Task Lighting
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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 lights. Focused task lighting need not be confined to the regular 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, as long as it offers ample lighting needed for sustained concentration. Apart from its design and location, a task light’s functionality also resides within its bulb (more on that later).

Accent Lighting

Pitch 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. Utilizing recessed lighting in the bedroom, wall sconces, tape lights, or creative repurposing of other fixtures are a few ways to incorporate this feature in your bedroom’s light design.

According to Leah Harmatz, Owner & Designer for Field Theory, “Proper lighting/dimmers are important, because if there’s only one bright light source, it’s hard to transition into a relaxed sleep-mode. With a] bedside lamp or sconce, you can ease into sleep or wake more gradually.”

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 environment, 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

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