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The Best Lighting Ideas for Bedrooms

A bedroom should be a sanctuary space, a place to relax and recharge before and after the day. Lighting choice is an integral part of a bedroom’s design, impacting its function and ability to create a sense of calm and wellbeing. Here are the recommended bedroom lighting ideas to transform your space into a tranquil oasis. 

Table of Contents

Natural Light

Natural light is key to comfort in the bedroom. Its mood-lifting glow is the cornerstone of wellness in interior design. A bedroom that harnesses sunlight’s changing patterns throughout the day helps maintain people’s circadian rhythms, encourages healthier habits, and improves mental health. Large windows with unobstructed views, light filtering window shades, and sheer curtains can help welcome the sun’s rays. 

Place a mirror across from a window to allow natural light to reflect and bounce around the bedroom.

Overhead Lighting

Overhead lighting in a bedroom

One of the most important types of bedroom lighting is ambient lighting, which is general lighting to provide enough illumination for everyday activities. This lighting commonly comes from overhead to wash the entire room with a consistent level of illumination that’s bright, but not overly so. Whichever kind of ambient lighting you choose, be sure to request a dimmer switch in order to control the amount of light and its intensity. Here are a few types of ambient lighting that work well in the bedroom: 

Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is installed by small openings in the ceiling. The bulb itself is set back from the ceiling, or recessed, to cast the light down into the room. Recommended sizes for a bedroom range from four to six inches, with various trim designs to choose from to complement the room’s style. 

Flush Mounts

A flush mount is a light fixture that is made to sit directly against the ceiling. Half globe or circular shapes are the most common in order to shine an abundance of light down into a room.

Semi-flush Mounts

Like a flush mount, a semi-flush mount fixture is also installed in the ceiling, but there is a small rod or gap that separates the mounting piece and the light itself. Semi-flush mounts are usually more decorative, but they still do a good job of illuminating a room. 


Consider adding some drama to the bedroom with a chandelier. Unlike a pendant that houses a single light bulb, a chandelier is made up of multiple bulbs within one light fixture. It also adds an attractive focal point to a bedroom and helps round out its design. Consider the height of your ceilings and the size of your bedroom to scale your fixture choice. For example, a chandelier that is two feet high will look out of place in a room with an eight-foot ceiling. 

Ceiling Fan Combination Light

If you live in a region that sees high temperatures in spring and summer, you may need a fixture that does double duty as a fan. A ceiling fan with light can help maintain good air circulation and keep you cool. Consider a model that offers several brightness options and one that includes a remote for convenient operation. 

Task Lighting

Bedside lights in a bedroom

As you consider your bedroom lighting ideas, keep in mind you will also need additional tiers of light to brighten up certain areas for specific functions like reading and getting ready. Multifunctional spaces became a necessity throughout the pandemic, and many households had to enlist the bedroom as a makeshift home office. Task lighting in a bedroom is typically at seated or eye height, and size and design options are practically limitless to complement your decor.

Wall Sconces 

If bedside table or floor space is an issue, consider wall sconces as an alternative. Wall sconces on both sides of the bed are ideal for nighttime reading, and they are available in hard-wired and plug-in models. Some fixtures even provide both installation types should your needs change. 

Table Lamps

Like wall sconces, table lamps work well for focused tasks and to add another layer of illumination. Place them on a bedside table, chest of drawers, or small console table. Having enough table lamps or task lighting offer a different way to light the bedroom. Turn off overhead lighting and turn on task lighting to create a different look and mood. 

Pendant Lights

If you are looking to make a statement, hang a pendant light from the ceiling on each side of the bed. The pendant cord’s long drop from the ceiling, coupled with your choice of fixture and bulb, adds personality and an unexpected touch. Do not let their smaller size fool you — pendants can pack a design punch that is eye-catching and functional. 

Accent Lighting

Candle on a bedroom nightstand

Unlike task lighting that brightens up a room’s functional areas, accent lighting helps highlight specific design details, like architectural features or decor. These bedroom lighting ideas are all about creating a certain look and feel.

Floor Lamps

A floor lamp can brighten up a dark corner or highlight wall decor and artwork. It can also do double duty as a task light. Place one next to a comfy armchair to create a retreat or reading nook in a bedroom. 


Nothing warms up a room and creates a cozy atmosphere like candles. To suffuse a bedroom with a soft glow, add some candles to bedside tables and shelves. For example, place a candle on a table in front of a mirror to invite the flickering flame of light to reflect around the room. 

Install your Bedroom Lighting

If you have decided on your light fixtures, now it is time to plan for installation. Once your new lighting is in, you may find you’re inspired to carry those changes through to the rest of your home. Ready to start your home improvement project?

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