Of all the rooms in the house, the bedroom is probably the one we spend the most amount of time in, even if we are asleep for most of it. Given that we spend as much time in our bedrooms during the hours of darkness as we do in the daylight, getting the right lighting is crucial in creating a relaxing, multifunctional room. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most useful tips for maximizing your bedroom lightening solution.
You know the feeling- you come downstairs from the bedroom, settle down to watch TV, then suddenly remember you’ve left the bedroom light on. Rewind a few years, and you’d have had to abandon the comforts of the couch and make a second trip upstairs just to turn it off (or say hang to both your electricity bill and the environment and leave it burning). These days, you can take full control of your lighting situation without having to move a muscle. More and more lighting manufacturers are keeping abreast of the modern obsession with smartphone devices by linking their fixtures into apps that let you control your lighting with the flick of a finger. As well as helping you avoid that second walk upstairs, the apps are also a convenient way of allowing you to avoid having to arrive home to a dark house, and even of giving you control over the lighting while you’re on vacation.
Switch to Energy Efficient Bulbs
One of the best ways you can significantly impact your electricity consumption is to consider replacing your standard bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives. Fit Energy Star-labeled bulbs to your bedroom light fixtures (or indeed, any other well-trafficked room in the house) and you could potentially save up to $40-$135 in energy costs per bulb, reduce energy use by about 75 percent, and produce 75 percent less heat. As an added incentive, all Energy Star bulbs come with a manufacturer’s warranty as standard, so you’re covered if anything goes wrong.
Update your Shade
The quickest way of updating your bedroom look is to replace your old light shades with newer models. Not only will this improve the aesthetics, but it also serves an immensely practical function: choose a light shade in a lighter color, and you’ll help diffuse the available light over a wider area. Select one in a dark shade, and you can concentrate the light on a particular area. While we’re on the subject of color… before choosing a lightening fixture, consider the color and pattern of your walls, curtains, and any other decorative items in your room. Even the loveliest lighting fixture can look an eyesore if it’s a complete mismatch for the aesthetic and style of the room.
Consider LED Rope Lights
“The key to good bedroom lighting is making sure you can set the mood depending on how you feel”… so says Home Blog Zone and we’re more than inclined to believe them. Set some rope LED lightening around the frame of your bed to create a soothing ambiance and a soft, welcoming glow.
Don’t underestimate the difference bulbs of different strengths can have. While it may be tempting to choose the first pack of bulbs you see at your local hardware store, taking a few seconds to consider the level of brightness they’ll emit can make all the difference in how well your lightening system caters to your needs. It’s usually suggested you look for lumens in the range of 2000 to 4000 for the bedroom, but again, it’s important to consider how you use your bedroom, and for what tasks, before you decide which end of the scale is best. If your bedroom is very much a hive of activity, choose a bulb from the higher end of the spectrum. If you use it solely for sleep and relaxation, a bulb from the lower end will be more appropriate.
Thing About Color
Bulbs don’t just come in a range of types (e.g. incandescent/halogen bulbs, CFLs, and LEDs), they also come in a range of different colors. Blue and white bulbs tend to promote a sense of wakefulness and alertness, so are best left to rooms where you’ll be doing a lot of focused activities (the kitchen, study, etc.). As blue and white light can also suppress the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone), they’re generally not ideal for the bedroom. Warmer colors like yellow, on the other hand, have no negative impact on melatonin and can help increase feelings of relaxation.
Unless you use your bedroom solely for sleeping, you may want to consider creating a mixture of ambient, task, and accent lighting to suit whatever activity you’re engaging in. Ambient or general lighting takes in both natural light from windows and artificial lightening and is usually enough to allow you to focus on tasks like making the bed or cleaning. Ceiling fixtures like flush mount ceiling lights, chandeliers, and pendant lights are ideal for this kind of lighting requirement. Task lighting is ideal for the kind of activities that require a little more focused light than ambient lighting provides (such as applying make up or reading). Bedside table lamps, low hanging pendants on either side of the bed, sconces, and wall mounted task lights all make great options here. Finally, accent lighting can be used to highlight certain features. If you have a particular piece of artwork that you’d like to draw people’s eye to, wall sconces or tape lights will be the perfect way of doing so. Accent lighting also works to give a beautiful, subdued glow that’s perfect for the bedroom.
As Leah Harmatz, Owner & Designer for Field Theory notes, “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.” Dimmers are a great way of allowing you to accommodate different lighting needs, providing bright, focused light when you’re using the bedroom for activities, and a subdued, gentle light when you’re relaxing. Just bear in mind that not all bulb types are easy to control with a standard dimmer: CFLs (or Compact Fluorescent Lamps) are the most difficult, and should either be replaced with a halogen or high voltage LED bulb, or used in conjunction with a special dimmer.