Bedroom Lighting design
A recent episode of the Design and Build show on radio live about bedrooms got me thinking about how you go about lighting one of the overlooked areas of your home. Read on for some inspiration on lighting your own sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of life
In a bedroom it is important to stick to warmer light sources, incandescent and warm coloured fluorescents provide a warmer more relaxing atmosphere that works to help you relax after a long day. Halogen or cooler coloured fluorescents are great for kitchens and bathroom as these are task areas, you want to feel bright and alert, but that is usually not what the bedroom is for.
The first thing to achieve in any space is a base light that will create enough light to make the room feel lit. In a bedroom this can be achieved by recessed downlights, a ceiling button or a pendant depending on the look of your home.
I find bedrooms to be an area that I try and get away from downlights completely. You don’t tend to heat that part of the house so a hole in the insulation from a downlight is going to let out whatever heat you have in the room.
To this end a good quality fluorescent ceiling button (ceiling dome) or a decorative pendant gives a really good baselight for a bedroom, it will fill the whole room with light making the room feel less small.
This form of lighting can be very energy efficient, these days you can find ceiling button models that use 32W of power that will be around about the equivalent of a 150W normal light bulb.
The next step in room lighting design is to identify the task lighting for the room. Reading lights either side of the headboard give you the light you need to read and if you use decorative lights instead of spotlights the you get extra light to bounce light off walls generating a softer mood and a more spacious feeling.
Adjustable spotlights create a beam of light that doesnt interfere as much with your partner while you are reading in bed. These days we are using a lot of LED reading lights like this mainly due to the much lower heat, its not that nice having a hot light over your head while you read in bed. Chunky headboards are common these days and an LED spot on a long gooseneck helps to bring the light around a chunky headboard.
Table and desk lamps are still a great option, there are heaps of different varieties. Shades are easy to replace and customisable, also they are portable which is great if you like to have the option of rearranging a room. These lights work great for a study desk in a kids room as well.
Bedrooms are an area to escape the world for awhile and ambient lighting helps to change your mood and relax. Recessed wall uplights like those pictured above create an indirect source of light to set a relaxing atmosphere.
One trick I have used a few times is to use a low level light like an LED striplight in a built-in pelmet or perhaps built into the top of your headboard to create an ambient background ‘mood’ light for the bedroom. We have even had customers purchase this striplight with colour changing LED's so they can set a romantic atmosphere to the room.