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7 Common Bedroom Lighting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

bedroom lighting mistakes

Home improvement projects have grown over the last few years. Since living areas, bathrooms, and kitchens are the most visible to guests, these are among the most popular projects, while often neglecting other areas of the home.

There are many reasons to move bedroom renovations to the top of your list. It is the place in the home where you and your family members start and end every day. Bedrooms are spaces of rest and respite, set apart from the rest of the house.

Lighting is a huge part of this. There are plenty of bedroom lighting mistakes you can make, which can undermine your functional and aesthetic goals.

If you are installing or replacing bedroom lighting, the good news is that, once you know what these missteps are, you can avoid them. This article covers the seven most common bedroom lighting pitfalls. Keep reading to find out more.

1. Not Considering Funiture Layout Before Choosing Lights

When choosing new lighting for a bedroom, it is important to first consider furniture layout. Failing to do so could create major headaches down the road when it comes to permanent lighting.

You can move floor and bedside lamps around. And ceiling fans are almost always centered in the room. But think about how permanent fixtures will work with your furniture.

Wall sconces, recessed lighting, pendant lights, and other permanent fixtures are difficult to relocate. Spend some time thinking about the overall layout of your room before installing them.

2. Wrong Bedroom Lighting Fixtures

You may not think that fixtures have a lot to do with the lighting in a room, but they are perhaps the most important component. They can make or break your bedroom’s lighting experience.

Fixtures are important for several reasons. One is volume. Choosing fixtures that are overly large will produce too much light in the room; too small and you may not have enough light (regardless of the bulbs you use).

Fixtures also have a lot to do with light direction. Ceiling lights project light downward, while floor lamps come from the opposite direction. Lamps and wall sconces comprise the middle layer.

Some combination of fixtures is preferable. Which ones you choose depends on how you use the room and the ambiance you are trying to achieve.

4. Not Enough Light

One of the most common bedroom lighting mistakes is only thinking in terms of sleeping, then creating a dark, unlit space. Many people fail to create enough light in a bedroom because they feel it is not needed.  

But ample light can bring about a feeling of cleanness and rejuvenation, which is great for starting your day. The important thing is to have the option of having enough light when you want it.

Err on the side of having too many lighting options. You can always turn lamps and ceiling lights off, but you cannot magically bring more light into the room.

5. Choosing the Wrong Type of Lighting

The main dilemma with bedroom lighting is that you need enough of it for daily tasks and for things like reading in bed, but you don’t want to overdo it. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make: choosing the wrong type of lighting for their bedrooms.

Solve this problem by “layering,” or installing a variety of types of lighting. This allows you to select the best one depending on the distinct time of day or task. 

For instance, have overhead lights for getting dressed or tidying up and bedside table lamps for evenings. Small wall lamps project light in a focused area and are great for bedtime reading. Soft white light is best for vanities and makeup mirrors.

To take it a step further, when installing lighting designed for specific purposes, make sure to consider control accessibility. For instance, if you are installing sconces for bedtime reading, ensure that each person controls their side of the bed. This makes it so they don’t have to rely on their partner to turn the lights on and off.

6. Choosing the Wrong Bulbs

Color temperature has a lot to do with the environment of a space for lighting. It can make you more energetic or relaxed. Color temperature is measured on the Kelvin (K) scale, from 1,000 to 10,000.

High color temperature causes your body to release serotonin, which impacts your energy levels and mood. You often hear this referred to as “blue light” or cooler temperature.

Low color triggers the release of melatonin. This chemical causes your body and mind to relax and wind down. It refers to warmer temperatures, including red light.

A good rule of thumb is to select bulbs that emit between 2,700K and 3,500K. The upper (3,000K to 3,500K) is a standard demarcation where light provides a good mix of color with white but avoids giving a sterile feel to the space.

7. Ignoring Decorative Lighting

Lighting is not only functional, but it helps create a distinct feel to the room. Many people fail to “think outside the box” when it comes to installing lighting in their bedrooms.

Beyond lighting for specific activities and times of day mentioned above, consider decorative lighting in your bedroom. Tables lamps can serve this function, as can a sconce over a nightstand. Headboard and canopy lights are a nice touch, and white string lights are a popular option for children’s bedrooms.

Another mistake people make here is assuming that the same decorative light that works for your patio or other parts of your home will suffice. But you should always go with warm or neutral white light when selecting decorative lighting in bedrooms.

Learn More About Avoiding Bedroom Lighting Mistakes

Now that you know the seven most common bedroom lighting mistakes, you can avoid these pitfalls going forward. A little foresight and planning will ensure that you have ample lighting while creating the type of warm and relaxing environment that every bedroom needs.

At Wilbur Davis Studios, our goal is to reawaken daily enjoyment of your living space through quality furniture and home decor. We streamline the online ordering process so that we can focus on woodworking rather than administrative tasks. Reach out to us today to learn more about our products and services.