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Effective Lighting - Get In the Mood


Published: 03/27/2013

by Kimberley Seldon

Large or small, the bedroom has become a multi-functional space, used for much more than just sleeping. Dark bedrooms are perfect for slumber, but too little light inhibits other activities taking place there.

 Since this room is frequently used for watching television, reading, dressing and even working, it makes sense that the lighting scheme is all-encompassing.

Here’s a guide to choosing effective lighting for the bedroom.


General lighting for daytime When planning a lighting scheme for the bedroom, consider its requirements on the gloomiest day. Make sure to provide enough general illumination to see clearly as you move about and get dressed for the day ahead.

 Morning people enjoy the feeling of waking to full sun or light. In this case, general lighting can be provided by a variety of sources: a ceiling fixture, chandelier, pot lights,  wall sconces, or even fanlights. Those who are slow to rise have the same requirements for general lighting, but find dimmable light fixtures essential.

 Lighting inside and outside the closet area is important too. After all, you’ll want to see well enough to distinguish between navy and black pants or socks. A surface-mounted light fixture, frequently behind a long, narrow valance due to the closet’s proportions, is the most common choice, but track lighting that can be directed onto clothing

works best.


To illuminate a dressing table, especially if this is where you apply makeup, it’s important to bring light down near the face, rather than have it coming from above, where it casts unwanted shadows beneath the eyes. Ideally, aim for even lighting on both sides of your face (with cross lighting) as this provides the most flattering light for grooming.

Cross lighting can be supplied by a pair of table lamps or wall sconces. Otherwise, a single lamp, preferably one with a flexible arm and head, can be called into service.

 A senior’s bedroom has special needs. More light is required for seeing after the age of 50, and older eyes

are more sensitive to glare. Bulbs should be covered by shades or bowl-type fixtures.
Keep light switches large and simple, and consider colour coding light switches for easy use.


TV watching or relaxing

Even, uniform peripheral lighting is ideal for relaxing with a good book or cup of tea. It’s also the most

soothing light as bedtime approaches. Any of the general light sources mentioned earlier – a ceiling-mounted

fixture, pot lights or a chandelier – will work, provided they are outfitted with dimmer switches.


Bedside reading

Bright, crisp light aids clear thinking – ideal if nighttime reading is for work or school. But for quiet reading, it’s
better to have a more diffused, though direct light. This is most often provided by a bedside lamp with a

semi-opaque shade made of pleated silk, linen or parchment. Place lampshades at eye level. Swing-arm wall

lamps on either side of the bed not only provide ideal reading light, they also allow partners
to use the lights independently and leave the night tables free for a clock, radio or book. 


Need a professional interior designer?
Kimberley Seldon Design Group offers consultations and full design-build
services to meet your specific needs.

For details, visit



MINUT • $16.99. Wall lamp.

Söder •           
$59.99. Pendant lamp, glass.

Vidja • $24.99. Table lamp.

Nyfors • $69.99. Table lamp, nickel plated.

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