3W Spiral LED Wall Light ($13.99)
Good lighting can do a lot for any space. Bedroom lighting often needs to serve the dual purposes of providing both ambiance and enough illumination when needed to read or even work (for those inclined to work in bed). Lighting can also make a small bedroom feel bigger.
Layers of light add warmth and interest to your space. Having multiple light sources allows you to adjust it to reflect a specific mood. Don’t shy away from using multiple lights in varying styles to light your space. For instance, a bedside table could have a pendant light hanging above it as well as an adjustable reading lamp on top of it.
Different types of light shades produce varying lighting effects. Parchment or card shades in general push light up and down, not sideways, while lampshades made from linen or silk allow more light to pass through their sides.
I love unusual, funky lamps, especially those from the mid-century modern period. One of my favorite vintage stores, which I used to frequent often when I live in Austin, Texas, is Room Service Vintage. They always had some of the best lamps – like an emerald green three-light floor lamp. They sell some of their inventory via their Instagram account and website.
Whatever sort of lighting you decide you want, remember that bedrooms are often sanctuaries (at least that’s how I see them) whether they be for you, other family members, or guests. You’re allowed to use whatever kinds and combinations of fixtures and lamps that you desire, that make you happy.
Here are some creative lighting ideas for your bedroom if you want to get away from the standard round ceiling fixture and basic table lamp combo.
A sunset lamp provides all sorts of possible lighting ambiance for your bedroom. This multi-color LED lamp features 16 different colors, adjustable brightness, and four lighting effects including jump, strobe, gradient, and smooth. The projector head also rotates 180 degrees. With all these choices, you’ll surely be able to find a suitable lighting effect for whatever your mood may be at the time.
This corded, wall-mounted fixture produces a spiraled 360-degree lighting effect, adding an interesting vibe to your bedroom sanctuary. Use multiple ones spaced a couple of feet apart as a unique headboard feature behind your bed.
While in general, I’m not a fan of overhead lighting, a Sputnik chandelier will always be the exception. Inspired by the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of the world’s first orbiting satellite, Sputnik, original mid-century Sputnik Chandeliers can cost around $3,000. The defining characteristic of every Sputnik fixture is a central core surrounded by multiple, extended arms with bulbs.
This handmade one by Sputniks Lamps is considerably less expensive and customizable in various iterations of brass finishes, as well as chrome, and black metal. It would look amazing in a bedroom with dark blue walls and a starry night sky theme.
I’ve always liked the idea of a reading chair in the bedroom. However, the bedroom in my pre-war apartment only allows room for a wood, straight-backed, “clothes chair” – you know, a chair where you pile either the clean clothing you’ve yet to put away and/or things you’ve worn that don’t yet merit being thrown into the laundry.
At any rate, a statement floor lamp next to a reading – or clothing chair – provides nice accent lighting as well as illumination for reading (or sorting through a pile of clothes). There’s also this weird feather lamp by Blonski if you want to further solidify a bird motif in your bedroom.
If you don’t have a lot of floor space and/or if you like more minimal décor, consider installing adjustable wall lighting on either side of your bed. Some wall sconce fixtures need to be hard-wired (connected to the house wiring inside the wall) while others have a cord and plug that simply uses a normal wall outlet. The one above, available at Home Depot, can be installed either way.
Another option is this plug-in lamp by Rejuvenation and West Elm which features a vintage-inspired design and an arm that extends up to a foot.
For many people, directional light for reading in bed is a necessity. I love the sleek design of this chrome, wall-mounted one from Hammacher Schlemmer. The fixture has two sliding adjustable lamps whose bulbs can be adjusted from spotlight to floodlight by narrowing or widening the beam. As the Hammacher description states, this helps alleviate a “contentious confrontation before bedtime.” I think most people would agree that the less contentious confrontations in our life, the better.
Make a statement and/or allow your personality to shine through with a funky, unusual bedside lamp. This chiriya lamp (again keeping with that bird theme) is not just functional but also a piece of sculptural art.
If you like the idea of a light sculpture, check out these handmade, 1960s-inspired, cocoon-style lamps sold by HighFiveNaturals. Another fun décor idea is colorful lamps to add a striking pop of color to your bedroom, like this orange and gold one.
Suspend a low-hanging ceiling pendant lamp over a bedside table to create accent pools of light. This pendant lamp has an adjustable cord that extends up to 59.1 inches, giving you the ability to hang it a foot or two from the top of a table if you want.
This is not specifically lighting oriented, but when I was renovating my first house (before I moved to NYC), someone told me that I couldn’t just paint the wood shiplapped walls (which the entire house was constructed with), that I had to put sheetrock or something up. I told them it was my house and I could do whatever I wanted. Apparently, this person had never heard of the whole shabby chic decor movement. So go forth and light your world however you want.