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Bedroom lighting

Bedroom lighting

Bedroom lighting should be adaptable enough to combine good overall illumination with bright task lighting and softer, mood lighting to create a cosy atmosphere. General principles At least one light should switch on from the door so that you don't have to stumble across a dark room. And it is much better if general lights can be controlled from the bed as well as the doorway.

Whether or not you are an avid reader-in-bed, you need good bedside lighting for getting into and out of bed. If you have to get up in the night it is more convenient, and less disturbing for anyone else in the room, to switch on a bedside lamp rather than the main light.

Dimmer switches are a valuable addition to bedroom lighting as they enable you to change the level of light to suit your mood.

Choosing the fittings

Most light fittings are perfectly suitable for bedrooms; your choice depends on your taste and needs.

A central pendant can give reasonable - but fairly inflexible general illumination. One problem, however, is shadows; if you undress standing between the light and unlined curtains or a blind you may provide your neighbours with an interesting spectacle!

Wall lights strategically positioned round the room create warm pools of light. Two can be used as bedside lights, helping to give unity to your lighting scheme.


Recessed downlighters provide good overall lighting, although you may have a problem with glare; the eye tends to be drawn towards the ceiling when lying in bed. You can overcome this by choosing downlighters with louvres or try the adjustable eyeball type. These can be angled towards the walls to highlight pictures or objects on shelves, or directed towards wardrobes or dressing tables. Wall-mounted spotlights can also be used in this way.