A Guide To Bedroom Lighting Fixtures The Spruce

October 17, 2018 8:35 am by sandiego
Bedroom with flush mount ceiling fixture
Pendant lights
A Guide To Bedroom Lighting Fixtures The Spruce

Another very popular bedroom lighting choice, the semi-flush-mount fixture is similar to the flush-mount, but drops down a few inches on a short rod. Often, there is a decorative medallion around the fixture’s base on the ceiling. You’ll probably find the widest range of styles and designs in this lighting category, but many are more suited to other rooms of the home. Although clear glass, open-bottomed and highly shiny fixtures are lovely choices for the foyer or living room, they are too…MORE bright for the bedroom.

Notice how Atmosphere Interior Design worked multiple light sources around this contemporary bedroom. Two bedside lamps, a ceiling fixture, and a floor lamp are spaced around the room to provide plenty of light for every need. 

While a grown-up bedroom doesn’t necessarily need a matched set of furniture, it should have real furniture. That doesn’t mean no repurposed items in the bedroom – a trunk makes a wonderful footboard and a pair of old shutters look great at the head of the bed – but it does mean that ugly plastic milk crates belong on the service porch, not holding your accessories; that bookcases made from cinder blocks and boards are better left to the dorm room; and that those clear plastic rolling 3-drawer organizers from Target are well-suited to holding craft supplies and toys in the kids’ room, but don’t belong in your adult bedroom. If your bedroom still holds any of those items, treat yourself to a piece of real furniture that makes you feel all grown up instead. You work hard; you deserve it.

Wall sconces are a great way to save space in a tiny bedroom, like the one shown here from Lindye Galloway Interiors. Plus, when the sconce has an adjustable arm, you can focus it right on your reading material, or wherever else you’d like to shine a bit more light. 

This serene bedroom from Martha O’Hara Interiors shines light from the unexpected touch of a capiz shell flush-mount fixture. So pretty.

From sleek contemporary to rustic country, there is a style of wall sconce for every decorating theme. Sconces are an excellent choice for the bedroom, and are typically installed on each side of the bed.

Every bedroom deserves a comfortable chair, and if that chair has a tall floor lamp beside it, like this lovely room from Krista Watterworth Design, you’ve created a wonderful spot to sit and read, or merely sit and think. Such a pretty bedroom.

Everything about this eclectic bedroom is glorious, but the wonderful sputnik crystal chandelier is the icing on the cake. From Anne Coyle Interiors, this bedroom is a study in the brilliant use of color, pattern, texture, and shine. 

Track lighting works best in a contemporary or minimalist bedroom with high ceilings.There are many styles of track heads,…MORE including pendant styles, cans and traditional spotlights.Track lighting is a good choice for large walk-in closets.

This is a great choice if your bedroom’s ceiling is 10 feet or more.Keep the size of your light fixture in scale to your bedroom’s size. In a large room, choose a large fixture. If your bedroom is small, look for an equally small, simple fixture.

A dimmer/remote control is a nice feature.

After sleep, your bedroom’s next-most important function is dressing room, and every dressing room needs a full-length mirror that allows you to see your outfit from head to toe. Whether it’s on the back of your bedroom door, inside your closet or mounted to your closet door, add a mirror to your master bedroom.

Use wall sconces in place of a bedside lamp to save room on a small nightstand, or keep the room looking uncluttered.Sconces with adjustable swing arms make it a breeze to position the light right where you need it for reading in bed.

Install your sconces near enough to reach easily from the…MORE bed. This generally means they should be four to six inches out to the side of the headboard, and approximately two feet above the mattress, but the exact position depends on the style of sconce and your personal preference.

Sconces with small shades or covers protect your eyes from glare, and are best when used next to the bed. 

Glass pendant lights shed maximum light, making them great for use where you want to read or dress. Here, Jute Interior Design adds traditional style to a man’s bedroom with simple glass shades. 

The large drum shade on the semi-flush ceiling fixture in this bedroom from Beach Glass Interior Design matches the shades on the bedside lamps, bringing a touch of harmony to this glamorous and stylish bedroom. 

The most formal style of ceiling fixture, chandeliers add undeniable glamour, drama and elegance to a room. Although the largest and most formal chandeliers belong in other areas of the home, a smaller fixture is a great choice for bedrooms decorated with a wide range of bedroom styles: cottage, Tuscan, art deco, romantic and traditional, to name just a few. Choose a streamlined design, and a chandelier becomes the finishing touch to a contemporary or even minimalist bedroom.

You’re old enough to deserve good quality sheets that match, feel soft against your skin and are free of stains and snags. If you are still making do with a mishmash of sheets that bear no relation to each other, it’s time to buy new bedding that not only goes together, it also goes with your entire bedroom’s décor. They don’t have to be super expensive, and they don’t even have to be sold as a set – but a master bedroom’s sheets are comfortable, and they match.

This colorful bedroom has an eclectic, retro feel, in no small part thanks to the bright pink hanging pendant light fixture. Lampshades are a great way to add a shot of color or pattern to your bedroom. Emily Henderson Interiors decorated this pretty space. 

This is the best choice for low ceilings of 9 feet or less.To prevent unpleasant glare while lying in bed, choose a fixture that has a covered bottom. Otherwise, you’ll be looking up at a bright bulb.

Frosted or marbled fixtures are best for the bedroom, as clear fixtures are a bit too bright for the space.A remote control means you don’t have to get out of bed to turn off the light.

When it comes to sleep-time, the darker the better, but what about the other hours spent in your bedroom? Readying for bed, dressing in the morning, reading, relaxing, romance… the bedroom is a busy place even during waking hours. Those activities take a well-lit bedroom – one with several light sources layered from ceiling to bedside.

Track lighting is more often used in the living room or kitchen than in the bedroom, but it can have great dramatic effect when used to spotlight artwork, as in this contemporary bedroom from Sak Designs. 

Track lights are positional spotlights affixed to a metal track on the ceiling or wall, and usually used to spotlight artwork or accents in a room, not for general lighting. It’s not used in the bedroom as often as the other varieties of ceiling light fixtures, but can work well to highlight a special feature in a large bedroom, or brighten the dressing or vanity area.

Semi-flush-mount fixtures hang down just a few inches from the ceiling, as opposed to flush-mount fixtures, which are at ceiling level; and chandeliers and pendants, which typically hang further down on thin chains or poles. The chic bedroom from the Melissa Davis Group shown here has a unique metal semi-flush-mount drum fixture. 

Why settle for a boring bedside lamp when you could have an owl? Or a monkey, horse, seashell, pine tree. There’s a lamp out there for whatever you fancy. Here, blog Darling Darleen adds a touch of fun to an orange and white room. 

When it comes to decorating the bedroom, lighting is often forgotten in the excitement of choosing bedding and furniture, along with picking a color scheme. That’s a shame because good lighting is a very important element of design in every room of the home. Don’t merely set a lamp beside your bed and call it done; use the following ideas to create a functional and beautiful lighting plan for your own bedroom, like the gorgeous combination of lamps and ceiling fixture in this bedroom…MORE from Robin Gannon Interiors.

You need high…MORE ceilings for a chandelier.Hanging a chandelier in the bedroom is a balancing act. While you don’t want an excessively large chandelier in the bedroom, generally, the lower you hang the fixture, the larger it should be.

Still, for a small bedroom, keep the chandelier to no more than 20 inches in diameter. In a larger bedroom, limit the chandelier to no more than 30 inches across.Chandeliers vary widely in the intensity and amount of light they provide.

In the bedroom, you’ll want one that casts diffuse, moderate light.Don’t hang a chandelier directly over the head of your bed – keep it towards the center of the room and the lower third of your bed.

If your bedroom has a sitting area, use a chandelier to define the space. 

Pendant lights hang down from the ceiling on a chain or on a long rod. This very trendy and versatile type of light fixture makes a big splash in your bedroom’s décor, and is especially popular in contemporary bedrooms.

Here, a contemporary bedroom from D2 Interieurs shows off two fantastic lighting designs: the modern brass chandelier and the stylishly sleek swing-arm sconces. 

Ceiling fans can be flush-mount, semi-flush-mount or dropped a foot or more, but they aren’t a choice for bedrooms with very low…MORE ceilings.Frosted or white opaque glass is the best choice for the bedroom.

While ceiling fans are often casual or country style, you’ll find plenty of sleek, modern designs well suited for contemporary décor.A remote control is a must for a bedroom ceiling fan. 

A lighting fixture doesn’t have to be fancy to provide a powerful punch of design to the room. Case in point: The drum lampshade on the ceiling fixture in this bedroom from Tobi Fairley & Associates is simple in shape, but it holds its own against the many other strong touches in the bedroom thanks to its bold black-and-white stripes.

Once you pass a certain age, it’s time to give away blowup beds, futons and old mattresses that sag in the middle. Adulthood – particularly the adult back – demands a good-quality mattress that gives proper support to your whole body. A new mattress can make the difference between a restorative night’s rest and an achy, draggy day of fatigue.

One of the most common types of bedroom lighting is a flush-mount ceiling fixture, as shown in the bedroom from Studio McGee shown here. While flush-mount fixtures have something of a reputation for being boring or unattractive, a well-chosen fixture can be quite lovely, as this one proves. 

While chandeliers are often the traditional, crystal-bedecked design, that’s not the only option. Here, a gorgeous, gold, 3-tier drum chandelier adds a hefty dose of “Wow!” to this bedroom from Tatum Brown Custom Homes. 

Every bedroom needs a bedside light of some kind. Most often, that light is a table lamp, although floor lamps, wall sconces and pendant lights are other options. Your bedside lamp needs to be practical, but that doesn’t mean it can’t add a powerful punch of décor to your bedroom.

Unless your bedroom is extremely small, it needs more than one source of light. Various combinations of bedside lamps, floor lamps, ceiling fixtures, and mood lighting make it easy to read in bed, get dressed and undressed, enjoy romance, and relax. In this gorgeous green and brown bedroom from interior designer Tobi Fairley, a stunning chandelier and two small bedside wall sconces set the lighting scene. 

Nothing beats a ceiling fan on a warm summer night. The refreshing breeze is often enough to leave off the air conditioning. Not every ceiling fan has an attached light kit, but you’ll usually want one in the bedroom. Generally, designs with multiple “candles” or cups look best in dining or living rooms – in the bedroom, choose a fixture with bowl-covered bulbs.

Are your bedroom walls bare and bleak? Empty walls make a room look sterile and temporary. Your bedroom is your home – give it your personal stamp with a piece of large artwork over the headboard or over the dresser, and a few smaller pieces to balance the space. Your artwork might include paintings, prints, enlarged photographs, framed maps or botanical prints, quilts or other textile artwork, or architectural trim – the choice is up to you.

This stunning light fixture combines two popular trends: crystal chandeliers and hanging drum fixtures. The contemporary bedroom is from Shophouse Design. 

Every bed needs some form of bedside lamp. You can match your lamps, like Jana Bek Design did in this colorful bedroom, or choose mismatched lamps for a more casual style. As long as the lamps are fairly close in size, they will look fine.

With so many choices available, there’s no reason to have an ugly or boring bedside lamp, or make do with a dull lampshade. Jazz it up with a colorful or patterned lampshade and a lamp that makes a bit of a.

..MORE statement.For the most comfortable bedtime reading, pick a lamp that is a couple of inches taller than your nightstand. This will keep the light out of your eyes, but close enough for comfortable reading.

You should be able to reach the lamp’s switch without an uncomfortable – or unsafe – stretch.For the best appearance, pick a lamp that is properly scaled to your nightstand’s size.Three-way bulbs make it easy to brighten up your bedside lamp for reading, or tone it down when it’s time for romance.


Every bed needs a bedside table, or even better if you have the space, two. That doesn’t mean those tables have to match, or even technically have to be tables. There are many items that repurpose beautifully as nightstands. But a grown-up bedroom has some sort of furnishing next to the bed that not only visually anchors the mattress in the room, it provides a surface to hold a lamp, reading materials, glasses, a cup of tea or a box of Kleenex.

Generally, you’ll want your lights spaced 3 feet to 5 feet apart in an average-sized…MORE bedroom. Four to eight lights are usually enough for bedroom use.Lights should be positioned around the perimeter of the room.

In a very large room, you’ll probably need an additional row.  A dimmer is a must for recessed lighting in the bedroom.Use recessed lights to define a separate reading or sitting area.Recessed lights are the best choice for a walk-in or large closet.


You might think recessed lights – also called can lights, down lights or pot lights – are only for the living room, but they actually are a very contemporary choice for the bedroom. In an especially large room, recessed lights work well in combination with other types of ceiling fixtures. Recessed lights are good with any height ceiling, and give the illusion that a low ceiling is higher than it really is.

Creating a grown-up bedroom doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money, following the latest trends or buying an entire set of matching furniture. The number one guideline to decorating is to follow your heart, and that’s especially true in the bedroom, your refuge from the demands of the day. But still, there are certain characteristics that turn a bedroom into a truly master bedroom. Here are seven items every grown-up bedroom needs.

Matching nightstands and wall sconces lend a somewhat formal feel to this lovely bedroom from Gordon James Design.

A wooden chandelier is a masculine take on the traditional design. Here, Tracery Interiors uses multiple wooden accents to set a serenely masculine style that most women would love just as well. 

Pendant lighting is best with high bedroom ceilings – 10 feet or more.You can use pendant lights as bedside lighting by dropping them down over the nightstands. Just make sure to leave enough space between the nightstand and the bottom of the pendant: at least 12 inches and.

..MORE up to 22 inches.If you are hanging pendants for general room lighting, position them near the bottom of your bed, towards the center of the room.In the bedroom, pendants look best over the bed or other furniture, rather than hanging over walkways.

Watch out for clear glass or open designs that might be too bright for bedroom comfort. 

Probably the most common source of overhead bedroom light, flush-mount fixtures sit directly against the ceiling, and are typically a light bulb covered…MORE with a decorative glass or plastic bowl-shaped cover. In a small-to-medium size bedroom, this may well be all the overhead lighting you need. Look for fixtures that complement your bedroom’s decorating style. Many flush-mount fixtures are very simple, but there are choices with a bit more flair. Metal or painted trim, molded glass and unusual shapes are all options.

One of the easiest ways to save space on your nightstand is to use pendant lights in place of bedside lamps, as demonstrated in this glamorous bedroom from Jaimee Rose Interiors. 

A ceiling fan adds both pleasant breeze and ​a hefty dose of style when you combine traditional style with sparkling crystals. This lovely bedroom is from the blog ​the good stuff. 

If the bed is not shared, save on space by using a floor lamp in place of the extra nightstand.Use a floor lamp to…MORE illuminate your reading nook or bedroom seating area.Floor lamps with adjustable heads make it easy to direct light where you want it.

If you are using a floor lamp as your bedside light, look for a lamp that curves to focus the light downwards. If you are using the lamp for additional room light, choose one with an upwards-facing bulb.


Your bedside lamp is one of the easiest ways to add a pop of color, texture, pattern, or contrast to your bedroom. Here, Kelly Rogers Interiors chose a turquoise foo dog lamp to top a bright yellow nightstand. The contrast adds so much life to the room. 

In your younger years, you didn’t get much say in your living area’s décor. Most likely, your mother’s tastes determined your childhood bedroom’s style, perhaps with a little bit of input from you. If you moved away to college, there were guidelines and size restrictions limiting your dorm room’s design. Post-graduation, you were probably more focused on getting a head start in the working world than decorating a home. But life moves quickly, and before you know it, you’re all grown up, you support yourself and now it’s your turn to decide how your bedroom is going to look.

If the only source of light in your bedroom is a small ceiling fixture, your room isn’t a truly grown-up space. Just as every bedroom needs a bedside table, every bedside table needs a bedside lamp, or a sconce affixed to the wall over that bedside table. Ideally, a small bedroom should have at LEAST two sources of light, and a larger bedroom should have a minimum of three light sources – but one of those light sources needs to be right next to the bed.

It’s the rare bedroom that doesn’t benefit from a floor lamp. As the name suggests, these lamps sit on the floor, and are typically three to six feet tall. The styles of floor lamp are nearly endless, so you can match any decorating theme. If your bedroom doesn’t have ceiling fixtures, you’ll want at least one floor lamp in a small bedroom, two or more in a large room.

This small bedroom from Atelier Noel gets a lot of natural light during the day, but at night, the owner can flood the room with light by turning on the flush-mount glass-and-brass ceiling fixture, or merely use the recessed lighting over the headboard for a softer glow. 

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