Bedroom Design: How to Light a Room

Daylight Layer

Assess the daylight available in the bedroom first. This may help reduce the amount of artificial light needed for the project and provide energy savings. Another benefit: daylight reveals the true colors in the room where incandescent and fluorescent lighting tend to distort hues and color perception. Finally, daylight has been shown to affect moods and has a positive impact on reducing stress.

Decorative Layer

The decorative layer provides illumination but the intent is ornamental and artistic. This is the most important layer for interior design and is used to set the theme or make a bold statement and show creativity. Common decorative lighting fixtures used in bedrooms are chandeliers, wall lights and sconces.

The decorative layer requires additional layers to provide effective illumination for the space. For example, a large crystal chandelier over the bed might make a bold statement in a nursery or kid’s bedroom, but it may not provide enough light for all areas of the space. It may be necessary to add some decorative wall lights or sconces that match the chandelier to efficiently illuminate all of the space.

Accent Layer

This aesthetic layer is typically used to highlight walls, surfaces and three-dimensional objects. This includes paintings, wall art, sculptures and signs. This layer plays an important role in the perception of light in the room because people instinctively respond to brightly lit vertical surfaces.

Task Layer

Used to illuminate specific tasks like reading, it is best to use a focused and directed light such as a reading lamp placed on the nightstand. Since only a small area is illuminated, the use of task lighting is more efficient than lighting the entire space. This layer is most effective when combined with the ambient lighting layer.

Ambient Layer

The ambient layer should be assessed last as it may not be necessary if the other layers already provide sufficient lighting. The ambient layer creates the mood of the space with higher levels creating the feeling of more energy. If the ambient level in the space is too low, the contrast with other layers will be high and the room will appear more dramatic. If the ambient light levels are high, the room will appear bright and the mood will feel more cheerful. Finding the right mix of layers will take some trial and error, but it is well worth the effort to create a delightful bedroom!

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