Bedrooms: Layering with Light

Bedrooms: Layering with Light

The essential feature of good lighting, in the home and out, is to make sure the user’s demands and expectations are met. Additionally, a lighting scheme should enhance our love of life through aesthetic beauty. Bedrooms are no exception, whether at home or in a hotel they are spaces that demand versatility to meet the expectations of a demanding user.

Often, form does follow function and this is a good place to begin when planning to light a bedroom. Essentially, key demands on the space will dictate our layers of light.

The layering of light ensures that the three-dimensional space of a room has light emitted from more than one actual level, enhancing interest to the eye. In the absence of good layering, the lighting scheme can flatten the space; we need to find a good contrast of light and shadow and throw light in different directions. Also, good layering of light in bedrooms will ensure the eye is not subjected to glare. Avoid downlights directly over the pillows, cover lamps in shades (even from below) to cater for someone lying in bed looking up into the fitting.

Bedroom Lighting Tips:image 1

Think function

  • A good level of illumination for general use, cleaning, making the bed, dressing etc
  • Downlights – do not position over the pillows and try to wash walls and fabrics with them and use them to create indirect light.
  • Table and floor lights with shades that will produce warm colours of white if possible.
  • Decorative pendants and wall lights – avoiding exposed lamps.
  • Light the interiors of wardrobes and cupboards especially if they have a dark finish that soaks up light.

Think low

  • A lower level of lighting for relaxing, watching tv with your feet up, reading a book etc
  • LED reading lights at the bedside
  • Table lights

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Be adaptable

  • Dimmable circuits – make sure any downlights that contribute to this mood level of light are switched separately to the overhead downlights that infill light into the space.
  • Up-light from a high-level piece of furniture to produce reflected light.
  • A very low level of light to assist bathroom trips in the middle of the night without waking yourself or your partner up with a marker light on a movement sensor.
  • Dimmable individual light fixtures.

The personal touch

  • Create something personal. The bedroom is arguably the most private room we have and is, therefore, a space that demands a personal touch.
  • Ceiling height allowing – maximise the space with a stunning pendant
  • Oversize free-standing light fixtures where you can – lighting looks better when bigger.

Dressing rooms

  • A more functional extension of the bedroom, light the user from 2 directions to minimise shadowing.
  • Use wide beamed ceiling lights.
  • Wall lights to throw light into the space horizontally.
  • Wash a wall or wardrobe to bounce light into the space.
  • Light around a mirror so the viewer is lit evenly.

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The luxury of not having to reach for the light switch or get out of bed to control the lights has been on the scene for some time now, as lighting controls become connected to the internet and home wifi hub – allowing your tablet or phone to become the controller. There are clever cheaper ways to also do this with IP addressable lamps that allow you to change the colour temperature of white from a warm white in the evening to a colder white for the day, they can even change the colour of light to suit your duvet! However, we find clients that can afford such systems generally try it once and when they get the opportunity to do it again, they opt back for the simplicity of a switch or dimmer knob!

Orange Lighting has designed lighting for all sorts of bedrooms, from hotels, grand residential master bedrooms through to care home bedrooms. The methodology is always the same – protect the eye from glare and give it something interesting to look at. Cater for multi-use and have some fun. As lighting designers, we mix the technical with the aesthetics, enhancing an interior scheme to maximise it’s potential. The world of LED lighting has come a long way but it’s application still needs careful thought.

If you have a bedroom project – call us to review your lighting options.

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