23 Best Small Bedroom Lighting Ideas

Bedroom lighting ideas

Find the best lighting for your tiny space with these small bedroom lighting ideas.

When dealing with small bedrooms, lighting plays a crucial role in making the space feel cohesive and well-designed. And with its magical ability to create the perception of more space, it is often needed in tiny homes.

Not only does lighting create the feeling of openness, but it significantly contributes to the overall mood and atmosphere of a room. This is especially important in a bedroom, where a cosy and relaxing ambience plays an important role in ensuring a good night’s sleep. 

With many bedroom lighting options available, emitting different colours and strengths of light, determining what lighting is best for a small bedroom can be challenging. In this post, I share what to consider when choosing your bedroom lighting and offer some of the best small bedroom lighting ideas that you can implement today.

Small bedroom lighting ideas
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Small Bedroom Lighting Ideas

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Understanding the Three Types of Lighting

Understanding the fundamentals of lighting a room is essential for choosing the best bedroom lighting that aligns with your preferences. There are three types of lighting, and when combined in a well-designed lighting plan, they ensure a well-lit room that accommodates various activities. These three lighting types are:

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting (also referred to as general lighting), provides an overall illumination of a space, distributing light throughout the room. Think ceiling-mounted fixtures, ceiling spotlights, or ceiling light tracks.

Ambient lighting for a bedroom

Task lighting

Task lighting is focused on a specific area where a particular activity takes place, such as desk lamps, reading lamps, or under-cabinet lighting in a kitchen.

Task lighting for a bedroom

Accent lighting

Accent lighting (sometimes referred to as mood lighting) is often used to highlight specific features in a space, creating interest (e.g. lights above artwork). It can also be used to create ambience, as seen with bedside table lamps.

Accent lighting for a bedroom

Ensuring that your bedroom incorporates at least one of each of these lighting types will help you create a well-lit bedroom that is both functional and atmospheric.

Bedroom ambient lighting

Ceiling Lights for Small Bedrooms

When choosing a ceiling light for your small bedroom, it is crucial to consider how much light you want.

Lamp shades are designed to diffuse and direct light, so it is important to check the material and construction of the shade to make sure it aligns with your lighting preferences.

Ceiling lights for small bedrooms
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Drum-shaped lamp shades, with their larger surface area, tend to provide a more diffused light. This characteristic allows light to spread out, minimising harsh shadows, making them a great choice for bedrooms.

Small bedroom ceiling lighting ideas

Pendant lampshades like this striking bamboo shade from Habitat, not only offer a general ambient light but also add a touch of atmosphere to your bedroom. The gaps in the bamboo create intriguing shadows, enhancing the overall visual appeal, especially in the evenings.

Small bedroom ceiling lighting ideas

When the lightbulb is visible, pairing your bedroom lampshade with stylish clear globe bulbs can significantly enhance the visual appeal, both when the light is on and off.

Small bedroom ceiling lighting ideas

How to Add More Light to a Small Bedroom

For those with the flexibility to rewire a new light fixture, consider a pendant light with multiple bulbs. This approach can be an effective way of introducing more light into a small bedroom.

Ceiling lights for small bedroom

Opt for a longer light fixture to ensure a broader spread of light across the room.

Ceiling lights for small bedroom

Small Bedroom Lighting Ideas for Low Ceilings

In small bedrooms with lower ceilings, a semi-flush pendant light can be a practical and stylish solution. Many options are just as impactful as lower-hanging pendants, providing adequate lighting without sacrificing style and space.

Small bedroom light ideas for low ceiling

Accent bedroom lighting

Bedside Table Lighting

The best (and arguably the easiest) way to introduce atmosphere into your bedroom is through bedside table lights. This can be challenging, especially with smaller nightstands or no available space for a nightstand at all.

Here are some of my favourite methods for incorporating bedside lighting into a small bedroom.

Small bedroom lighting ideas
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Wall-mounted lights

Wall-mounted lights are an ideal choice for small bedrooms since they keep nightstand surfaces free for other essentials. If hard-wiring is not feasible, there’s no need to worry; numerous plug-in wall lights are available.

Small bedroom lighting ideas

For areas without nearby plug sockets, try one of these battery-powered lights that are easy to install and look great!

Small bedroom lighting ideas

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Thin lamps

For smaller nightstands consider a table light that takes up minimal space. These sleek bedside lights occupy limited space while still offering a warm and cosy ambient light.

Best lighting for a bedroom
Photo by Beazy on Unsplash
Best lighting for a bedroom

Floor lamps

A practical alternative for renters or those averse to DIY, floor lamps free up space on bedside tables and contribute to a clutter-free environment.

Look for a floor lamp with a base that can be neatly tucked under your nightstand or bedframe to save valuable space.

Best lighting for a small bedroom
Photo by SANDRA REI on Unsplash
Best lighting for a small bedroom

Narrow Traditional Style Lamps

Opt for a traditional-style bedside table lamp with a narrower profile. A smaller bedroom doesn’t mean you need to compromise on the styles you love. These beautiful lamps have all the elegance and charm of traditional nightstand lamps but in a more compact size, making them ideal for smaller bedside tables.

Bedroom lights
Photo by mk. s on Unsplash

Clip-On Lights

Clip-on lights designed to attach to your furniture are a clever solution for introducing mood lighting near your bed. With no need for screws, these lights are perfect for renters and occupy minimal space.

Renter-friendly bedroom lighting

Shelves with Built-In Lights

Multifunctional furniture is a game-changer in small rooms and is the best way of getting the most out of your small space. That is why I love these shelves that have built-in ambient lights.

These innovative shelves double as perfect nightstands, providing ample space for nighttime essentials while adding a touch of light to enhance the overall atmosphere.

Smart bedroom light ideas

Bedside table pendants

For a modern bedroom style, consider the installation of low-hanging pendants above your bedside tables. These bedroom ceiling lights will add plenty of atmosphere to your small bedroom whilst keeping your bedside tables clutter-free.

Bedside table lighting ideas
Photo by mk. s on Unsplash
Bedside table lighting ideas

Plug-in pendants

Even if you are renting or don’t want to call in an electrician, bedside pendants are still an option. These simple yet chic light fixtures come with an extra-long cable, enabling easy plug-in to a socket.

Renter-friendly bedroom lighting
Photo by Chesley McCarty on Unsplash
Renter-friendly bedroom lighting

Strip lighting behind your headboard

Introduce a fun and unique ambience to your bedroom by adding strip lighting behind your headboard. This creative approach not only enhances the space behind a headboard but also creates a striking effect when placed behind other furniture pieces like mirrors or underneath wall shelves.

Lighting for behind a bedroom headboard

String lights

Versatile and charming, string lights can be placed virtually anywhere in a bedroom, offering a subtle and cosy glow during the evenings.

Choose a decorative light chain that looks appealing both when turned off and on, or opt for classic and understated string lights like the one below.

String lights for a bedroom
Photo by Boris Ivanović on Unsplash

Bedroom task lighting

With many different activities taking place within the bedroom, different lighting to support these tasks is essential. Here are some common bedroom activities and the best small bedroom lighting options for each.

Small room lighting ideas
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Reading lamp

For those who unwind with a book before bed when natural light is limited, choosing the right light is crucial. Bedside table lamps that double as reading lights are a great choice.

A reading light should have a focused and directional beam, minimising glare. Opt for flexible lighting that can be angled precisely onto your book, providing the light exactly where needed.

Small bedroom lighting ideas

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Double Up Your Lights

While it might seem counterintuitive to introduce multiple lights into a small bedroom, doubling up on lighting next to your bed can be an effective way of layering lighting to create a cosy yet functional ambience.

Pair a mood light that diffuses light for a relaxing glow with a smaller reading light that can be angled precisely where needed.

Small bedroom lighting ideas
Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

Lighting For A Small Bedroom Nook

Enhance your reading nook by incorporating a lamp that has both a mood light and a reading light.

Modern floor lamps, that include multiple light sources, are a great choice for small spaces. Not only can they be utilised in a dedicated reading corner, but they can also replace the need for a bedside table lamp.

Bedroom lighting in reading nook
Small room lighting ideas

Wall-mounted mirror with light

Any makeup wearer knows the importance of good lighting for a flawless application and how bad the outcome can be when the lighting isn’t up to scratch.

A mirror in your dressing area with a built-in light is an ideal solution for small bedrooms. Wall-mounted mirrors with integrated lights help declutter your dressing table, providing a clean and organised space.

Mirror with light

Easy To Install Bedroom Lighting

Consider adding a light above your existing dressing table mirror to create a well-lit space that is easy to get ready in. An easy-to-install light, equipped with an adhesive back, requires no drilling into walls and operates on a rechargeable battery, eliminating unsightly cables and the need for a socket nearby.

Renter-friendly lighting idea for above dressing table

Wardrobe lighting

Deep wardrobes and built-in closets can create annoying dark spots that are challenging to navigate. Integrated lighting for these spaces is a great addition to any bedroom, and the installation process is often surprisingly straightforward.

Look out for strip lights that have a built-in sensor that activates when you open your wardrobe doors.

Bedroom wardrobe lighting
Photo by Dhruv Patel on Unsplash

Easy To Install Wardrobe Lighting

For an even simpler solution, consider adhesive stick-on wardrobe lights. Being battery-powered, these lights eliminate the need for threading cables through your wardrobe to connect to a socket, so are extremely easy to install.

Bedroom wardrobe lighting

What lighting should be in a bedroom?

Your bedroom lighting should be versatile, catering to the various activities that occur in the room. A well-rounded lighting scheme incorporates general lighting, task lighting and accent lights.

A ceiling light that casts a broad illumination across the entire bedroom is essential. Layer in task lighting to support specific activities, such as reading lights near the bed, vanity lamps above a dressing table, desk lamps on a desk and strip lighting within wardrobes.

Once task lighting is in place, consider adding accent lights to help alter the mood of your bedroom. If you prefer not to introduce more lighting, opt for task lighting that can be adjusted to create a more relaxing glow. Dimmable lights work wonders for transforming the mood and atmosphere of a room.

How do you make a bedroom cosy with lighting?

There are many ways to make a bedroom cosy with lighting. Choose light sources emitting a warm hue, opting for a golden glow rather than a daylight white. Smart bulbs that allow you to adjust both warmth and intensity are widely available. Additionally, bedside table lamps with shades contribute to a soft, inviting glow, as do decorative string lights and candles.

Pay attention to the placement of your lighting, ensuring lights are positioned in areas where you relax and also in the routes you frequently walk. This helps ensure you won’t need harsh, overly bright lighting during moments of cosiness and relaxation. 

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