Newsflash: This Is How You Spice Things Up in the Bedroom — Add Pendant Lights

bedroom lighting idea with textured pendant next to bed
credit: Umage

How can you change the look of your whole bedroom in an hour (or less)? Easy. Hang a pendant light (or two). Whether you rent your place and can't make big changes (like hiring an electrician to rewire your bedroom for that luxe chandelier you've been eyeing), or own it (and can customize it to no end), there is no shortage of pendants to suit your fancy. From plug-in to hard-wired, textural to traditional, these fixtures are guaranteed to make a statement in your space. Don't believe us? Prepare to be amazed. Here are eight bedroom lighting ideas that'll quickly change up the look and feel of your sleeping quarters.

1. Frame the Bed

No need to try and reinvent the wheel. Opt for a classic bedroom lighting idea and hang a pair of simple pendants on either side of the bed. (You can hard-wire them if you prefer a clean look like this minimalist guest room at The Jesse Hotel, or hang two plug-ins from the ceiling). The lighting duo will frame the bed — and make your ceilings look taller, too. The Color Cord Company sells just about every hue of plug-in cords; all you need are bulbs.

2. Share One Light

bedroom lighting idea with pendant hanging in the middle of white room
credit: Serena & Lily

No need to hang a pendant next to every bed. If you're outfitting a space with twin beds, hang one statement fixture between them, like this woven option from Serena & Lily; it'll provide plenty of light for everyone and unify the room, too.

3. Hang One Right Above the Bed

Hang one eye-catching pendant light — like this sleek industrial design from Crate & Barrel — above a queen- or king-size bed for a chandelier effect. (Just be sure you hang it high enough that you don't bump your head when you wake up.)

4. Wrap Around a Wall Hook

If you're a lighting commitment-phobe (or a renter), opt for cord pendant lights that you can plug in and wrap around wall hooks next to the bed, no installation (or electrician) required. When you move out (or just want to rearrange your space), you can unplug them and drape them in a new spot. Look for a cord in a fun color or wrapped in an unexpected material, like rope, to add a little something extra to your room.

5. Embrace Asymmetry

bedroom lighting idea with capiz shell pendant hanging off to one side of bed
credit: CB2

Hang one pendant light to the side of the bed to create some pleasing asymmetry. (This works best in a guest room, or someplace where only one person sleeps, to avoid leaving anyone in the dark.) This dramatic capiz shell pendant light provides visual interest and balance against the backdrop of an off-center window.

6. Illuminate a Nook

Move beyond the bed: You can also use a pendant light to draw attention to another area of the bedroom, like a vanity or a desk. Hang a simple fixture overhead, and suddenly that narrow table in the corner will feel a lot more like an intentional home office — and it'll be brighter, too.

7. Play with Scale

Forget appropriately sized pendant lights. Defy expectations and hang an oversized fixture off to one side instead. If it's hung low, it'll cast plenty of reading light for that stack of books on your nightstand. IKEA's Sinnerlig will always be a bedroom lighting fave, but this black bell-shaped fixture is definitely winning us over.

8. Add Texture

bedroom lighting idea with textured pendant next to bed
credit: Umage

Think beyond bedroom lighting ideas that showcase glass and metal: There's a wide selection of wild, textural pendants out there, like this feathery version from Umage, that will add texture, playfulness, and a dreamy softness to your bedroom the second you hang it up. Swoon!


Annie Quigley

Annie Quigley is a freelance writer, editor, and poet whose work has appeared in Remodelista, Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.