How to Get the Perfect Bedroom Lighting, According to Designers

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Of all the rooms in a home, it's safe to say that bedrooms tend to be our sanctuary. It's where we unwind after a long day, so finding the perfect pieces to create a cozy oasis is essential. We all know how important it is to find the right mattress along with curating pillows based on your sleep style, but let's not forget lighting. Since there are several types from which to choose, we called in a few experts to help you navigate the world of bedroom lights. From dreamy chandeliers to practical dimmers, here are 10 designer-approved ways to get the perfect bedroom lighting.

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1. Table Lamps

A table lamp (or bedside lamp) is probably the first kind of lighting you'd think of when giving your bedroom a refresh, but there's a reason they're such a staple. "A table lamp on a nightstand provides enough light to read at night or use one's laptop as well as see clearly across the room but not so much that one feels as though the entire room is lit up with a harsh glow," says Samantha Stathis, designer at Samantha Ware Designs. And they're the perfect opportunity to introduce playful accents in your room, whether it's a pop of color or a unique base.

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Our pick:Anthropologie Winsome Woodland Table Lamp, $228

2. Dimmers

"The product itself isn't sexy, but dimmers are a must! Ambient light in the evening is super calming and helps set the tone for winding down and getting a good night's sleep," says Stephanie Brown, interior designer and founder of Stephanie Brown Inc. "The Lutron Diva is our go-to."

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Our pick:Lutron Diva LED+ Dimmer Switch, $29.97

3. Sconces

Just like table lamps, sconces can provide soft lighting for a cozier environment. According to Amanda Evans, interior designer and founder of Amanda Evans Interiors, they're ideal for creating the perfect ambiance to help you unwind before bed. And they're a great way to incorporate different levels of light in your bedroom, Stathis adds.

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Working with a small space? Sheva Knopfler, creative director and co-founder of Lights.com, recommends "skip[ing] the nightstands and table lamps and install[ing] wall sconces on either side of the bed." And if you're looking for another reason to buy some beautiful sconces, Knopfler says they "also look stylish flanked on either side of a mirror over a dresser." Plus, if you're renting, plug-in sconces are the perfect solution.

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Our pick:Urban Outfitters Tristan Ceramic Sconce, $99

4. Task Lights

"When our clients like to read in bed (the old-school paper kind of books!), we love to use wall-mounted, adjustable reading lights," Brown says. "And if more space is available, a swing-arm task light can create more of a striking feature."

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Our pick:Lights.com Owen Adjustable Plug-In Wall Sconce, $179

5. LED Strip Lights

"If you're designing your bedroom from scratch or doing a bit of a renovation, some carefully planned LED strip lighting can be a nice feature," Brown tells Hunker. "Sometimes, we'll tuck a strip light in a recess behind a built-in headboard for a soft wash up the wall or install it under floating cabinets." Brown also recommends sticking to natural colors to complement the bedroom.

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Our pick:LIFX Lightstrip Starter Kit, $79.99

6. Smart Bulbs

Using smart bulbs is an easy way to upgrade new or old light fixtures in your bedroom. "You can turn them on/off and dim by Bluetooth on your phone — how convenient is that?" Brown says.

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Our pick:Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance 2-Pack LED Smart Bulb, $89.99

7. Chandeliers

"I love chandeliers in the bedroom because they provide a bit of sculptural drama," says Alessandra Wood, VP of style at Modsy. "But, as with any overhead lighting in the bedroom, be sure to layer other lighting within the space. You'll want to be able to turn off the overhead lights at night to create softer, more relaxing vibes."

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Our pick:West Elm Capiz Round Chandelier, $579

8. Floor Lamps

"If you have an empty corner or a reading nook, a floor lamp is a great way to fill the space and add brightness," Wood says.

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It's also a great solution for those unable to hardwire lighting in their bedroom, emphasizes Knopfler. "Make sure to use diffusing shades so the light isn't too harsh ... then, layer in spots like the dresser and bedside where you need task lighting." Continuing with her useful tips, Knopfler notes, "You can also add a floor lamp in the corner to bounce the light and make the room feel more well lit."

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Our pick:West Elm Asymmetry Ceramic Floor Lamp, $449

9. Curtains

It may not be a light fixture, but the best curtains can not only tie a bedroom together but also be totally functional. "I always recommend ripple-fold drapes with either a privacy or blackout lining in the bedroom," Stathis says. "They can be on a rod a few inches up from the top of the window frame or on a track on the ceiling." According to Stathis, when you hang drapes above the windows, you can "block most if not all exterior light."

"It also makes the room look taller and creates a layered effect, which adds to the room's overall coziness," Stathis notes.

Our pick:Pottery Barn Emery Linen Blackout Curtain, $179–$369

10. Layered Lighting

Now that we've covered all the ways you can light up a room, try to incorporate different kinds to create the perfect bedroom lighting, as recommended by both Evans and Casey Hardin, designer at creator of The Karma Corner.

"There should be a main overhead light source, accent lights in the corners to brighten walls, and portables for task and bedside lighting," explains Knopfler. "This will also help you customize your lighting experience over the course of the day, whether you're getting ready in the morning or winding down for sleep at night."

Our pick:Lights.com Castell Curved Arm Wall Sconce, $139

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