The bedroom is perhaps one of the most delicate rooms in the house when it comes to lighting. Striking a balance between bright and harsh (or dark and dingy) is a tentative science.
25 March 2022
Light has a huge influence on the circadian rhythms which regulate sleep cycles. Light exposure before bed can actually suppress melatonin production in the body, one of the most crucial hormones for promoting sleep.
Artificial lights are particularly detrimental to maintaining a healthy sleeping schedule. Not only does exposure to artificial light before bed detract from overall sleeping time (studies suggest that light exposure reduces time spent asleep by at least 10 minutes), but it also affects the quality of sleep achieved. Subjects exposed to artificial light before bed reported significantly higher levels of fatigue, interrupted sleep, and impaired abilities the next day.
So, what is the alternative? Stumbling around in the dark every night to avoid impacting your sleep cycle? Waiting until the sun rises in the morning to illuminate your bed head? Not quite.
Intelligent lighting design has been rising in credibility as our understanding of sleep science deepens. The majority of smartphones now have a ‘night shift’ setting which will filter the radiant light from your phone, reducing the amount of blue light you are exposed to before bed.
Blue light is the most detrimental to sleep, so this is certainly a step in the right direction. Though there is some debate as to whether the night shift filter actually has an effect – or if it just encourages people to use their phones before bed without attempting to moderate exposure – either way, it shows a change in our zeitgeist.
Understanding and valuing lighting science is the key to unlocking the healthiest possible sleep environment. As technology advances, this will become even more accessible. Smart lighting technology can be programmed to automatically change the colour, temperature, and intensity of a room’s ambient lighting depending on the time.
This is the future of lighting design, as it mimics the lighting rhythms of the natural world and can help condition individuals to follow their circadian rhythms rather than confusing their internal clock. Though a system like this may not be the right choice for you at the moment, it is clear that in the future this will become the standard.
For those who want to make the most of informed lighting design, there are ways to style your room with lights that will promote sleep and blend seamlessly into your décor. The most common type of lighting for a bedroom is a simple flush mount light (or lights), which often produce a wash of blue light that can have negative effects on sleep. Other popular lighting trends for modern bedrooms include track lighting, mood lighting and cove lighting (read more about styling false ceiling lights here).
The best type of lighting is warm, dim and red-based. You can find these types of bulbs in just about every lighting style imaginable – all you need to know is what you’re looking for. Here are a few examples of the best lighting designs to promote sleep while keeping your bedroom creative and stylish. All of the ideas below are suitable for girls bedrooms or male bedrooms.
08. Pendant lights
Pendant lights are a great alternative to traditional bedroom lighting. They can be dropped down to your desired height and often come in pairs, though you can purchase one pendant light alone as a feature of the room.
Pendant lights look best hanging over furniture so they will not get in the way. When shopping for a pendant light, try to find a soft light with a red hue and a filtering light shade. You can purchase the LED pendant bedroom lights pictured above here from Shopee for just $50.
07. LED lights
Warm fairy lights are a great idea to keep your room softly lit without overexposing yourself to harsh light. Styling fairy lights like this so that they give off low, calm light is the perfect way to prepare your body for sleep whilst also being able to see around your room.
Turning off the overhead lighting a few hours before bed and relying solely on soft fairy lights during the later hours could drastically improve the quality of your sleep. They are also very inexpensive and you can purchase similar lights to the ones pictured above here for just $4.90. Lighting décor like this is equally well suited to a master or small bedroom.
06. Wall lights
Wall lights or wall lamps are decorative lights with light fittings which attach directly to your wall. Be careful when selecting a wall light as many of them have a blue light base, which could make sleeping very difficult. A warm and soft mood LED light like this one from Lazada is relatively affordable at $52.87 and has a beautifully calming effect.
05. Hanging lights
Much like pendant lights, multiple hanging lights create a fairytale effect sure to lull you into an easy sleep. Warm LED simple design lights like these ones will look great in your bedroom and you can purchase all of hanging lights pictured above here from Light in the Box for $98.66.
While decorative lights like chandeliers are not very common in bedrooms, they are undeniably beautiful and give the room a boost of whimsical sophistication. You can purchase the chandelier pictured above here for $640.68.
03. Fan lights
Fan lights are practical because they avoid the problem of a fans blade blocking the light with each rotation. They come in many different styles and colours, and you can purchase the integrated fan light pictured above here from Lazada for $58.89. Read more about choosing the right ceiling fan for your home here.
02. Table lamps
Table lamps are an excellent way for those on a budget to improve their sleeping habits through bedroom lighting design. They are very affordable and do not require installation. There are also innumerable different styles, so you are guaranteed to find the perfect fit for your bedroom at just about any lighting store.
Downlights are similar to standard ceiling lights, but they are usually placed on the edge of the ceiling and the bulb is set further back, making them recessed. LED downlights consume far less energy (around 80% less than their traditional counterparts) and they light a larger area. If you are thinking about installing downlights or perhaps even cove lights, consider talking to a contractor about your options – perhaps a false ceiling is the path ahead for you.
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