When all is said and done and the day’s challenges are at an end, it’s time to retreat to an area of your home that will provide peace, a time for reflection, a time to relax and a time to be away from the stresses that are a normal part of life.
This area can also be a place to enjoy the company of a loved one and to experience all the joy of intimacy and closeness.
I’m talking about the bedroom. Granted, there are other areas in the home that can provide many of these benefits, but the bedroom has always been the traditional place to find the conditions that provide days end peace and comfort. Before considering the types of lighting typically used in the bedroom, keep in mind that the color of the walls and the ceiling will affect the type and the intensity of the lighting that you need to use. Brightly colored walls and ceilings require considerably less light than do bedrooms that are painted with darker colors.
Lighting is often an underestimated factor in determining how we feel and how we function physiologically and on an unconscious level to say nothing of its influence on our emotions.
The old saying that there are different strokes for different folks holds true when it comes to bedroom lighting. Some couples see the bedroom as a place to enjoy intimacy and sleep while other individuals and couples see it as a multi functional room where they can talk, read, watch television or engage in hobbies. Whatever purposes the bedroom area serves, there is lighting that meets these needs.
If reading is a common activity, task lighting should be a major consideration and the needs of your partner who may not share your passion for reading should be a significant factor. Matching bedside tables and lights provide a nice decorative and functional balance. The shade level should be lower than your head level to avoid glare and to reduce disturbing your partner. Consider using opaque shades because they naturally dim the light and tend to reduce the light bleeding over on your partner’s side of the bed. Each reading light should have its own on-off switch and if possible, a dimmer.
Each reading light should be positioned behind the reader to eliminate shadows and should be adjusted so that they shine away from your partner. Swing-arm lights are also another option to consider.
Another option is to install recessed down lights at the head of the bed with separate controls that will permit one person to sleep while the other person reads. Make sure that the controls for the lighting near the bed are within easy reach so that they can be adjusted or turned off without having to get out of bed. If practical, all other lighting in the bedroom should be controllable by switches near the bed so that complete darkness, which most experts indicate is conducive to a good night’s sleep, can be achieved by switches near the bed.
Most people dress in the bedroom and the dressing table should have lights placed on either side of the mirror to eliminate shadowing the face. An adjustable mirror that provides magnification can be used to make applying makeup easier and to reduce the amount of light that is needed.
If you have plants or a decorative tree in your bedroom you can place a halogen floor-mounted fixture that can be adjusted to filter light through the plants that will create interesting and romantic lighting on the walls and/or the ceiling.