Let there be light. 8 tips for creating the perfect sleep environment with lighting.

11 November, 2011

bedroom lighting

bedroom lighting

“Live in rooms full of light.”  Cornelius Celsus

Lighting in the bedroom is as important as decorating and furnishing. It needs to provide both ambient and task lighting to:

Create a restful mood in the evening before sleep and
Provide practical light to read and get dressed by and, in the morning, to prepare for the day.

Ideally, follow these tips for a practical lighting design that is flexible enough to work for everybody:

  1. Where possible install dimmer switches to control the mood of the room.
  2. Lights should be able to be controlled from a switch by the bed as well as by the main door, so you don’t have to get out of bed to switch them off when you are ready for sleep. As an alternative, consider a voice-activated light switch.
  3. Fit separate bedside lights to each side of the bed, so that one partner can read while the other sleeps. The lights should also be dimmable, if practical, to allow you to control the mood of the whole room.
  4. If you have a dressing table, ensure that there is adequate lighting for you to see yourself in the mirror. Lighting from both sides is best so as not to cast long shadows on your face.
  5. Fit wardrobes with strip lights that come on when you open the door so you can clearly see what is in there.
  6. If you do use candles (which can create a wonderfully relaxing mood), do be careful to ensure that they won’t catch fire to surrounding furnishings or bedding if you nod off while they are still alight.
  7. You may like to try one of the specialist lights that are now available as sleep aids. Lightsleeper projects a circular light which moves slowly in a circle on the ceiling. The theory is that you follow the light with your eyes until you drift off. You can adjust the brightness and whether it is constant or pulsing. Whilst expensive, it does seem to work.
  8. Another alternative is the light clock, which gradually lights up from up to an hour before you’ve set your alarm, simulating a natural sunrise. With some models, you can also use it to simulate dusk and an MP3 player or a USB feed can be attached for soothing sound effects. There are several models on the market, but the Philips Wake-Up Light Plus is worth a try.

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