The Best Bedroom Ceiling Lights
The bedroom of your dreams awaits. Set the mood with just the right light.
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Buying a Bedroom Ceiling Light
All too often, a standard dome light installed on the bedroom ceiling stays there forever. It’s functional, but not great, and some homeowners think that’s the best they can do to illuminate the space.
It’s not. The Light Center CEO Jennifer Johnson says layering light is key, and that a bedroom ceiling light should be just one of the layers.
“Offering layers of light creates ambiance,” she says. “Adding light on the ceiling creates balance. You don’t want two bedside table lamps trying to light the entire room, while over-lighting the headboard end of the bed. A ceiling light allows other areas in the room to be dimmer and more relaxing.”
Johnson recommends semi-flush ceiling lights. Uplight on the ceiling combined with light coming through clear or frosted glass or metal creates more interest and decreases that spotlight feeling.
Considerations When Shopping for A Bedroom Ceiling Light
- Size: Know the dimensions of the bedroom you’re trying to light; a larger room can take a larger fixture. But more importantly, pay attention to your ceiling height. If you’re at eight feet, a flush mount is likely your best option to maximize headroom. But if your ceiling clears nine or more feet, a semi-flush mount opens your options. Vaulted or high ceilings? Chandeliers and oversized fixtures could work beautifully.
- Style: There are an endless array of fixtures, so knowing the style you’re aiming for narrows your search. Frosted glass and fabric shades tend to soften the light.
- Light output: Always check how much wattage and how many bulbs your fixture accommodates, or if it has an integrated LED. Recessed lights or track lights can provide more ambient light if you want your main ceiling light fixture to be more fashion than function. Task lighting on nightstands, or hanging from the ceiling, work better for reading. Don’t forget a dimmer switch on your main fixture to customize the light output.
- Installation: If you already have a junction box in the ceiling, then hanging a new light is straightforward. If not, you’ll need an electrician and possibly a permit. Consult local regulations.
- Cost: You can often get a style you like at a price that fits your budget. But higher-end fixtures tend to have glass that better reduces glare and/or hotspots that can cause eye strain.
- Smart home options: If home automation is important to you, keep smart switches and smart bulbs in mind.
Find more tips for choosing the best bedroom lighting.
Four More Expert Tips
- In kids’ rooms, Johnson suggests materials likely to break or be tampered with, such as metal cage lighting or fabric drum lights.
- Set the mood by considering Smart options such as Satco’s Starfish or Philips Hue, Johnson says. These control bulbs together or individually on your phone or other device.
- You don’t have to stick with semi-flush lights for the ceiling. Johnson says pendants are great as long as they don’t drop too low. If your ceiling is 10 feet high or less, you can accommodate larger sizes if you hang the light over the foot of the bed.
- Integrated LED lighting can be great, but Johnson suggests lighting with traditional sockets so you have more control over the bulb selection to optimize dimmability.
Best Drum Bedroom Ceiling Light
Fabric drum lights abound with their appealing clean lines, but the Lise Ceiling Light from Light Society adds extra sparkle to the classic silhouette. The slim black or brass frame appeals to those looking for a cage-style light, without wandering too far from its traditional roots. It’s a versatile bedroom ceiling light because many nightstand lamps will blend beautifully with it.
Best Bedroom Ceiling Light Splurge
The Piccolo Palermo Chandelier makes the perfect bedroom ceiling light for maximalists who love a hint of vintage style. Choose exquisite pink, amber, smoked mirror or clear hexagonal glass tubes hanging from a nickel-plated iron frame. The pink and amber options cast a glow that will feel like you’re in an expensive hotel.
Be aware: On top of the steep price, purchasers must arrange for shipping.
Best Not-a-Chandelier Bedroom Ceiling Light
All the impact with none of the dangle. When you need a light with presence but the ceiling’s too low for a full chandelier, the Champignon Chandelier Flush-Mount Light saves the day. Mid-century homeowners, we know you hear this! The brass and frosted-glass domes arranged in a pleasing, slightly-floral shape work well in a traditional, contemporary or Euro-chic bedroom.
Best Modern Farmhouse Bedroom Ceiling Light
Fans of modern farmhouse or industrial touches will find a lot to love with the Five-Light Semi-Flush Mount by Generation Lighting. A sleek black metal frame balanced against the warmth of Edison bulbs adds personality without a lot of fuss or visual clutter. And it provides a chandelier-type effect without extra ceiling height.
Best Kids’ Bedroom Ceiling Light
Hailing from Savoy House’s Scout Collection, this three-light semi-flush mount fends off stray balls, airplanes and whatever else gets tossed around in your child’s bedroom. It’s more kidproof than your average fixture because the metal cage surrounds the bulbs and sockets.
It fits in industrial-style rooms, rustic or farmhouse, mid-century modern and more. The bulb shape and style can be switched out to change the look, and the fixture comes in a satin nickel or English bronze (nearly black) finish.
Best Chandelier Bedroom Ceiling Light
This chandelier is a showstopper, in part because it’s totally unexpected. The Bohemia Draped Bead Chandelier builds drama with cascading, tiered black beads. Talk about a mood setter!
It houses three bulbs so it provides plenty of light even with the black bead shade. Note that it has a 27-in.-plus drop, so it’s best for higher or vaulted ceilings.
Best Bedside Bedroom Ceiling Light
These Minimalist Modern Marble Mini Pendants are an elegant choice to install bedside. Free up space on your nightstand and add down lighting for reading. It’s a trend that makes a lot of sense, so don’t be surprised if it becomes a classic. Plus, your choice of white or black marble for $70 apiece? What a deal!
Best California Casual Bedroom Ceiling Light
The understated Carillon Pendant offers a nod to farmhouse style, but the leather strap adds a warmth that’s undeniably West Coast cool. Available in two sizes, this pendant light doesn’t steal the show, but fits in casually with whatever you put around it.