Shed light on your small bedroom with these bright ideas

No matter how small your bedroom, you can harness the power of lighting.

Great small bedroom lighting ideas can give the littlest sleeping spaces big design energy. And thank goodness for that, because in a small bedroom, every inch of floor and wall space counts, particularly when you also have awkward angles or a low ceiling to contend with. With a huge choice of options, practical and smart lighting could be your compact bedroom’s saviour. 

Rohan Blacker, founder of Pooky, says: “Layering your lighting is the key to creating the perfect balance of warmth, cosiness and function in your home.  This is particularly important in a bedroom, as you will need a combination of task and ambient lighting solutions for relaxation, reading or getting dressed.”  

Credit: Kitesgrove

Maybe you are starting from scratch designing your small bedroom. Or perhaps you want to add a touch more illumination to a scheme you already have. Read on for some bright and beautiful tips that will light up that small space no end.

1. Nail small bedroom lighting style with wall-mounted fixtures

Swing-arm wall lamps are the height of practicality

Studio DeanCredit: Studio Dean

The classic goto for lighting a small bedroom is the wall-mounted, swingarm light. And for good reason. This tried-and-tested lighting choice is just perfect for compact rooms where every inch of floor space is spoken for.  

Not only do these lights pack a big aesthetic punch, as this Studio Dean project shows, but you can swivel them for reading or a functional lighting glow in whatever area of your room that you wish.  

And, as with all decor classics, every lighting designer has had a go at making their version of this must-have light, meaning you are spoilt for style, materials and price-point choice. 

Whether you are going for a modern edge or a more classic look, there is a flexible wall light to try, with or without shades. 

We like the timeless elegance of the Pooky Stork wall light in antiqued brass. Suppliers such as John Lewis and Heal’s also have great options you can either plug in or get wired in, depending on where you are on your small bedroom design journey. 

Featured product

Stork Wall Light, Pooky

RRP: £185

Stork Wall Light, Pooky

2. The more ceiling lights, the merrier

Don’t hold back when adding hanging fixtures

Credit: Studio Dean

The mistake we often make when designing small bedrooms is hanging as little lighting as possible from the ceilings. Downlights, small bedside lights and bedside lights are typically seen as the only viable options, but as Studio Dean demonstrates here, this is a mistake. 

Limited though the ceiling area may be in a small bedroom, there is no reason to forgo pendants. And in this space, it’s all about letting go of the notion that hanging lights must be placed squarely in the centre of the room.  

In fact, pendants look great when dotted around the room in strategic locations. If the ceiling is low, the key is to place lights in darkened corners where no one is likely to walk. 

In the smallest bedrooms, hang pendants next to the bed. This negates the need for bedside tables, while giving you (or your guests) the option of bedside lighting for reading. 

3. Insert skylights in a small loft space

Nature is the ultimate lighting director

Credit: Farrow and Ball

Granted, not all bedrooms are made for skylights. But if yours happens to be, the sun takes some beating when it comes to the best small bedroom lighting idea. 

And skylights aren’t just about adding more light to your small sleeping space. 

Sunlight helps us to balance our sleep cycles. Not only will your guests enjoy a lighter, brighter room but will have more restful sleep. 

No matter how small your bedroom is, if there is natural light, you have more creative latitude to make a bold statement with colour. This bedroom, in Farrow and Ball Wine Dark No. 308, is marvellously moody. With sunlight flooding its windows, it can never be called a dingy or dull bedroom. 

If privacy is a consideration, add blinds and shades that complement your style and let you control how much light you allow in. 

4. Make a statement

Choose bedside lamps that aren’t a yawn

Credit: Kitesgrove

Is your small bedroom just about big enough to boast space for a pair of bedside tables? Make the most of them. Use them as mini pedestals for showcasing the type of bedside lamp design that will get your guests talking.  

In a small bedroom there are fewer practical ways to accessorise without overwhelming than in a larger space. So, think of your bedside lighting as statement jewellery.  

Yes, you can choose a cute and simple pair of bedside lights, but where is the fun in that? Take a lesson from this bedroom design by Kitesgrove and go beautifully bold. 

It pays to venture off the beaten path to find lighting that will impress. Vintage and artisanal shops are a great place to start. Check out online shops such as Etsy, The Hoarde, and Decorative Collective. eBay is also a great place to find one-of-a-kind lighting.

Just be sure to always check the wiring is sound if you purchase vintage lighting. It’s best to get a qualified electrician to check things over if you aren’t sure. 

5. Say it with neon

Make a big lighting statement in your small bedroom

Neon lightsCredit: Etsy

Neon is the lighting option of choice for a small bedroom when only top shelf lighting fun will do. And, with a never-ending array of affirmations and popular slogans to choose from, your small bedroom can be as mentally uplifting as it is light and bright.  

This lighting look, which was previously associated only with wild city night life, has made a successful crossover into sophisticated small bedrooms in need of a pop of character. Few lighting options allow for such cost effective and flexible customisation.  

Enjoy up to 100,000 hours of usage with this energyefficient lighting choice. 

Featured product

Neon light, The Neon Studio at Etsy

RRP: £340.47

Neon light, The Neon Studio at Etsy

6. Supersize your pendant

Play with lighting scale in your small bedroom

Yellow LondonCredit: Yellow London

Forget small pendant lights in a small bedroom. The way to make a statement if your bedroom is petite is to do the opposite of what is expected on your ceiling. So, go ahead and supersize your pendant.  

This small bedroom lighting idea is all about convincing your guests to ignore the small dimensions of their sleeping quarters because of the amazing distraction over their heads. It is a strategy that has been carried off with style in this small bedroom designed by Yellow London. 

And, with the varied and wide abundance of large pendaent lights, it is very easy to get your hands on extra-large pendants that will suit the décor style of your small bedroom. In fact, making a drum shade with a fabric that suits your room perfectly is a great easy DIY project to do in a few short hours.  

Don’t want the hassle? We like the Ero Dark Blue Velvet Pendant Lamp Shade, Oliver Bonas 

Featured product

20cm Drumshade-Making Kit, Dannells

RRP: £9.99

20cm Drumshade-Making Kit, Dannells

7. Practise the art of light layering

Multiple lighting sources each add a special touch

Etsy bedroomCredit: WoodProductsArtShop / Etsy

This bedroom is a masterclass in small bedroom lighting. To enjoy a lighting scheme this refined, it pays to think ahead about what your lighting layout will be.  

No fewer than three distinct lighting elements come together to make this room a highly illuminated triumph.  

Firstly, a custom headboard is carried across with width of the room. Small as the room is, this design touch – along with the LED strip that subtly lights up the headboard – really shows off the room to best effect. 

Secondly, a pair of lights at staggered heights hang down from the corner of the ceiling to light up the elements on one side table. This lighting drama is balanced by the brass and glass table lamp on the neighbouring side table. 

Finally, downlights finish the lighting scheme, ensuring there is a great wash of lighting throughout the room. 

Is your small bedroom needing this LED and headboard combo right away? Etsy shop WoodProductsArtShop lets you personalise your headboard. 

8. Add some ‘invisible’ wall lights

Now you see it; now you don’t

Studio DeanCredit: Studio Dean

There is no denying that small bedrooms can feel cluttered if we are not careful in our light styling choices. Paint may be your unexpected ally for keeping that congested feeling at bay.  

It’s all about clever camouflage. 

We love what Studio Dean have done in this bedroom. Blink and you might miss the wall black lights against the black wall paint, and that’s the point. The paint and light colour pairing is used to reduce as much visual noise in this compact bedroom as possible. 

The designers just happened to choose black here, but this idea would work equally well whether you choose blue, red, green or purple lightshades. If you can, use a paint colour matching service to mix a colour identical to your wall lights and watch them disappear when they aren’t in use. 

9. Match your lightshades to other features

Shed light with a supremely coordinated small bedroom scheme

Yellow LondonCredit: Yellow London

Interior designers Yellow London pull out all the stops when designing small bedrooms. In these projects they made sure that lighting is not an afterthought. Instead, lighting fixtures are meticulously considered and play a powerful role in elevating the limited bedroom spaces. 

The strategy of choice? Seamless coordination. 

Liv Wallers, director at Yellow London says: “In order to make this small space feel comfortable and inviting, we chose to paint the wall, woodwork and joinery in this feminine pastel pink to really cocoon the space.

“The warm undertones of the pink help create an intimate and cosy atmosphere. The pink wall colour was carefully chosen to match the background of the fabric, which we used for the custom headboard, bedside lampshades, and blinds, for a cohesive and thoughtfully designed space.” 

Credit: Yellow London

Seen again in this green and beige room by Yellow London, custom lamp shades match walls, pillows, curtains and headboards. In small bedrooms this level of coordination is a breath of fresh air as a harmonious scheme lends itself to restful sleep.  

But the rooms aren’t boring, because pattern is used on the lighting and throughout. It also adds character that can be enjoyed in the day, when the lights aren’t needed. 

We love that the designers take their lighting ideas a step further by layering lights in the rooms. Table lamps are paired with wall lights to keep both decorative and functional lighting needs covered. 

10. Light up a bed plinth

Use clever lighting to make your bed as light as air

Floating bedCredit: Caola Vannini / Stefano Pedretti

Beds are bulky and look all the bulkier in small bedrooms. Clever lighting helps turn your decor bugbear to the ultimate small bedroom design statement. 

Who wouldn’t want to sleep on an ethereal ‘floating bed’? It is so fabulous that you can forgo all other furniture in the room, solving half of your small bedroom design dilemmas. Instead of the bed appearing like an immovable object in your small bedroom, it takes on the character of a feather and makes the room appear less constricted and cluttered. 

And best of all? If you have basic carpentry skills, a floating bed frame is a simple DIY project, although we recommend rounding the edges to avoid nasty bumps if the small bedroom is truly tight to navigate. 

In this bedroom by Carola Vannini Architects, a great practical addition is the built in open shelving behind the bed. Add some reading lamps and keep your floor bedside table free to really enjoy the effect of your dramatic bed. 

11. Opt for a slim floor lamp

Light up dark corners and add height

Credit: Studio Dean

Even a small bedroom can have dark corners if you add only a single central pendant light. With floor space at a real premium, standard options for functional illumination like bedside tables with reading lights might be out of the question. 

This is where an extraslim floor lamp comes into its own. Chosen well, you can include one of more of these light fixtures in places where you not only want less gloom, but also where you need to do things like bedtime reading. 

The great thing about skinny floor lamps is that, unlike table lamps that need a surface to sit on, they can be moved around at will, giving you, or your guests, more options. 

And, in today’s lighting world, wires to trip over are becoming less and less of a concern. Take a look at options like Pooky’s Twinky Rechargeable Floor Lamp and enjoy portable slimline lighting in your small bedroom design. 

Featured product

Twinky Rechargeable Floor Lamp

RRP: £141

Twinky Rechargeable Floor Lamp

12. Good lights come in small packages

A small light shelf is handy and practical

LampsyCredit: Lampsy

Does your small bedroom lack even enough room to swing a cat? How about a cup? Or water glass or smartphone? If you think you have squeezed every ounce of comfort potential out of your small bedroom, you might need to think a little smaller.  

These micro light and wall shelf combos available through Lampsy take small bedroom lighting ideas to a new level of pragmatic. You might not have room for a bedside table, but that won’t stop you from offering a neat solution for charging a phone or a late-night drink of water. 

Directional lighting means that if you or a guest want to cuddle up in bed with a good book, you will have control over your lighting’s direction. 

And the best bit? These lights are plugin, so no need to call an electrician out to start making your small bedroom as handy as it can be. 

Choose from a wide range of colours to match your decor, from blue, grey, green and black. 

Featured product

Stay LED Wall Light, Lampsy

RRP: £149

Stay LED Wall Light, Lampsy

Written by Joy Archer she/her

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