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Article: How to Choose The Right Hanging Lights For Bedrooms

How to Choose The Right Hanging Lights For Bedrooms

Written by Henry Phan Update

Choosing the right hanging lights for your bedroom is essential for creating the perfect ambiance and atmosphere conducive to relaxation after a long work day. However, navigating through various types of hanging lights can be overwhelming, leaving you unsure of their functions and how to coordinate them effectively.

In this guide, Rowabi will help you understand and select the ideal hanging lights for your bedroom, providing clarity and enabling you to make a confident choice tailored to your preferences. This guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to enhance your bedroom space with the perfect lighting fixture.

How to choose bedroom lighting

Choosing bedroom lighting can be both challenging and easy at the same time. With numerous options available, achieving the perfect lighting setup often involves combining multiple types of fixtures rather than relying solely on one type.

Here, Rowabi highlights several key lighting options that you should consider and pay attention to for achieving optimal and desired illumination in your bedroom.

Overhead lighting

Overhead lighting is indeed essential for every room, including the bedroom, as it serves as the main source of illumination and provides widespread light coverage. Typically, overhead lighting comes from ceiling-mounted fixtures like chandeliers or pendant lights.

Alternatively, for rooms with limited space, flush-mount or semi-flush-mount lights can be considered. While overhead lights ensure overall brightness, setting the room’s tone can be achieved through other types of lighting, such as task lighting or accent lighting.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting differs from overhead lighting, although both provide illumination for the entire room. Ambient lighting aims to create a comfortable and uniform level of brightness. Nowadays, many people prefer to incorporate ambient lighting from the outset of their interior design because it contributes to a unique aesthetic for the home and room, as well as a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

ambient lighting provides cozy illumination copy
Ambient lighting is used to illuminate a space in a cozy and comfortable way. Source: Forbes [1]

Task lighting

Task lighting is designed explicitly for focused purposes, such as bedside lamps for reading or desk lamps for work areas. These task lights provide clear, direct illumination to facilitate specific activities effectively. It's important to coordinate the tone of task lighting with overhead lighting to ensure they complement each other without overlapping excessively.

Accent lighting

Accent lighting adds depth and dimension to the bedroom by highlighting specific features or areas, such as family photos, artwork, or decorative elements within the space. This type of lighting enhances visual interest and can be used to create focal points. It's often coordinated with the color palette and style of the room to either blend harmoniously or contrast boldly, depending on the desired effect.

accent lighting on textured walls is a creative approach
Accent lighting on textured walls is also a creative and effective approach. Source: Huset furniture [2]

The addition of table lamps

Table lamps not only serve as functional task lighting but also as decorative elements that enhance the overall ambiance of a room. There is a wide variety of table lamp options available, ranging from different color choices to vintage or unique designs, providing ample choices for everyone's preferences and styles.

Floor lamps for the bedroom

Floor lamps have become increasingly popular recently, adding ambient lighting to entire rooms. They are often used for decorative lighting purposes, placed strategically to fill dark corners or provide indirect lighting along pathways. Common placements include under beds, behind bedside tables, or along walking paths to closets.

Opt for sconces if you share a space

Sconces are ideal for shared bedrooms because they provide individual lighting control without depending on each other. This allows you to adjust your lighting without disturbing your roommate. Sconces are also compact and convenient.

Focal point with your pendants

Pendant lights are now often utilized as beautiful focal points in rooms. They provide the perfect size to cover lighting needs without overwhelming the space like chandeliers can, making them ideal for creating a standout feature. Pendant lights come in various materials, including glass, metal, and natural options like rattan and wood.

this rattan pendant light fits the rooms style perfectly
This honeycomb-shaped rattan pendant light matches the overall style of the room very well. Source: Pinterest [3]

Size matters, so you have to pay close attention!

As mentioned earlier, size is crucial when selecting pendant lights. You must choose lights that are just the right size, avoiding oversize fixtures. It's also important to ensure balanced proportions and lighting that is neither overpowering nor too dim. Overall, careful calculation is necessary to achieve the desired effect.

Pick the right lighting temperature

Choose lighting fixtures with a warm color temperature ranging from approximately 2700K to 3000K for the bedroom. This warm light emits a soft, inviting glow that enhances relaxation and creates a cozy atmosphere, perfect for unwinding before sleep.

Number of bulbs

You've already determined your desired brightness level, so now you can choose the number of bulbs accordingly. Typically, fixtures with fewer bulbs provide softer and more ambient lighting, while fixtures with multiple bulbs or higher wattage deliver brighter lighting, which is often suitable for task-oriented activities.

12+ different types of hanging lights for bedrooms

Above, Rowabi discussed the factors to consider when choosing lighting for the bedroom. Below are 12 different types of hanging lights that you can consider, as each type of light has unique characteristics and functions.

Bedside pendant lights

Not table lamps, these small pendant lights installed beside the bed are trending because they provide focused illumination for reading or other tasks while also serving as a focal point. They come in various styles and materials, like glass, metal, and fabric shades, or popular options like rattan.

choose unique bedside lamps for added individuality
You can choose bedside lamps with unique designs to add a touch of individuality to your space. Source: Fat Shack Vintage [4]

Pendant lamp

Pendant lamps often feature a single bulb enclosed in a decorative shade or housing. Unlike bedside pendants, pendant lamps come in various sizes and shapes that can serve as a focal point. In recent years, pendant lights have gained popularity with the trend of using natural materials like rattan or wood.

Inverted pendant lights

These lights have a unique design where the light source is directed upwards towards the ceiling, unlike traditional pendant lights that shine downwards. This configuration creates indirect lighting, which helps illuminate the room with a softer ambiance. It is commonly used in traditional or classic interior design styles.

String lights

String lights, also known as fairy lights or decorative string lights, consist of strands of small bulbs connected by a wire. They are often used to wrap around objects like headboards or along walls to create a whimsical atmosphere.

string lights create a romantic and youthful atmosphere
String lights are perfect for decorating a room to create a romantic and youthful ambiance. Source: Festoon House [5]

LED pendant lights

LED pendant lights are modern pendant lights that utilize energy-efficient LED technology. They are available in various shapes and styles, often offering contemporary design options suitable for minimalist, modern, contemporary, or mid-century styles.

Wood pendant light

Pendant lights are crafted from wood materials, including natural wood, bamboo, or reclaimed timber. They inherently evoke a rustic, organic, and natural feel, adding warmth to bedroom decor. Wood pendant lights are typically used in coastal interior design and farmhouse settings due to their aesthetic, making them popular choices for these decor styles.

Track lighting

Track lighting comprises a series of adjustable light fixtures mounted on a track, providing flexibility in directing light precisely where needed. This type of lighting is favored for its versatility and capacity to accentuate specific areas or objects within a room.

High-ceiling chandelier

High-ceiling chandeliers are elegantly designed fixtures tailored for rooms with tall ceilings. These chandeliers typically feature multiple lights arranged in intricate designs, adding grandeur and sophistication to the space. They are often large in size, detailed, and commonly used in homes with classic or luxury aesthetics. High-ceiling chandeliers are predominantly crafted from crystal or glass.

a high ceiling chandelier suits elegant decor
A high-ceiling chandelier typically complements an elegant style. Source: The Spruce [6]

Sculptural hanging lights

Sculptural hanging lights are artistic light fixtures that serve as captivating decor pieces with a strong decorative emphasis rather than purely functional. They often feature abstract designs and are well-suited for homes styled in Art Deco or for art enthusiasts looking to incorporate artistic elements into their space.

Bamboo pendant lights

Next up is one of the popular lighting options in recent years: bamboo pendant lights. Bamboo is a great choice for its lightweight nature and eco-friendliness. Bamboo fixtures are typically slender and delicate, making them suitable for simple and gentle minimalist styles.

Rattan pendant lights

Finally, we have rattan pendant lights, one of the leading choices in the furniture world in recent years. Rattan pendant lights are renowned for their diversity and versatility, ranging from colors to shapes. They are also easy to maintain and durable, which helps save costs and reduce environmental waste. Nowadays, there are numerous collections featuring exquisite and intricate designs that rival those made from other materials.

the kloe pendant light complements any interior design style
This Kloe pendant light is versatile and can complement any type of interior design. Source: Rowabi

Your brief guide to hanging lights in the bedroom properly

Each type of light has a different installation method to suit the overall room layout, style, and functional requirements. Here, we will outline the best practices for hanging lights in bedrooms using chandeliers and pendant lights.

Hanging chandeliers

+ Height

Hang the chandelier approximately 7 feet above the floor, ensuring it's high enough to provide clearance and avoid collisions.

Above a bed, position the chandelier at least 30 inches above the highest point of the bed for optimal visual and functional balance. This ensures the light is neither glaring nor dim, allowing for comfortable personal activities.

+ Size

Choose a chandelier size that complements the room's dimensions. As a rule of thumb, add the room's dimensions in feet and then convert the sum to inches to determine the appropriate diameter.

For instance, a room measuring 10 feet by 12 feet would suit a chandelier around 22 inches in diameter (10 + 12 = 22 feet, or 22 inches for the chandelier diameter).

+ Length

Use a longer chain or rod if needed for higher ceilings, ensuring the chandelier hangs at an appropriate height to integrate with the space.

Hanging pendant lights

+ Height

Maintain a similar distance from the floor for pendant lights above seating areas to ensure functionality and visual appeal.

+ Size and style

Select pendant lights proportionately to the furniture beneath them. Aim for a diameter of 12-18 inches over nightstands.

Coordinate pendant styles with the overall bedroom decor for a cohesive look.

+ Placement

Position pendant lights over nightstands or seating areas to provide focused task lighting.

Above nightstands, hang pendants 12-20 inches above the surface for convenient bedside illumination.

+ Additional tips for both

  • Light bulbs: Choose bulbs that offer suitable brightness and warmth for various bedroom activities. Consider opting for dimmable bulbs to adjust the ambiance. Nowadays, you can select bulbs in white, warm, or multicolor options based on your preferences.
  • Installation: Most light fixtures come with accompanying instructions or require straightforward installation steps. If unsure, it's advisable to hire a professional to safely install both chandeliers and pendant lights, ensuring they are securely mounted and wired.

FAQs about how to choose bedroom lighting

How do choose a light fixture for your bedroom?

  • When choosing a light fixture, consider your bedroom's size, layout, and desired lighting purpose (ambient, task, or accent). Select a fixture that complements your decor while providing the right amount of brightness.

How do I choose pendant lights for my bedroom?

  • Measure your space and choose pendant lights that match the scale of your furniture. Select a style that fits your bedroom's design, and ensure the pendants offer sufficient illumination for their intended use.

What is the ideal light for a bedroom?

  • Opt for soft, warm-toned lights like soft white or warm yellow to create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere. Dimmable bulbs are great for adjusting brightness based on your mood and activities.

How big should a pendant light be in a bedroom?

  • Aim for a pendant light with a diameter of 12-18 inches when placing it over a nightstand. Adjust the size based on the area you want to illuminate and the overall room size.

What color should bedroom lights be?

  • Choose warm-toned colors such as soft white or warm yellow for bedroom lights. These tones promote relaxation and comfort, especially in the evening.

What is the rule of thumb for bedside lamps?

  • Select bedside lamps that are proportional to your nightstand size. Ensure the bottom of the lampshade is around eye level when seated in bed, and choose lamps that provide adequate, glare-free light for reading and other activities.


In conclusion, selecting lighting fixtures for your bedroom is as important as choosing a comfortable bed, a stylish makeup mirror, or a well-matched wardrobe.

By following these guidelines and customizing your choices to reflect your preferences, Rowabi believes you can discover pendant light ideas that are perfectly tailored to your needs and enhance the overall aesthetics of your bedroom.

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