Children’s bedroom lighting: types, planning and ideas

In this guide

  • Types of children’s bedroom lights
  • How to plan children’s bedroom lighting
  • Kids’ bedroom lighting ideas

Types of children’s bedroom lights

britesource led downlight

Ceiling lighting

Ceiling lights are a standard form of lighting in any room. They offer affordable flexibility and can be coordinated with many other types of bedroom lighting (see below). Ceiling lighting is particularly useful as task lighting (lighting that enables people to carry out certain tasks, like homework).

Common types of children’s ceiling lights are:


  • provide inconspicuous task or ambient lighting
  • are often recessed into the ceiling for a flush look
  • have an incredibly long lifespan.

To find out more about downlights, visit our downlights guide.

pendant lights

Pendant lights

  • provide a single light source that hangs from the ceiling
  • have come back into fashion
  • offer a number of design options
  • can be used with an LED filament bulbs to create a rustic feel.

Wall lights

Wall lights can also offer both task and ambient style lighting solutions. The range of styles and shades means they can be used for functional and decorative purposes. They are often used to illuminate specific areas, such as desks or beds, as task/reading lighting. However, with certain placements, they can also be used as ambient lighting.

wall lights

Where should I place wall lights in the bedroom?

For the bedroom, wall lights can easily be used to create atmosphere. They are likely to provide less illumination than ceiling lights, so will suit bedtime activities to help promote sleep. You could place a downward wall lamp near a bed for bedtime reading. You could also use standard upward-facing wall lights around the room to illuminate the ceiling rather than the floor (to minimise distractions).

Ensure that you place the wall lamps slightly above eye level to minimise and glare and to avoid eye contact with the bright bulb.

table lamp

Table lamps

Table lamps are great for bedtime reading, whether it’s you reading to your child or your child reading by themselves. If you are concerned about your child staying up too late, modern Bluetooth/Wifi plugs could be installed meaning you retain control of the light even if you’re out of the room.

Table lamps give enough light for both ambience and reading if placed on a bedside table close to the bed. However, you will want to ensure other forms of lighting are available for tasks and playtime.

Night lights

Night lights can help relieve children’s fear of the dark and help them sleep better. They provide just enough illumination to stop the room being in total darkness, but not too much to distract from sleep.

Night lights have been improved massively by technological advancements. Some of these include:

  • LED bulbs – energy-saving and long-lasting
  • Wifi-enabled – can be fully controlled from an app on your phone
  • motion sensor – only lights up after movement, saving energy
  • colour-changingstudies have found that certain colours, such as red or orange, promote sleep.


Natural light is simply the light that comes from the sun and enters the room. You want to try to ensure as much natural light comes into your kid’s room as this will give them a healthy dose of vitamin D and help improve sleep as well as save money on energy costs.

Large windows and open spaces can help to increase natural light and create a bright, welcoming space for your child.

How to plan children’s bedroom lighting

In this section, you will find a list of considerations you should make when planning children’s bedroom lighting. These include:


Safety must be a key consideration for your child’s room. Whatever your lighting decision, it should be made with safety as the main priority. You can improve the lighting safety of your child’s room by:

  • using LED bulbs – LED runs at a much cooler temperature than halogen bulbs, even when left on for a long time. This will stop your kids from burning their finger
  • using cable switch lamps – Instead of using lamps that have their switch at the base of the bulb, find a lamp that has a simple switch based on the power cable to help reduce risk.
  • using light timers – Even older children sometimes forget to switch their light off. If you’re concerned, try using timers or Wifi-enabled bulbs to easily switch off the lights yourself.
  • using motion sensor nightlights – These can help light the way if your child needs to use the toilet at night and helps illuminate any trip hazards.

Task, ambient and accent lighting

These terms may not mean much to you, but it is likely you will have implemented them in other rooms of the home. Each term relates to how the light is to be used in the home.

Task lighting

  • Designed to aid with completing tasks
  • In the bedroom will likely be used for homework, playtime, tidying up and other tasks
  • Bulbs should be bright with white colour for maximum efficiency.

Task lighting can be used with almost all types of lights, from ceiling to desk lamps. Wall lights are unlikely to provide you with task lighting as they are generally used for ambience.


  • Designed to create an ambience
  • It is a standard form of light that illuminates the room clearly
  • Also known as ‘general lighting’
  • Designed to promote comfortable levels of brightness
  • In the bedroom it can come from all forms of light.

Ambient lighting can come in various styles and create many different types of ambience. For children’s bedrooms, you could implement dimmable bulbs that can be used to differentiate between normal waking hours and pre-bedtime.

Accent lighting

  • Unlikely to be used in the bedroom
  • Highlights specific objects
  • Designed to draw attention.

Accent lighting is generally used to show off to guests or dramatise an area making it unlikely to be used in the bedroom. However, it could be used to showcase a feature wall that could be present in a teenager’s bedroom.


As children get older, their tastes become more defined. Teenagers will almost certainly want to change their bedrooms as they get older. While standard task and ambient lighting may stay unchanged (bedside table lamps could be changed).

Most of these changes will likely be decorative and vary on taste. Further down the guide, we’ve put together an ideas section for different children’s age groups.


A shade can be a cost-effective way to change the decorative feel of a room. A shade can also transform the way light sits in the room, depending on its shape and thickness. You should consider what the lamp/light will be used for before deciding what kind of shade to use. For example, bedside lamps will need to let enough light out for your child to comfortably read without straining their eyes. There are many designs of shade available for children, from colourful to stylish.


Children can grow up fast and it is worth considering how far to stretch your budget. You may want to decorate your child’s bedroom in a way that they won’t grow out of.

Spending a large amount of money on decorative lights that your child will grow out of in a year or two may not be the wisest investment. Instead, you could invest in a robust set of task and ambient lights that your child won’t grow out of.

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