How To Choose Master Bedroom Lamps


Tips for choosing the right style and size master bedroom lamps.

Mid-Century Modern Wall Light

Master bedroom interior design usually begins with a focus on the bed, case goods, paint colors and window treatments. However, lighting is just as important as the other elements when it comes to creating a mood. Master bedroom lamps don’t have to be a traditional pair either – wall lamps and pendants are a great way to add modern flair. Read on for expert tips and our favorite master bedroom lamp ideas.

Good lighting design uses three layers of illumination known as ambient, task and accent lighting. This type of multi-layered lighting plan is just as important in the master bedroom as the the rest of the home. Creating pools of light and different levels of illumination brings a home to life. Plus, the master bedroom is definitely the perfect room for some mood lighting!

Create A Master Bedroom Lighting Plan

Before shopping for master bedroom lamps, consider the size of your room and how you typically use it. If your master bedroom is small and mostly used for sleeping, choosing lamps is just a matter of taste. However, if you have a large bedroom you may need task lamps for a desk or reading corner. If that’s the case, begin by asking the following questions:

  • Are the bedside tables large enough for table lamps?
  • Do you read or work in bed? If so, you’ll need brighter lamps.
  • Is there a desk or reading chair?
  • Does the room have ceiling lights?
  • Which areas of the room need more light?

How Many Lamps Does A Bedroom Need?

Unless your master bedroom is very small, it probably needs more than the typical pair of bedside lamps. Most bedrooms also have a ceiling light fixture – but bright overhead lighting isn’t very relaxing. We prefer to use ceiling lights only while tidying up, and use lamps and ambient lighting to create a relaxing space for sleeping.

Look for lamps with features like 3-way bulbs, dimmer switches and dimmable LED bulbs. With adjustable lighting levels it’s easy to have bright light for reading, and low lighting to wind down before sleep.

If you area a single person, it may seem like one lamp beside the bed is enough. However, a pair of lamps flanking the bed creates symmetry and balance for a cohesive master bedroom design.

Pair of Blush Pink Master Bedroom

A third source of lighting might be a desk lamp, a floor lamp beside a chair, or a mini accent lamp on a chest of drawers.

Tiffany Style Accent Lamp

Accent lighting adds soft lighting to a room’s edges to brighten up artwork or architectural features.

Pinecone Shade Floor Lamp

Choosing lamps can be a bit intimidating – a great lamp is an accent piece that can set the tone of a room. How tall should your lamps be? What style is best for your master bedroom design? We have more expert tips that answer these questions and make choosing the right lamps easy.

How To Choose The Right Size Master Bedroom Lamps

One of the most common bedroom decorating dilemmas is choosing the right size bedside lamp. Lamps that are too small don’t provide enough light – and they throw off the proportions of the room. Bedside lamps should be the right scale for the size of your bed and the height of the headboard. Plus, you’ll need to make sure the lampshade covers the bulb when you’re sitting in bed. A king size bed with a tall headboard should have tall lamps that have visual weight. A low headboard in a mid-century style bedroom looks great with shorter lamps, wall lamps or pendants. Here’s how interior designers figure out the right height for a bedside lamp:

  • Sit on the bed and lean against the headboard, then measure upwards from the tabletop to your eye level.
  • Deduct two inches – this is the ideal height of your lamp base.
  • You want your eye level to be a couple of inches above the bottom of the lampshade, so the light socket and bulb are hidden.
  • Ideally, the center of the shade should be eye-level to someone who’s standing.
  • A tall headboard mean using taller lamps – but make sure the bulbs are still covered by the shade.
  • Check to make sure the switch will be easy to reach without getting out of bed.

Accent Lamps For The Bedroom

An accent lamp creates a secondary layer of lighting. A small table lamp on a chest of drawers creates a pool of soft light; and it can serve as a night light. Dimmer switches turn any lamp into accent lighting.

Modern Faceted Brass accent lamp for the master bedroom Faceted Brass Modern Accent Light

Wall Lamps Over The Bed

Fans of mid-century modern design especially love wall lights beside the bed. These groovy adjustable lights are great for reading and reduce clutter on the nightstand.

Mid-Century Modern Wall Light

Master Bedroom Pendant Lights

Another space-saving trick designers love is using pendant lights instead of master bedroom lamps. Hang pendant lamps so the bottom is at least 16″ above the table top. Pendants with shades are best, since clear glass or open designs may be too bright for a bedroom. Dimmer switches are a great addition to pendant lights.

Woven Rattan Orb Pendant Light

Floor Lamps For The Bedroom

Floor lamps in the master bedroom are often used as task lamps by a reading chair:

For a tiny bedroom, consider a space-saving table and lamp combination:

Floor lamp and table combination



What’s Your Master Bedroom Style?

Lighting is a big factor in your master bedroom’s design scheme, so don’t choose your lamps until you’ve chosen furniture. Sleek chrome sets a contemporary tone:

Contemporary LED Table Lamp

A classic ginger jar adds Chinoiserie-chic style:

Blue and White Chinoiserie Ginger Jar Lamp

Choose sparkling crystal for a touch of Hollywood glamour:

Faceted Crystal Column Lamp

Rustic metal finishes add a Farmhouse touch:

Rustic Metal and Glass Column Lamps

Use gold and brass finishes for a modern, glamorous look:

No matter what your style, there’s an incredible selection of master bedroom lamp designs to choose from. For more information about shopping for lighting, be sure to check out our online Lighting Guide.

April 28, 2020

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