15 Small Bedroom Lighting Ideas (Pro Designer’s Picks)

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  • This article was written by Kay Chang – a professional interior designer – to ensure that the content is unique and insightful.

Small bedrooms can often feel cramped and gloomy.

The wrong lighting ambiance can make this feel worse, whilst the correct lighting system can help to make your bedroom feel brighter and larger.

So how can you improve the lighting in your small bedroom?

The most effective way to light a small bedroom to make it feel bigger and more inviting is to maximize natural light during the day by clearing space around the windows; whilst also using pin lights, wall lamps, drop lights, LEDs, and mirrors to brighten the room whilst saving space.

The rest of this article unpacks these ideas in more detail to give you 15 small bedroom lighting ideas that you can copy or adapt as you see fit.

These designs come from my own professional knowledge as an interior designer.

I have also made a custom mock-up image for each design to give you inspiration.

Related: check out these 22 bedroom design ideas with LED lights.

15 Small Bedroom Lighting Ideas

15 Small Bedroom Lighting Designs – Make Your Bedroom Look Bigger

Below are 15 ideas for lighting your small bedroom that you can try – you can also see them brought to life in the 3D video rendering above.

1: Use Pin Lights to Make the Space Appear Bigger

Small Bedroom With Pin Lights
Small Bedroom With Pin Lights

Pin lights are a great way to visually make your bedroom look bigger.

This contrasts with most bedrooms that use a single ceiling light that is overpowering – causing the bedroom to look small and the ceiling to look heavy due to the bulkiness of the light.

The wattage of pin lights is usually low, which is perfect for multiple placements throughout the room without it looking too bright. 

How to Copy This Look:

In my professional experience, it is best to purchase the 3 in 1 pin lights that have several lighting colors so that you can adjust the mood.

The rule of thumb for pin light installation in a bedroom is to have one in each corner.

However, depending on how small the bedroom is, you might need to go as low as just two or three pin lights.

As in the image sample, place the lights in the corners that will need them the most – such as the corners that will light your bed, bedside table, closet, or desk.

Pin lights are like accent lighting.

So be sure to use minimal wattage – focusing instead on the quantity of the pin lights that will be installed.

Here are 11 ways to use color in a white bedroom.

2: Install Wall Lamps to Free Up Extra Space

Small Bedroom With Wall Lamp Lighting Fixtures
Small Bedroom With Wall Lamp Lighting Fixtures

Using wall lamps in a small bedroom is a great way to create more space.

This contrasts with table and floor lamps that take up space.

Wall lamps also look stylish and classy.

How to Copy This Look:

The best place to use wall lamps is right above the bedside tables.

This will free up space on the bedside tables for items like books and nighttime essentials.

Another good place to install a wall lamp is right beside your desk.

When choosing a wall lamp, it is always best to purchase one that pivots left and right so that you can adjust the lighting to your preference.

This is important because wall lamps are fixed to the wall and can’t be moved like a regular bedside table or floor lamp can.

Follow these 10 steps to turn a small bedroom into an office.

3: Use Floor Lamps if Table Lamps Aren’t Possible

Small Bedroom With Floor Lamps
Small Bedroom With Floor Lamps

Floor lamps are another lighting option that works well for a small bedroom where space is so limited that you can’t use bedside tables to place a lamp on.

You can place the floor lamp next to your desk for studying or just have it next to the bed for reading.

Multi-directional floor lamps are the best option because you can light various sections of the room from one placement.

How to Copy This Look:

Floor lamps are versatile in design – ranging from classic to more modern gooseneck floor lamps.

This versatility makes it easy to choose from a variety of floor lamps that will harmonize with the bedroom interior without clashing and making a small bedroom look even smaller.

The use of a floor lamp also gives the bedroom more design character – rather than the usual two side table lamps. 

Here are 18 small guest bedroom office combo ideas to try.

4: Use Table Lamps to Provide a Stronger Source of Light

Small Bedroom With Table Lamps
Small Bedroom With Table Lamps

Table lamps provide more light than pin lights and avoid the need for a heavy ceiling fixture.

Table lamps are available in different varieties – such as the classic round top or those with a neck for more lighting control.

Table lamps can be used as needed – unlike a large ceiling light that dominates the room and lacks specificity.

How to Copy This Look:

The versatility of the designs of table lamps makes them perfect for whatever bedroom interior you may need them for – whether for a kid’s bedroom, or a more classic guest bedroom.

Put table lamps in areas that require a strong stream of lighting – such as on a desk for working, on a bedside table for late-night reading, or on top of a dresser (just like in the photo sample).

Here are 18 small bedroom and living room combo ideas to inspire you.

5: Use Drop Lights as an Aesthetic Alternative to Bedside Lamps

Small Bedroom With Drop Lights
Small Bedroom With Drop Lights

I usually recommend using corner drop lights as a lighting alternative to bedside table lamps for accent lighting.

Using corner drop lights – just like wall lamps – provides the much-needed extra space on a bedside table for other things.

Drop lights are also quite unique, as it is not the usual design concept that people use, which in turn gives your bedroom interior more character.

In interior design, the lengthy drop of wire from the ceiling also gives the illusion that a small bedroom is much taller than it really is.

The shadowing accent lighting effect of a drop light also provides a very cozy effect when used as a night light. 

How to Copy This Look:

You can go for a single drop light or a multi-source drop light.

In my experience, a multi-source drop light is better for a small bedroom because multiple sources of lighting are good for making a small bedroom look bigger.

It also looks more aesthetic than a single corner drop light.

When choosing the wattage for a drop light, it is best to go for a small wattage bulb when using a multi-source drop light.

It is always good to remember that drop lights are only used as accent lighting, and are not a strong source of bedroom lighting.

Try these 10 design ideas for a toddler’s bedroom.

6: Use a Variety of Bedside Lamps for a Unique Look

Small Bedroom With Various Bedside Lamps
Small Bedroom With Various Bedside Lamps

Using multiple types of bedside lamps can break the symmetry of a small bedroom to add interest and character.

For example, you can include a table lamp and a floor lamp – or a table lamp and a ceiling drop light in a corner, just like in the photo example above.

This creates a more playful option, which causes the visual bedroom aesthetic to look less cluttered, due to the bedroom not being styled symmetrically.

A bedroom that is styled symmetrically is usually not recommended for a small space, because it requires a big space to style a bedroom evenly. 

How to Copy This Look:

There are several ways to achieve this look but I recommend that you always use a corner drop light paired with either a floor lamp, a table lamp, or a wall lamp.

The corner drop light gives the best design aesthetic and creates a visually larger room.

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7: Install a Lighted Drop Ceiling to Make the Space Look Bigger

Small Bedroom With a Drop Ceiling
Small Bedroom With a Drop Ceiling

A drop ceiling, no matter the size of the room, can really make the ceiling look much higher, especially when it has a lighting system installed within the drop ceiling.

Also, a drop ceiling causes the room to look wider in the direction the light is facing.

For this reason, a drop ceiling on one side is sufficient to make a small bedroom space look much bigger.

Any more than that can make a small bedroom’s ceiling look heavy, which is something we are trying to avoid. 

How to Copy This Look:

In a small bedroom, it is usually best to incorporate a small drop ceiling for one side of the room, just like in the image shown above.

Depending on the bedroom interior, you can choose several LED lighting colors that will complement it.

Many LED lighting systems come with a remote control – with numerous ambiance settings and several colors that can be controlled to your tastes.

See 22 LED bedroom lighting ideas here.

8: Pair Mirrors With Light Sources to Enhance the Space

Small Bedroom With Mirror and Lighting
Small Bedroom With Mirror and Lighting

In a small bedroom, mirrors are one of the best ways to make the space look bigger because they reflect light around the room.

How to Copy This Look:

Whether it is a floor-to-ceiling mirror or just a vanity mirror on top of your dresser, it is smart to place lighting beside it.

For a vanity mirror, you can use a table lamp or a wall lamp.

For a floor-to-ceiling mirror, a floor lamp would be best, just like in the photo example above.

The mirror complements any lighting source because it reflects light across the room, creating a secondary source of light without you actually needing to add another one. 

Have a look at these 10 small bedroom ceiling design ideas.

9: Put an LED Strip Under the Bed Frame to Create Lift

Small Bedroom With LED Strip Light Under the Bed Frame
Small Bedroom With LED Strip Light Under the Bed Frame

Placing an LED lighting strip under your bed frame is one of those easy, do-it-yourself projects that anyone can do to add extra lighting and ambiance to a small bedroom.

This lighting design gives the bed lift and makes the room look bigger because it makes more of the bedroom floor visible.

This is great for a child or teenager’s bedroom, to give that extra personal interior style without breaking anyone’s wallet.

How to Copy This Look:

To achieve this look, simply buy a strip of LED lights and attach it around the perimeter of your bed frame.

Most LED strips these days come with an adhesive back that is peeled off when installing to make this an easy task.

Here are 20 kids’ bedroom ideas for small rooms.

10: Use a Light Track to Light Several Parts of a Room

Small Bedroom With a Light Track
Small Bedroom With a Light Track

Multi-directional light runners are the perfect ceiling lighting for a small bedroom.

They combine the ambiance effect of pin lights with the ability to change light directions wherever needed.

These light runner systems are extremely versatile.

You are able to choose how many lights you want to fit in the runner, depending on your needs.

How to Copy This Look:

Runner lights can be installed by yourself if you have the ability or you can hire a professional to help.

Make sure that you position the runner in a position where you can angle the lights to illuminate the areas that you want.

Here’s how to decorate your bedroom in 8 steps.

11: Backlight the Headboard to Create an Ambient Glow

Small Bedroom With Backlit Headboard
Small Bedroom With Backlit Headboard

Installing an LED strip on the headboard – with the light being directed upward to the ceiling – creates a lighting ambiance that makes the wall appear as though it has more depth.

This is perfect for a small bedroom where visual illusions are needed to make the space look much bigger.

This ambient lighting also doubles as a night light – without the need to keep the bedside lamp on.

It is also perfect for lighting any accent that is placed on the headboard wall – such as a picture frame.

How to Copy This Look:

Use an LED strip attached to the back of the headboard to create this look.

The tone of the light should complement the color palette of your accent wall.

For example, a warm-colored accent wall should be complemented by a warm lighting tone, while a cool-colored wall should be lit with a cooler lighting tone.

Check out these 10 dark accent wall ideas for your bedroom.

12: Create a Personalized Feature Wall With Lighting

Small Bedroom With Accent Wall Lighting Feature
Small Bedroom With Accent Wall Lighting Feature

A creative way to add lighting to your small bedroom is to integrate it into a feature wall to give the room personality.

Lifted accent wall patterns that have geometric designs or earthy parallel wood paneling can be complemented by placing LED lights behind the design to create a backlit feature.

This will make the patterns more pronounced and make the room feel very cozy.

This lighting application also makes the accent wall pattern a visual focal point for the bedroom.

How to Copy This Look:

You can buy 3D geometric wall art that can be attached to the wall and then backlit with LEDs.

When choosing an integrated LED system for this application, I usually advise my clients to use a remote-controlled LED system that allows the user to change the ambiance and color of the LED lighting.

Check out these 20 relaxing bedroom decor ideas for small rooms here.

13: Install LED Lighting on the Ceiling Corners to Create Height

Small Bedroom With Illuminated LED Ceiling Corners
Small Bedroom With Illuminated LED Ceiling Corners

Installing a strip of LED lights on the corners of the ceiling or around the entire perimeter of the ceiling can make the room appear taller.

The result of this lighting design is similar to the visual ambiance of the drop ceiling application that was discussed earlier.

The difference, though, is that LED strips can be installed on the bedroom ceiling with minimal construction, unlike the drop ceiling. 

How to Copy This Look:

Install the LED lights facing downwards in order to create the illusion of a higher ceiling.

I also recommend using the usual remote-controlled lighting system for this ceiling lighting application to easily change the ambiance of the room.

Try these 8 small bedroom decorating ideas on a budget.

14: Install Lighting Panels on Shelves for Stylish Functionality

Small Bedroom With Lighting Panels on Wall Shelves
Small Bedroom With Lighting Panels on Wall Shelves

Lighting panels hidden under wall shelves create a nice lighting accent in any bedroom space, as seen in the image above.

Not only does it light the items placed on the shelves, but it also gives a cozy visual ambiance for any design trinkets that are placed on it.

The hidden light panels also help to make the room look bigger.

How to Copy This Look:

When choosing the lighting color, always remember to compliment the color or wood tone of the shelves, so that they do not clash with the lighting.

For example, warm-colored shelving should always use warm-colored lighting.

When installing the LED strip or panel, always remember to place it under the shelves, and to keep the visibility of the LED panel as low as possible.

Check out the 7 best and worst places to put bedroom shelves here.

15: Leverage Natural Lighting to Create an Airy Ambiance

Small Bedroom With Natural Lighting
Small Bedroom With Natural Lighting

Nothing beats natural lighting for achieving a light and airy ambiance in your bedroom.

This can help the room to feel more spacious – especially when mirrors are placed around the room.

I usually recommend that my clients refrain from having heavy window treatments and instead use fabric that light can easily go through, like in the photo shown above.

Another window treatment alternative that can be used is rollers or shades.

How to Copy This Look:

Most of the time, a small bedroom space will contain one window only.

So blinds or rollers are a good idea so that you can make your room darker at night without impeding the light during the day.

White walls can help to bounce the light around the room so this is a good color choice for a small bedroom.

This is how you decorate a small bedroom with a high ceiling.

Conclusion: Aim to Make the Room Look Bigger

When it comes to lighting choice and placement in a small bedroom, the main goal is to visually enlarge the space by using proper lighting placement and ambiance.

Incorporating multiple lighting sources is the best choice for creating a light and airy environment for a small bedroom.

Always use different types of lighting options, such as floor lamps, table lamps, and wall lamps to add variety.

Mirrors can also help to reflect the light to make the room feel larger.

Use accent lighting in the form of LED strips or paneling to achieve a cozy ambiance.

Install LED strips or paneling in areas such as overhead drop ceilings, headboards, or bedroom corners.

Lastly, do not underestimate the ability of natural lighting to make a bedroom feel airy, and look bigger.

Allow natural light to enter a bedroom space as much as possible by using window treatments that use thin fabrics, or components that can easily be opened – such as blinds or rollers.

Up next: 5 dark and daring ideas for small bedrooms.


Image Attribution and Licensing

Main image: ‘Double bed and decorative lighting’ by bialasiewicz (used with permission and commercially licensed through Envato Elements).

All other images custom made for Bedroom Style Reviews – copyright LiveWell Media LTD (all rights reserved).