Lighting Research Center

Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment

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Bedrooms need a low-level ambient light for a relaxing atmosphere, with some bright areas for reading or other activities. Reading lights should be flexible and glare free. At least one light should be able to be switched from the bed. A low-wattage nightlight plugged into an electrical outlet can improve safety when getting up at night.

Design features:

  • A ceiling-mounted fixture with translucent acrylic diffuser provides uniform, shadow-free light when higher levels are desired throughout the bedroom. This fixture is a 22 in. diameter Energy Star labeled fixture using two 24-W/830 long twin tube fluorescent tubes with electronic ballast.
  • For lower, more relaxing ambient light, an Energy Star-labeled torchiere stands on the floor, directing light to the ceiling. The torchiere uses three 36-W/830 compact fluorescent bulbs. Integral switches allow three levels of light: one, two, or three lamps. Alternatively, a portable swing-arm compact fluorescent floor lamp with 3-way socket, using a 39-W/830 3-level compact fluorescent bulb provides both ambient lighting and task lighting for a chair.
  • Adjustable arm task lights mounted above the bed's headboard make reading in bed easier. They can be positioned to direct light onto reading materials without glare. Each task light uses one 18-W/830 compact fluorescent bulb and electronic ballast.

Lighting Tips
  • For added safety, keep a flashlight near your bed to guide you in the dark.
  • Install light switches with toggles that glow in the dark. Place switches where you can reach them easily from your bed.

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