Modern Bedroom Lighting
A 12-foot wide, chocolate brown, mohair headboard commands attention as both an accent piece and a functional design element. Silver leaf lines the round cutout of the drop ceiling from which a shaded pendant light hangs.
If you want a modern look for your bedroom, choosing light fixtures in this design style is a great place to start. When seeking the perfect lights for your space, it helps to keep the definition of "modern" in mind. While the terms "modern" and "contemporary" are often used interchangeably, there are differences. True modern design isn't technically new, but emerged in the late 1800s and leans on Asian and Scandinavian design. Modern furnishings incorporate straight lines and geometric forms and are usually neutral in color. The emphasis is on simplicity and function.
Track lighting is mounted or suspended from the ceiling on a linear unit that contains several light heads, which can be positioned anywhere along the track. The direction of the heads can also be adjusted. In this room, the track lighting is used to highlight the artwork and wall and provide overall light for the space.
This light fixture is installed above the ceiling and has an opening that is flush with the ceiling. Recessed lighting sends a relatively narrow band of light in one direction, so it can be used to provide ambient, task or accent lighting. The recessed lighting in this kitchen adds sufficient light without overwhelming the space. Design by Andreas Charalambous.
Wall sconces are very versatile. Surface-mounted to a wall, they can direct light upward or downward. Wall sconces can add a stylistic touch to a room and can also provide ambient or task lighting. The sconces in this bathroom provide flattering lighting while not subtracting from the impact of the tiled wall.
Ceiling lights are mounted directly to the ceiling, with a glass or plastic shade concealing the light bulb. Ceiling fixtures have been common in homes for nearly 100 years. The ceiling lights in this hallway complement the chandelier that is suspended from the ceiling. Design by Vanessa DeLeon in Edgewater, NJ.
There are three common forms of architectural lighting, and cove lighting is a popular form. Cove lighting is placed in a ledge, shelf or recess high up on a wall, and the light is bounced toward the ceiling or upper wall. In this bedroom, the cove lighting illuminates the ceiling above the bed, adding a romantic feel. Design by Jennifer Charleston.
The contemporary decorating style emerged later—in the 1970s—and continues to evolve based on current trends. While having similarities to modern style, contemporary design pulls on a mix of Art Deco, deconstructivism, futurism and other styles. But don't stress over semantics; if you're looking for clean, simple lines for your bedroom lighting, you have many choices.
For a modern look, choose fixtures with simple, straight lines. The idea here is function over form: The purpose of the fixture is the starting point for the design. Globes can be clear or made of subtle colors. Neutral tones rule, and furnishings are often made of wood or brushed metals in natural tones. Incorporating frosted glass shades can keep the look of your lighting soft or romantic.
Table lamps, floor lamps and wall sconces are natural choices for modern bedroom lights. Wall lamps with swing arms can serve as substitutes for nightstand tables, freeing up room on the table for books, an alarm clock and other items. A wall fixture installed closer to the ceiling can provide ambient light. Floor lamps in the category are simple in design and can provide task or accent lighting anywhere your bedroom needs it.
For a dramatic focal point, you may choose to hang a modern chandelier over your bed. The size of your fixture will depend on the size of your room and bed and height of your ceiling. The same principles apply to modern bedroom lighting as with traditional lighting, but modern chandeliers, which are typically designed more simply and with fewer branches, will look larger than they are. These are good choices for bedrooms with higher ceilings (above 9 feet).
For the look of a chandelier but on a smaller scale, you can hang three or more matching or coordinating pendant lights over your bed. For added interest, choose pendants that are similar in style but have globes in different shapes and shades, and hang them in varying heights. Just be sure to provide enough clearance for getting in and out of your bed.
See Also: Lighting Planning Guide
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