Family Life

Top tips to help you choose the right lighting for your kid's bedroom

Choosing the right lighting for your child's bedroom takes some thought.

You may have to consider different needs, especially if your kids are sharing a room.

An older child may want to read while their younger sibling sleeps, and you will also probably want to have brighter lighting for play, with softer lighting at bedtime. Some children also need a nightlight as well.

The age of your child or children will also be a factor. All these different possibilities make it a little more complicated than choosing lighting for a room like the kitchen, where you will only really need bright lighting so you can see well enough to cook.

1. The solution, therefore, is to create flexible lighting

This can be most easily done with a combination of different light sources. For a baby or toddler, fitting a dimmer switch will be most useful. These have somewhat fallen out of fashion, but make it easy to adjust the lighting to suit your needs. You can leave the light on very low while the baby sleeps, and be able to check on them easily without disturbing them by turning a light on – very useful if you have one of those children who wake at the slightest sound! Alternatively, you could plug a nightlight into a socket, which some children find very soothing. Once your baby reaches toddler age and moves from a cot to a bed, a bedside lamp is a good option. This will help create a bedtime routine, giving you enough light to read a story, and then reinforce the idea that "lights out" means that it's time to sleep.

2. But it's not just artificial lighting that you should consider

One thing every parent would like to avoid is being woken up too early by their little darlings. So you have to remember that natural light may make them think it's time to get up – and in summer, that can be very early indeed! Curtains are the obvious way to block out daylight, but if your child's bedroom is a loft conversion you'll need to fit roof window blinds. For example, the Roof Window Store offers blackout blinds that can be invaluable for helping children (and parents!) get a good night's sleep.

3. For older children, lighting needs to be more versatile

They will probably want to play in their room, as well as read, so need stronger lighting as well as softer lamps for bedtime. You may also have children with different bedtimes sharing a room. A good way to accommodate the need of one child to sleep while the other reads is to place a desk lamp by the older child's bed. This can be angled towards the reader so that it doesn't disturb the other child. Of course, lighting doesn't have to be purely practical. You can have fun and be more creative, which your children will love. Place glow-in-the-dark stickers on the ceiling, and your children can use their imagination to turn their bedroom into whatever they want. You can even find fun light fixtures that turn a necessity into a feature. This can be a simple way to change the look of your child's bedroom, or part of a themed makeover.

4. Don't just go for a single overhead

Lighting is a practical necessity, so getting it right for your needs and those of your child will be more convenient and comfortable. Lamps, dimmer switches, and nightlights offer a more adaptable solution than a single overhead light, though that is, of course, part of every room. You could also consider fitting a range of ceiling lights for greater flexibility and allowing you to create more or less light in different parts of the room. Remember that your child's needs will change as they get older, consider all the practical angles, and you'll have the perfect lighting for their room.

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