For parents of young children, lighting their child’s nursery or bedroom may feel like the last concern on a long list of struggles to get through the day-to-day routine. After clothing, feeding, bathing, teaching and entertaining, you may not feel you have any energy leftover to consider the big picture. But making sure your child’s bedroom offers a good place to rest, play and learn doesn’t have to be a big time commitment. In fact, general lighting rules you use throughout the house still apply. Set up a range of light sources for flexibility and then have fun with it!
Natural is Best
Natural sunlight is stimulating and encourages a happy mood. It’s important in any space, but especially crucial to developing children. Where possible, make sure the room has big windows that let in lots of daylight. Spending time in rooms with minimal sunlight exposure or leaving shades drawn during the day can dampen mood and disrupt sleep cycles.
That being said, having good blackout blinds or curtains is also very important. According to Today’s Parent, “Any kind of light is really stimulating to the brain. Even if you sleep through light, it still disturbs your sleep.” To avoid early waking or disrupted nap time, prepare your windows with proper light-blocking treatments. (Just remember to choose cordless coverings for safety!)
Amp Up the Ambiance
Once you’ve sorted out your window treatments, ambient lighting is the first layer for any room. For children’s rooms, you’ll likely be working with a pendant lamp or ceiling fan with light. These are great options because they establish general light for play time without adding clutter or trip hazards.
We love colorful drum lamps like the Multi Small Hanging Drum because they add bright colors and a unique shape to the room, which are both crucial elements to a child’s development. Don’t want to sacrifice the functionality of a ceiling fan? Add a touch of whimsy with fun sconces like the Sea Turtle Wall Sconce in sea blue. If placed strategically, these can also be a great alternative to bedside lamps.
Stay on Task
The next area of focus is task lighting. While this may sound very mature for a child’s bedroom, it just means light used for certain purpose. For example, you may want a table lamp by your glider for reading to your baby or helping a new reader spell out words.
If you have an artistic kid, set up a desk with arts and craft supplies where they can create their own masterpieces for the kitchen fridge. Pick a unique but durable lamp like the Macopa Table Lamp that won’t break if it gets knocked over in a moment of artistic flourish.
Light Up the Night
While it’s important to keep the room dark at night for your child’s sleep quality, don’t put your own health at risk. Night lights are a form of safety lighting for you! They’ll keep you from stubbing your toe on the dresser or tripping over an errant toy in the middle of the night. Plus that subtle glow offers comfort to young children prone to bad dreams or fear of the dark. (Note: If you’re not using all your outlets, don’t forget safety covers for the open electrical sockets.)
Take Fun Seriously
Finally, have fun with it! Yes, making safe lighting choices is a must, but don’t let that stop you from showing your child how to have fun. Is your daughter obsessed with dinosaurs? Buy that silly triceratops-shaped bedside lamp. Is your son ready to be an astronaut? Add glow-in-the-dark stars to the ceiling. Have a child that dreams of magical kingdoms? Add twinkle lights to infuse the room with a little extra magic.
At the end of the day, remember that this is your child’s room. If they’re old enough, get them involved in the decision-making. You never know, they may inspire you as much as you hope to inspire them.