Creating the right ambience can help to transform your bedroom into a peaceful haven, prime for relaxation. In this blog, Lightwave explores bedroom lighting ideas focusing on how to incorporate smart bedroom lighting into your home.
Smart Bedroom Lighting Ideas
The bedroom. We spend many hours of our life in the bedroom: we rest, regenerate and relax. Our bedrooms also provide a sanctuary within which to sleep; a much neglected natural habit vital to maintaining our general well-being. Most of us recognise that our ability to get a good nights sleep is greatly influenced by the immediate environment and the ambience of the bedroom. This includes having a nice comfortable bed, a suitable ambient temperature and freedom (as far as possible) from the various sonic disruptions characteristic of modern, urban living. However, perhaps the most important factor is that of appropriate bedroom lighting.
There is more of an art to lighting design that might be supposed. Our bodies’ circadian rhythms are governed in part by our temporal interaction with ambient light, and getting this right has a significant impact on how easy we find it to get to sleep, and how rested we feel once we arrive into the new day. Of course, we need soft, dimmed lights to create a relaxing, safe and cosy or intimate atmosphere during the evening and increasingly bright lights in the morning to wake us up; however, the distribution, diffusion, intensity and temperature (colour) of this lighting is vitally important, as is the timing of its delivery. Using smart lighting, it is now possible not only to conveniently create the perfect preset bedroom lighting scene from the touch of a button or at your spoken command, but this can be automatically timed to adjust with the dusk and the dawn to send you softly of to sleep or to wake you up gently with a gradually increasing intensity of light.
Dimmer switches should always be at the core of your bedroom lighting setup. This is because they serve the vital function of allowing you to adjust light levels: you obviously don’t want to get dressed in the dark, but equally a soft light is more desirable first thing in the morning or during the evening getting ready for bed.
Traditionally, the location of dimmers was all important, as easy access to the switch was vital to the operation of the lights; however, with the advent of smart dimmers, this has become less crucial adding cost saving flexibility to your setup and reducing the need for multiple hardwired dimmers situated at different places the room. Smart dimmer switches can be wired similarly to standard dimmers, however they can also be controlled using an app or by voice via Alexa, Google Home or Apple HomeKit. This means that you can control the light level without having to leave your bed. Some smart dimmer variants, such as Lightwave, also allow you to ‘group’ dimmers together, or with smart sockets. This means that when the switch is pressed, every grouped device will also activate, allowing ambient lighting scenes involving dimmers and socket powered lamps to be activated from just one button press. No 2-way connecting wires are necessary, as everything communicates remotely.
Clever use of a smart app will also allow you to create preset lighting scenes that can be recalled using a button press or a voice command. The perfect levels for the time of day or desired mood will be instantly recalled without having to spend a long time making adjustments.
Lamps and LEDs
The use of varied, alternative light sources including individual lamps is important for providing ambient background lighting in the bedroom. Commonly, a bedside lamp is situated either side of the bed with local controls at hand. The addition of other lamps around the room can greatly enhance the ambient lighting effect, however, this can be troublesome and inconvenient if these lamps also require individual local control to turn the off at either the socket or switch. Smart sockets can now solve this issue providing many more options for easy to control bedroom lamps. By plugging in bedroom lamps to a smart socket, each lamp can now be controlled by app or voice. This can be done individually and as part of a lighting scene (more about this later) where one command controls all. Some sockets such as Lightwave’s 13A 2 gang offering even come in decorative finishes to match lighting controls providing a contemporary look that will not betray the smart technology hidden beneath the surface. Each socket also works in the traditional way at the switch, if required, making sure that the smart technology is non invasive and only apparent if required.
Another great way to create ambient lighting effects is by using LED strip. It can help to highlight certain areas such as cupboards or shelves and can reflect light around the room making it look larger. LED strip is neat, flexible and can be easily hidden. It can be situated out of sight onto top of wardrobes, behind coving or underneath furniture and can be dimmed alongside other lighting to create some great lighting scenes. Compatible LED strip is driven via a suitable small low voltage LED driver. It can also be linked to Lightwave smart dimmers or smart relays in order to provide convenient manual and smart control from an app or voice control.
Setting and timing scenes
Smart technology can be used to great effect in the bedroom to create ‘scene lighting’. Scene lighting allows the creation of different moods by accessing different preset lighting combinations the are recalled at the touch of a button or on a physical switch or smartphone app. This is a quick and convenient way to achieve a suitable lighting effects for relaxing evening, morning or sleeping environments.
Scene lighting can be achieved by grouping lamps, ceiling lights and LED strip together to operate from one app button and/or dimmer button. Dimmers can be automatically set to come on at a certain level once the scene button is pressed, although each will also work independently if needed. This can be easily setup from a smart app and can include some clever set conditions if desired. For example, with Lightwave devices, the same dimmer button can be set to trigger different scenes depending on the time of day that it is pressed. Lightwave dimmers and sockets can therefore provide scene lighting whilst also allowing scenes to be automatically timed to suit the time of day. Lamps and ceiling lighting can all be incorporated.
Children’s Bedroom Lighting
Creating appropriate lighting for a children’s bedroom requires a slightly different approach. Practical ceiling lighting which will adequately light the room is, of course important, but young children may also require night lights
Small lamps situated around the room can offer children a sense of control and independence by providing them with some personal choice over the lamp and control over it. Table or desk lamps are useful for focusing on study or reading, and the use of a cool white LED lamp (bulb) can further enhance this function. Bedside lamps provide ambient light suitable for bedtime stories. If smart sockets are fitted, lamps (and other appliances) can be also be monitored and controlled by parents using a smartphone app. Lightwave can even send an alert to your phone to notify you that lights have been turned on or off providing extra reassurance.
Being able to dim lights both in real time and automatically at specific times can help signify that it is time for bed, and provide low level night lighting for reassurance. With Lightwave smart lighting, This can even be done gradually to simulate natural daylight cycles in the evening and morning. Night lights can be provided via LED strip driven, dimmed and timed to illuminate only at night using a smart dimmer. This can also be concealed easily to provide relaxing ambient lights that will soften dark corners and provide extra reassurance.