By Ande Waggener
When deciding how to pick lighting for kids, you want to keep one important thing in mind: kids are kids. Because kids are kids (and we all know what that means), the look of lighting isn’t the most important consideration. When it comes to kids, lighting choices need to not only fit a room’s design aesthetic, they also need to meet two more requirements: safety and functionality.
Children’s bedroom light fixtures, therefore, have a three-pronged role to play.
- They need to look good in the room.
- They can’t add a danger to the room.
- They must be ready for play, study, or sweet dreams.
Here are seven lighting ideas that meet all of these requirements.
1. Flush Mount or Track Lighting
The best lighting for kids is unobtrusive lighting. Especially if you’re designing a bedroom your child won’t outgrow, keeping the lighting in the background is a smart choice.
If your children are younger, you can expect them to do a fair amount of rough-housing. Finding them tossing balls and other toys in the air is something that shouldn’t surprise you. For this reason, light fixtures that hug the ceiling are a good fit for children’s bedrooms. Although a basic flush mount fixture will work fine, a more modern track lighting fixture is even better. Curving tracks add a youthful flair to a room, and track lighting’s directionality is ideal for focusing light in various activity zones in the room. You can aim one light toward the play area and another toward the child’s desk or craft table.
2. Floor lamps
Although floor lamps don’t have the out-of-the-way feature that flush mount fixtures or track lighting fixtures have, floor lamps do have style and functionality. If you’re designing the perfect bedroom for your daughter, for example, a floor lamp can help you get some fun, bright color into the room. A floor lamp with a lightweight, break-resistant base and a resilient drum shade can work well because it can be moved from one place to another in the room, and if it gets knocked over, it will probably withstand the fall.
3. Table or Desk Lamps
One of the best lights for children is the directional desk lamp. Better than a traditional bedside table lamp, a desk lamp offers sturdy lighting that, like track lighting, can be aimed where it’s needed. Because desk lamps are lower than track lighting, though, they can be directed more precisely. A desk lamp on a nightstand is ready to help your child play, read, study, or even sleep. Instead of a nightlight, for instance, you can use a desk lamp with a three way feature. On a low setting, aim the light away from the bed. The low light will provide a nighttime glow without disturbing sleep.
4. Pendant or Chandelier lighting
In general, pendant fixtures and hanging chandeliers aren’t the best lights for kid’s rooms. More easily breakable than other lighting fixtures, hanging lights of any kind are also far more in the way and thus more likely to get broken. For older children, however, pendant lights can provide personality in a room. A growing girl, for instance, might love an elegant pendant or chandelier. A good choice in that type of feature is one with a drum shade included. The shade will help protect the fixture if it gets hit with, say, a flying teddy bear.
5. Paper Lanterns
If they pick their own lighting, kids will pick something fun. Especially if you’re using a creative theme in your child’s room, you can do that too. You’ll want to look for fun, playful lighting that can ignite a young imagination. However, if you want your lighting to be appropriate for your child’s room for many years, don’t get so playful that the light won’t grow up with your child. A dinosaur light, for example, might be great for a six-year old boy, but your pre-teen son isn’t going to love it so much.
Because they’re fun but not too fun, paper lanterns are a nice creative choice for a child’s room. They come in a wide variety of colors and shapes, so you can find something that blends well with your child’s bedroom theme. Globe-like paper lanterns, for instance, can spark visions of world exploration and great adventure.
6. Recessed Lighting
As they are for any room they find themselves in, recessed lights are the most versatile of the lighting choices. Recessed lighting can work with any design style. They can light up multiple areas of the room. And they’re unobtrusive (and therefore safe). If you put at least one of the recessed lighting zones on a dimmer, they also provide a fine nightlight.
7. Ceiling Fan with a Light
Ceiling fan lights aren’t the most common lights for kids. Although these lights can be a safety issue if they’re mounted to a low ceiling (think swinging yo-yos, jumping up into moving fan blades, or throwing balls at fragile fan blades), they can work fine when they’re installed on a higher ceiling. If you live in a hot climate, a ceiling fan light might be just what you need to provide brightness and comfort to your child.
The above lighting types give you a wide variety of choices for your children’s rooms. Simply keep in mind the age and personality of your child, and pick light fixtures or lamps accordingly. You might find that a combination of these lighting ideas will work best for your children’s needs.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com