Where Should Bedside Wall Lights Be Placed?

headboard lamps 2 min

A good interior lighting design sets the atmosphere in the bedroom for you.  In fact, if you choose the right types of lighting fixtures, they can completely transform the decor, feeling, and tone in your room.

And, this is one of the primary reasons why many of today’s homeowners are installing wall sconces in the bedrooms that they renovate.

Wall lighting is not only a way to update the decor in the bedroom, this lighting can also be used to save on the cost of energy.  So, it is not uncommon for a homeowner to replace their current lighting fixtures with wall sconces in order to take advantage of these and other great benefits.

That said, here are a few things that you should know about bedside wall lights, and their placements.

Where should bedside wall lights be placed?

Before you go to your local hardware store to buy the wall sconces for your bedroom, you need to do a little research first.  In order to do this job properly, you must determine where these bedside wall lights should be placed, including determining the size of the lights needed.

Typically,  if you want to follow previous conventional decor traditions, you may want to hang these lights as follows:

Headboard Placements

Position your lights on each side of your bed. In this scenario, the center point of your bed is the headboard.  Therefore, you will need to install one wall light on each side.

headboard lamp

No headboard Placements

If you do not have a headboard to determine the best position for wall sconces, you can install your wall lights by using specific parameters. For instance, as a general rule of thumb, you can install your wall sconces approximately 2 feet above the sides of your bed.

Or, if you choose to do so, you can install these lights, about 5 feet from the floor.  In either case, you need to determine where the lights should be positioned properly to make the installation.

On the wall next to the bed

If a small wall lamp is mounted next to the bed, the light falls primarily on the bedside table. With the right light intensity, you can also read in the glow of the lamp. However, rather in a lateral lying position, facing the light.

Provide even Lighting in your bedroom

The purpose for installing wall bedside lights may also differ from one homeowner to the next.  Therefore, you may want to position your bedside lights in a different manner.

For instance, if you want to make sure that the lighting in your bedroom is evenly dispersed, your wall sconces must be placed in a position that is 8 to 10 feet away from each other.

bed lamps 4

Position lights close in proximity

As mentioned above, you have the freedom to determine where these bedside wall lights should be placed in your bedroom  For instance, ideally, one or more of these light fixtures should be close enough to the bedside for you to adjust. The lighting fixtures should also be close enough to the bed for you to read bybed wall lamps 3

What is the perfect height of wall lights?

The height of your wall light depends on the intended use and your personal preferences. If you choose an up and down lamp, only up or only down lamp or wall lamps with indirect light, are usually said to be hung at a height of around 1.60 to 1.75 m (63 to 69 inches).

If you attach the wall lights at eye level, you make sure that you cannot look directly into the light source and be blinded.

However, if you want to illuminate your way through the house with the wall lamps, for example, small LED spots are highly recommended. However, you should not hang them up at eye level, as the spotlights often reveal their illuminant directly and so naturally dazzle you.

If they are intended for orientation, they are better placed lower anyway in order to illuminate the way on stairs or in the hallway in the best possible way.

How high should my wall light be above the bed?

Wall lamps that shine upwards are recommended above the bed. Since you thus have an indirect light, you can easily attach the wall light at eye level or, to use the light even better for reading in bed, you can attach it about 50 centimeters (20 inches) above the headrest of your bed.

How do you install bedside wall lights?

Fortunately, the installation of bedside wall lights is relatively easy to do. So, you may or may not need help from a professional to make these installations. For instance, if you are installing a plug-in wall sconce, hiring an electrician for this job is not necessary.

That said, here are the steps that you will need to follow for bedside wall light plugins.

Step 1. Determine the best positions for its placements

As reference above, the placements will vary based on personal preference  (i.e. center of the headboard). Therefore, once you have made this decision, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2. Mark the Place of Placement before drilling the holes for its mounting plate

After determining the best position, mark this specific area with a pencil before you position the mounting plate. Repeat this same step if you are installing more than one lighting fixture.

Step 3. Place the mounting plate in the right position.

Place the mounting plate in the right position And then drill the screws in the holes of the mounting plate.

Step 4. Attach the lighting fixture to its mounting plate

After the mounting plates have been made secure on the wall, attach the light fixtures to the mounting plate.

Step 5. Plug the lights in

Once all of the steps above have been completed, plug the cord from the lighting fixtures into the wall. Then, switch the light on.

How far apart should wall sconces be?

To determine how far apart wall sconces should be, it is important to factor in the type of lighting that you need in the room. More importantly, if you want the lighting to be evenly distributed throughout the room, you need to consider the size of the layout.

For instance, as a general rule of thumb, in the average room size, the typical answer is about 8 to 10 feet apart.

Height for wall lamps for furniture and murals

If you want to use wall lamps to showcase furniture such as a sideboard, a chest of drawers, or accessories such as a mural, then it is best to arrange two wall lamps symmetrically.

Wall spotlights are ideal for this. It is best to place them just a few centimeters above your piece of furniture or your mural.

Alternatively, there are also special picture lights for your pictures, which you simply place in the middle of your painting – also just a few centimeters apart.

How high to hang wall sconces in the bedroom

To determine how high to hang the wall sconces in your bedroom, you may want to follow Lights.com suggestions. For instance, according to the information that this site provides, you should start at the height of about 30 to 36 inches above the top of the mattress.

Or, you may choose to hang your wall sconces about 6 to 12 inches above your own shoulder. Specifically, if you are sitting on the bed with your head against your headboard.

Placement of sconces next to the mirror

If you are thinking about placing your sconces next to a mirror, here are the positions that you may want to consider.

  • From the top of the Mirror. Position the sconce about 1 to 5 inches above the top of your bathroom mirror and then center it.
  • Beside the Mirror. Position your sconces on each side of your bathroom mirror, and make sure to level them with your face. The sconces should also be at least 36 to 40 inches away from each other no less than 1 inch from the sides of the mirror.

sconces mirror min

Where to put sconces in the living room

Unlike the bedroom, you can place your sconces in a wide variety of different suitable places.  Based on the atmosphere and the tone that you are trying to set, you can pick and choose the lighting design that you want to create. For instance, here are some common places that you may want to consider.

  1. Above the focal point of your living room
  2. In between paintings or mirrors
  3. In big spaces
  4. Over the fireplace
  5. Over the side table
  6. Over the sofa
  7. On small spaces
  8. In the corner


Sconces can be used in your home for many different reasons and purposes, including as a decorative element to place on your walls. In the bedroom, these lighting fixtures can take your interior designs to the next level.

However, it is very important to learn how to position them correctly.  From placing wall lighting in the bedroom to create a certain atmosphere to hanging wall lights to fill up space on a bare wall, you can completely transform the looks of your home in every room.






Ask a Designer: How to Space Bathroom Mirror and Sconces

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