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How to light up your reading room

  • Lighting Ideas
Jun 25, 2022
Reading lights for room with wall décor - Beautiful Homes

If you are a reader, and an avid one at that, then you know the exact amount of light that you like to read in. Plan for optimal lighting so that you avoid straining your eyes- a guide to do so

If you are planning on building a reading room, or already have one and want to ensure that it is built well, lighting in the room is an aspect you cannot miss. You may also want to use the room as a home office or even a schoolroom at home if you have kids, and in these cases having a good lighting layout for your reading room would be a great idea. A good lighting layout in your reading room would enhance your productivity and also greatly increase the level of comfort you’d feel when you are in the room. If you are looking for an efficient lighting plan for your reading room or study room, then look no further. We have compiled a list of all the things you need to understand to craft a lighting plan for your reading room or study room.

1. Planning Before Execution

Before you start work on the lighting layout for your reading room, you should plan on all aspects of lighting the room. Ideally, the lights for room should be modular enough for you to be allowed to have different levels of lights and different levels of switches that can be turned on or off, as and when required. There are multiple types of lighting, and they come in layers. Having your lighting in layers adds a sense of appeal to the aesthetics of your home and also allows your home décor to stand out. Let’s understand these types and layers of lighting in detail.

Hanging lights for reading room with table lamp - Beautiful Homes

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is essentially the general lighting in your room. Ambient lighting is not focused on a specific area, but rather on the entire room. When it comes to lights for reading, ambient lighting is the go-to choice. Ambient illumination can be achieved in various ways. Ceiling lights, chandeliers, wall lights, daylight from the windows in your room, or even pendant lights can be some of the ways to have an ambient lighting setup in your study room. Recessed lighting (the ones in the ceiling) can also be used as a good method to provide general ambient lighting. Ambient lights should be soft, not harsh. Generally, ambient light does not cast shadows in the room.


Task Lighting

Task lighting, as the name suggests, is focused light that is targeted to a particular task. This is what is usually known as the second layer of illumination when it comes to your study room. Its specific purpose is to ensure that you receive focused light to be able to read well and without straining your eyes. For example, while using a reading lamp, it behaves as task lighting to illuminate the specific tasks at hand, which in this case would be a book. When it comes to lights for reading, task lighting is the solution to your woes. Task lighting provides the kind of efficient lighting that allows you to work efficiently. There are various ways of adding task lighting to your room - pendant lights, floor lamps with a focused downlight, table lamps, LED strips, etc. If you want to specifically light up certain areas, then task lighting is the way to go.


Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is the third layer of illumination we talked about above. Accent lighting is the final addition to aesthetics that you do while lighting up your room. Accent lighting is a level above task lighting, as in, it illuminates specific items that you would want to draw attention to. Whether it is your framed diplomas or certificates, or a display case with your priceless comic collection, or a shelf with artifacts or even a cool plant species you have potted in your room - accent lighting will help you create some drama and pull the eyes towards the illuminated object. Wall uplights, picture lights, or even spotlights on a track rail are good examples of accent lighting.


2. Which Colour Lights are you Using?

This is a very common question that comes up while designing the lighting plan for your reading/study room. The two most popular choices are yellow lights and white lights. The answer to this is largely subjective and may even be a question of personal preference, as it may differ from person to person. Functionally speaking, white light is sharp, and yellow adds some warmth and appeal to your space. White light is generally considered softer and easier on your eyes. White light also usually causes less strain to your eyes, depending upon the degree of illumination. However, yellow light is more interesting and can be customized to various shades of yellow. When it comes to a reading lamp for bed, most people prefer a yellow light over a white light. You can also mix and match based on your preferences - for example, white light for general illumination and yellow ones for accent lights. The colour of your light does have an impact on the kind of impression your reading room décor is.

Recessed lighting for reading corner in living room - Beautiful Homes

3. How are you Reading Things?

The mode of reading is very important here. There is a huge difference between the levels of illumination you’d require for paperback versus a digital reader. Lights for reading differ depending on the way you read, which in turn, is a personal preference. Reading off of any digital device in a room that is dark and not well-lit may cause eye strain. You need to ensure that there always is ambient lighting in your reading room. When it comes to paperbacks, you would incur significant strain to your eye if you are reading in a poorly lit environment such as without a reading table lamp. Make sure that you use task lighting to your advantage. Ensure that you do not have the light source behind you but rather directly on the book to avoid shadows falling on the pages. Book reading lights are usually placed on a table. In case you do not use a table, a book reading light could also be placed at an angle where the light directly hits the pages of the book

4. What about the Reflections?

The way your ambient lighting is set up will influence how your room reflects light. Shadows are a huge no-no when it comes to reading room lighting. Wall color of your reading room is also an important consideration in this case. Too bright or too dark colors will reflect light abnormally and hence can be distracting. Avoid stark shades like jet back or plush white while choosing the wall color for your reading room. User softer and neutral tones. Lights reading would also be affected by the texture of the wall in your reading room.

Accent lights reading with sofa & ottoman - Beautiful Homes

5. Type of Lights Matter

What type of lights you use is also an important thing to think of when designing the lighting plan for your reading room. You can use incandescent bulbs, halogen lamps, CFTs, and LED lamps as the source of lighting for your reading room. LEDs are the most preferred medium of lighting as they are very energy-efficient. LED lights for room may be relatively a bit more costly than the other options, but they do come with their set of advantages. LED bulbs use less wattage, and can save you around 20% on your power and energy bills. LED bulbs are also more durable and hence can last much longer than the other modes of lighting. Halogen lamps come in at a fraction of the cost of their LED counterparts but they run hot at times. The illumination provided by halogen or incandescent lamps is also very different from LED lamps. Room lamps are typical LED lamps. Reading lights for bed are also LED bulbs or strips. Using an incandescent bulb as a reading light for bed would also be a good option. Going green would be a smart choice here.

At Asian Paints Beautiful Homes, we understand how significant it is to build each corner of your home. You simply need to let us know about the sort of interior design you are looking for, and we will assist you in transforming your vision into reality by fine-tuning your ideas. Whether you want to create more aesthetic appeal or align the vibe of your space with existing structures or play with colour combinations - we will be able to meet your needs well. We also help with specific furnishings such as reading room lights and can guide you through the whole process of selecting or renewing one. We happen to be experts in modern lighting room design and have designed scores of modular lighting solutions.


Our approaches to modern interior design come in a wide range. At Beautiful Homes, we provide a large selection of products and services to cater to your interior design and décor needs. We've got it all, from furniture to wall treatments, lighting to wood solutions. Our design professionals are well-versed in all styles of interior design. Our designs are splendid yet functional enough to create an elegant environment and make your experience memorable. From the right furnishings and materials in diverse colours to a variety of options and accessories for your home—find what you’re looking for, and get your house design just right. Our Beautiful Homes Service Advantage includes:

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