Buyer’s Guide to LED Lights For the Bedroom
The right LED lighting in the bedroom can create an inviting atmosphere that promotes calm, relaxation and, of course, sleep.
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A bedroom isn’t just a place you go to get some shut-eye. It can also be a sanctuary to read a book, listen to music or just find a little peace and quiet from the day’s stresses.
The way we light our bedrooms can aid us as we wake and promote better nighttime sleep, as well as improve our overall health and well-being.
“Light is our major cue for sleep and wakefulness,” says Dr. Denise Sharon of the Pomona Valley Medical Center Adult and Children Sleep Disorders Center. “The regular cycle of daylight to nighttime transition seems to work best for our bodies, and we need some daylight every day to sleep well.
“Artificial light attempts to lengthen our days. Among the artificial light options, LED (light emitting diodes) are the closest to natural light.”
What Are LED Lights?
LEDs are energy-efficient bulbs that produce up to 90 percent more light than incandescents, compact fluorescents (CFLs) and halogens. As the electrical current passes through a microchip embedded in LED bulbs, tiny semiconductor light sources illuminate.
An LED mimics natural sunlight because, as Sharon says, “The shorter the light wavelength, on the blue side of the spectrum (between 400 and 490 nanometers), the more it is like daylight.”
Types of LED Lights
The most common types of LED lights are:
LED light bulbs resemble regular incandescent or fluorescent bulbs and fit into standard screw-in connections.
LED Strip/Tape Lights
These create a continuous length of light at regular intervals on a flexible tape or strip (LEDs emitters mounted on a narrow, pliable circuit board). Run these under bed frames or around headboards, doorways or windows. LED strips can be cut to size, and most come with peel-and-stick backing for easy installation.
LED Rope Lights
Tiny LEDs encased in a long, clear, flexible PVC tube that allows the light to shine through.
Dimmable LED Lights
These can be adjusted to raise or lower their brightness, giving the user greater control over their bedroom lighting.
“Daylight or artificial light evolving gradually in the morning hours promotes wakefulness and improves daytime functioning,” says Sharon. “Nowadays, bedroom lights can be set to come up gradually in the morning and dimmed in the evening to resemble a day/night cycle.”
Smart LED Lights
Smart LED bulbs connect to an app or home assistants like Google or Alexa. These allow you to remotely control lighting, compared to traditional bulbs controlled from a wall switch.
How Much Do LED Lights Cost?
When comparing LED bulb prices with conventional bulbs, don’t be deterred by the initial higher cost of LEDs. Consider the energy bill savings and less frequent replacement of LEDS.
A 60-watt standard incandescent bulb generally costs around $1.25, while an LED equivalent bulb (10-watt) costs around $2.50. You pay more up front for the LED, but it takes less electricity and you won’t need to replace the bulb as often due to its longer lifespan (10,000 hours). That results in considerable savings over the long haul.
Can You Recycle LED Lights?
Yes, you can recycle LED lights, though you might not need to do it very often considering how long LED lights can last. Because they contain a microchip, some electronics recycling services will accept them. Some retailers, including home centers, collect LEDs and other light bulbs for recycling, so you can check with your local store to see if it offers those services. But your first step should be checking with your curbside recycling provider to see if you can put unwanted or broken LED lights in your bin.
Buying LED Lights for the Bedroom
To create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, focus on the brightness of the LED lights (measured by lumens or watts) as well as the color temperature (warm-to-cold) measured in Kelvins (K).
Warm, white light gives off a soft glow. Inversely, lights on the cooler end of the spectrum create a stark, more intense environment (think operating room), which is not conducive to relaxation. “Blue and white lights tend to improve alertness and reduce sleep,” Sharon says.
When lighting bedrooms, most experts recommend LEDs in the warmer, 2,000 K to 4,000 K range
How To Install LED Lights
Installing LEDs lights can be as simple as screwing the bulb into an existing fixture, adhering strip lights under a bed frame or trimming window casings with flexible tube lights.
Best LED Lights for the Bedroom
Best Dimmable LED Bedroom Light
Cozy up with a good book and drift off to sleep knowing the dimmable Willed Under Bed Light with motion detection capabilities will emit a soft, diffused glow in case you need to get up in the middle of the night.
Set it to your preferred brightness level, and the automatic shut-off feature will engage after 30 seconds to 10 minutes for optimum energy savings and restful slumber. “For a good night sleep, pitch darkness is considered ideal,” Sharon says.
Best Smart LED Bedroom Light
The Vilsom Smart APP and Remote Control Music Sync LED Strip Lights are Bluetooth-enabled, so you can create an illuminated soundtrack to lull you to sleep.
The 40-foot strip is long enough to reach around an entire bedroom, but can be cut to any length. Download the Vilsom Home app from Google Play or the Apple App Store to synchronize the lights to the soft beat of the music via your smartphone or wireless speakers. Set the timer in the app or with the remote control to adjust the brightness and mood colors.
Best LED Bulb for a Nightstand
Create warm ambient or task lighting next to your bed with the energy-efficient 40/60/100-watt-equivalent Great Eagle Three-Way LED Light Bulbs (four-pack). They adjust between 500 and 1,500 lumens in a three-way desk, floor or table lamp.
With three brightness options, you can choose brighter for reading and a softer, more diffused light for cuddling up with the kids or dog. “I put one in my bedroom lamp immediately and was instantly impressed with the quality of the light output and also the color temperature,” writes an Amazon reviewer.