Tips for Lighting Children’s Rooms
Our expert explains the best way to illuminate rooms for the kiddies.
 
Randall, I was enthusiastic about purchasing your residential lighting book. However, I could not find solutions inside for children’s rooms. For a recent project, I used two CFL downlights in the ceiling, one uplight on a wall and two table lamps. In a meeting with the electrician, he recommended one incandescent light in the center of the room to enable furniture to be moved around easily. He also said the CFL would be too bright, yet not provide enough useful light. I’m confused. Can you give me some advice?
First of all, thank you for plugging the book—and for pointing out that I had totally overlooked lighting kids’ bedrooms. You will be happy to know that the latest version of “Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide,” due out in November, will have an extensive section on this very subject. Children’s rooms get treated a little differently than those of their parents. Right through their teenage years, kids tend to spend a lot of time on the floor. They are playing, doing homework or just hanging out. For this reason, an extra dose of indirect light is needed. With this type of light—a torchiere, a wall sconce—the furniture can be moved around as needed. Infants are often on their backs—sleeping, getting diapers changed or snuggling in their parents’ arms. Glary recessed or surface-mounted fixtures are uncomfortable. This is true whether the light source is incandescent or fluorescent. An even illumination that is bounced off the ceiling is much more comfortable. This can come from wall sconces or ceiling-mounted fixtures that have an opaque or semi-opaque diffusion. Although this type of light could also come from a torchiere, it is not a good idea to have a floor lamp in a toddler’s room since children at that age use objects to pull themselves up as they learn to walk. They could easily pull over a torchiere. As children get older it is also a good idea to make sure that the indirect light sources you choose have some sort of covering at the top, like a lens, to keep kids from tossing a sock—or a gerbil—into the fixture.
randall_whitehead
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.com and follow his blog www.lightmakesright.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Lastest from ask randall

The best lighting for illuminating your face at a mirror is side lighting, also referred to as cross illumination. This would be a pair of fixtures... read full story
Even though I'm all about energy-efficient lighting and have replaced 98 percent of my incandescent light with alternative light sources, the one... read full story
Natural light is definitely ideal for applying makeup when you're being seen during the day. So when you are getting ready for work it's better get... read full story
One of the things I see happening over and over again is that when people test makeup in the stores, they are looking at themselves in a mirror that... read full story

Webinars

Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group Inc., LTF and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting.   Complimentary live webinar will take place at 2 p... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Ferguson, GM Lighting and Maxim Lighting/ET2.   This webinar has already taken place, but you can view an... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, AFX Inc., Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting.   This live webinar has already taken place, but... read full story