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, IALD
Latest from ask randall
I would find a nice large pendant to go over the dining room table that complements the fixtures in the kitchen, but doesn’t match them. If you have... read full story
If the fixtures all are at low output, you may have the incorrect voltage of lamps. Check and see if you have 24V lamps instead of 12V (the boxes... read full story
For me, and most of the lighting industry, fluorescents are no longer a part of the equation. They have never had a high enough CRI. Their quality of... read full story
Sponsored by Legrand and Bulbrite. Wednesday, October 5 at 2 p.m. EDT Register for this free CEU webinar here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by registering here. Sponsored by Emerson and Legrand. Webinar Overview: Learning units:AIA/... read full story
This webinar has already taken place, but you can still watch it on demand by registering here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0 Learning UnitIDCEC (IIDA/... read full story