Ways to Increase Natural Light In Your Bedroom

Ways to Increase Natural Light In Your Bedroom

By Dikran Seferian July 15, 2022

The term "rise and shine" can never be more true in a bedroom greeted with the light that mother nature has gifted us ever so generously. And what better way to welcome this light than setting the stage for it by designing your bedroom accordingly — both your body and your wallet will be thanking you. With some interior design techniques, you can harness the natural daylight that enters your bedroom and make the most out of the benefits it has to provide. 

How Does Natural Light Work

To understand how natural light works in a room, it would be a good idea to get familiar with the concept of daylighting — without having to dive deep into its physics. Daylighting involves the introduction of controlled natural illumination into a room. This illumination can be in the form of a skylight as well as direct or indirect sunlight. Naturally, light enters through a window and is reflected off the surfaces. Several factors affect the path of this natural light; such factors include positioning of windows, size of windows, and reflectiveness of indoor surfaces. The science of natural lighting is not only about how daylight travels inwards to a room but also how you can take measures to maximize its effect and use it to your advantage. 

Benefits of Natural Light

Improve your well-being by increasing natural light in your room.

Improve your well-being by increasing natural light in your room.

Natural light is one basic necessity in our lives that we tend to overlook. Without it, we are prone to several adverse conditions. Just as we would enjoy a cup of coffee, our bodies enjoy their daily dose of natural sunlight. Having natural light in your bedroom has several important benefits involving your mental and physical health — as well as your wallet. 

Improves Health

You don’t have to be outdoors to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin will be present indoors as long as natural light is in abundance, and you can soak it all up in the comfort of your own bedroom. 

Prevents Depression

Dimly lit rooms can be quite the mood killer for many people, especially in the colder months when the seasonal affective disorder is common. Natural white light is an effective way to keep the winter blues at bay. 

Enhances Sleep

While it is no surprise that adequate sleep has a direct correlation with mental as well as physical health, natural light plays a significant role in this equation. Studies have shown that those who have been exposed to natural light have experienced better sleep.

Reduce Energy Cost 

Besides the health-related benefits, incorporating adequate natural light in your sleeping area reduces the need for electric lighting. And less electric lighting allows for a trimmed utility bill and a more sustainable lifestyle.

Ideas for Increasing Natural Light in Your Bedroom

You don’t need to go above and beyond to reinforce daylight in your bedroom. Measures as simple as adding a mirror or two and decreasing clutter can do wonders. If you're willing to go the extra mile, there are even ways to get natural light into a room with no windows. A sleeping area teeming with natural brightness is just a few adjustments away. 

Make Use of Mirrors

Magnifying natural light with mirrors is a century-old technique that’s proven effective over the ages.

Magnifying natural light with mirrors is a century-old technique that’s proven effective over the ages.

Since natural light is maximized through reflective surfaces, why not accommodate that with the use of mirrors? Besides boosting natural light, mirrors also tend to make a room appear bigger than it actually is. One clever way of approaching this method is by having large mirrors and windows identical to each other, therefore creating the impression of a bright spacious bedroom surrounded by windows.

Go for Lighter Tones

Light colors are naturally more reflective than darker ones. The lighter the colors, the brighter your room will appear due to the amount of natural light reflected. However, you don’t have to go all white, making your bedroom look like the pearly gates. Light grays or pastels are ideal shades you can choose for your sleeping space.

For the walls, consider an eggshell wash to magnify their reflectiveness. Eggshell white provides the right amount of gloss while being subtle enough for a bedroom. As for undertones, consider beige or light grey for the bedsheets and maybe the rug — unless you prefer white, then by all means go for it. Meanwhile, you can introduce a pop of color with pastel for accents like throw pillows, wall pieces, and other elements of interior design.

If your material of choice for flooring, trims, and furniture framing is wood, consider a brighter shade of brown. For example, a natural pinewood finish would be an ideal choice for a bed frame.

Choosing the best palette for your bedroom.

Choosing the best palette for your bedroom.

Keep Windows Untreated

While forgoing window treatment isn’t a common option, you can certainly allow for unbridled light to fill your bedroom. Although treated windows do have their advantages, don’t hesitate to do without them if you can. Your windows may seem naked, however, that’s a compromise worth making for the sake of natural light.

Prioritize Your Windows

In the pursuit of increasing natural light in your bedroom, windows are your best friend. Obstructing them with furniture is rather detrimental. While it’s common to place objects in front of windows — especially if space is an issue — try to make natural light your priority. The added brightness will also make your bedroom appear larger should you be having a problem in that department. 

Making most of your windows can help brighten up your interior.

Making most of your windows can help brighten up your interior.

Opt for White Curtains

While it’s best to avoid window treatments, you can still achieve the privacy you need and reduce excess sunlight — while not compromising brightness — by going for white curtains. A good idea is to install the curtains slighter higher and wider than the window. This would make the window look bigger as the glow of the natural light encompasses the entirety of the curtain.

Another trick is to spread the curtain far beyond the sides of the window. This would make it seem as though the entire wall or most of it is windowed when it’s only the middle. Note that this illusion works when the curtain only covers the walls, leaving the window in plain sight.

Sleep is the elixir of life, so choose your bedroom curtains accordingly.

Sleep is the elixir of life, so choose your bedroom curtains accordingly.

Look into Frosted Windows

Another way to allow for natural light to brighten up your bedroom while maintaining privacy and preventing glare is with frosted windows. While it may seem counter-intuitive, not much light is sacrificed through the use of frosted glass. Moreover, you’ll essentially be blocking the indoor view from outside. 

There is a myriad of measures you can take to maintain privacy in your home.

There is a myriad of measures you can take to maintain privacy in your home.

Consider a Clerestory or Skylight

If the option of adding a window is feasible for you, a clerestory or a skylight is a brilliant way to invite natural light into your bedroom. Clerestories are windows that are high up on the wall, usually between two levels of roofing. Skylights, on the other hand, are basically windows installed on the ceiling. Clerestories and skylights are rather similar in terms of the benefits they provide.

This method of fenestration is common among passive solar homes, where natural light strategically illuminates living spaces. The higher the windows on the wall, the more light is admitted into the room. The added advantage of clerestories and skylights is that while allowing for substantial natural lighting, they reduce glare and provide privacy. An alternative to a skylight is a tubular daylighting device (abbreviated as TDD). TDDs are basically small, cylindrical skylights that bring in diffused natural illumination. However, this method may not be possible in every home. Nevertheless, daylighting devices are an ingenious way to provide natural light to rooms that may not have access to it.

Clever techniques in architecture that increase indoor brightness are plentiful.

Clever techniques in architecture that increase indoor brightness are plentiful.

Avoid Clutter

Nothing makes a room look more cramped than clutter, especially with limited natural light. To enlarge your bedroom’s appearance, avoid clutter as much as possible. This includes not going overboard with decor — there’s no need to turn your bedroom into a national museum of interior design. By keeping your accents to a minimum, you’d be allowing more reflective space for natural light to bounce off of.

Make Clever Use of Light Fixtures 

If access to natural light in your sleeping area is limited, you can take advantage of indoor methods that simulate sunlight. Moreover, the ways in which you set up the lighting also play a significant role in maximizing its effect. For instance, a white lampshade will allow for a brighter indoor atmosphere, especially if paired with matching blankets for the bed. As for overhead fixtures, minimalism is the way to go. In that regard, consider recessed lighting to skew the focus on the illumination instead of the fixture itself — and you can expand the scope of light by spreading the fixtures across the room.

Introduce A Touch of Nature

You can’t go wrong with a few houseplants to naturally brighten up your personal space. Paired with almost-natural indoor lighting, and perhaps diffused sunlight, you can achieve the sense of an outdoor atmosphere in your bedroom. Ferns and Spider plants are perfect choices for indoor plants. Paired with natural light, a houseplant or two will freshen up a bedroom that may otherwise be musty and dim.

Houseplants make your interior feel fresh.

Houseplants make your interior feel fresh.


Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian