Choose the right light to make things bright! Nursery lighting is something you may not think about when you’re caught up in the excitement of designing your child’s room, but since it provides both style and function, it’s important to make children’s lighting fixtures a part of your nursery’s overall design. There are so many options today that make it easy to select stylish fixtures.
Are chandeliers suited for any nursery?
Today, parents are gravitating toward children’s lighting options, such as chandeliers, that were previously considered elite. Kids’ chandeliers come in so many styles that it may be hard to choose just one. If you’re designing a soft, feminine nursery, choose a mini pink chandelier for your princess. Opt for a western chandelier for a cowboy-themed room or a frog chandelier for an animal-themed room. Keep in mind that your baby will be spending a lot of time looking at the ceiling, so choose something stimulating. If you want your kids’ chandelier to be versatile, choose one with shades that you can change as you change the style of your child’s room through the years.
When choosing children’s chandeliers, think about how much light you want in the room. If you need a lot of illumination, consider one with four or five arms. If the brightness of the room isn’t a factor, a three-armed chandelier is a fine choice. Measure the circumference of the chandelier to ensure that it’s the right size for the room. Be sure of exactly where you would like the chandelier to hang, as you won’t want to drill the hole more then once. If your child will be sleeping under the light fixture you should consider how low the chandelier can hang. If your child is very active you may want to think about flush lighting.
Ceiling medallions are a great way to accent your chandelier, ceiling fan or other light fixtures. Not only are ceiling medallions beautiful on their own, they attract the eye to other features in the room. Be sure to choose one that is the right size for your room.
A small nursery means you need to size furnishings to the room’s proportions, so consider a mini chandelier. Mini crystal chandeliers, for example, provide all of the style of larger models yet have a compact design to fit your nursery. Lastly, if you’re unsure about your ability to safely install children’s lighting fixtures—especially chandeliers or wall sconces—hire a professional to do it for you.
Are there advantages in having a ceiling fan?
Ceiling fans are a good option for a room that needs air. They provide lighting and are also able to circulate air throughout the room creating a breeze. Ceiling fans are available in many styles to suit your taste. You may also consider custom painting to add a personal touch to your fixture. Keep in mind the size of the room and the height of the ceiling while choosing your fan. Many fans come with fan pulls. Check if yours does. If you are buying a custom painted fan, you may want to purchase pull chains separately that match that design.
Will a wall sconce limit my ability to update my child’s room?
Actually, the opposite is true. Wall sconces today are very sophisticated and a great way to transition a baby’s nursery to a room for an older child. If that’s your plan, look for wall sconce lighting that has a shade option, allowing you to use the shade now or later, depending on the look you want. There are so many unique wall sconces available, so your child’s room definitely won’t look like anyone else’s in the neighborhood! If you want a chic addition, look for elegant, timeless crystal wall sconces.
Do I need lamps even if I have overhead lighting?
Probably. Lamps provide extra lighting and they can be used instead of overhead lighting when you want a softer glow. When choosing kids’ lamps - especially table lamps - make sure any attachments to the shade, such as hanging tassels, will be out of the reach of your child so he can’t pull the lamp down on himself. If you’re considering a large floor lamp for your nursery, remember that your baby will one day be walking, and you may have to move a floor lamp to prevent an adventurous toddler from tipping it over.
One kids’ lighting no-no: absolutely no torchiere floor lamps in kids’ rooms. They become hotter than regular lamps and, therefore, are more dangerous. In addition, make sure the cord from your kids’ lighting fixtures is never nailed or stapled to the wall or baseboard of your child’s room.
Parents looking for a unique addition to their child’s room should consider hand painted lamps, which, by design, are completely individual. Another option for distinctive design is to match a lamp to your nursery decor. Aquatic and animal themes are emerging as popular room ideas, especially for gender-neutral nurseries. If that’s your design, look for a kid’s fish lamp or a child’s horse lamp that ties the room together. Sports themes are also in vogue, so consider a sport-themed lamp for your little slugger.
Is there anything else I need to be sure of before I make a purchase?
Of course! Most light fixtures should come with a chain, wiring and possibly a switch plate. Make sure yours is complete, as you don’t want to be missing anything when you’re ready to put it up. In addition, you should be sure the light bulbs you install are the correct wattage for your fixture. Using a higher wattage than recommended may pose a fire hazard.
The Bottom Line
Light fixtures in your child’s room add great design flair and also provide needed illumination for everything from middle-of-the-night changes to study sessions. Look for chandeliers that match the room’s proportions, wall sconces that will grow with your child, and versatile lamps that will complement existing and future decor.
Our Mom Expert
Caron Webber, 37, is the mother of five children, ages 2 to 12.
“With my oldest child’s nursery, I made the mistake of buying a lamp base that only matched the shade that came with it. When we wanted to change the look of his room later on, we were stuck with a lamp we couldn’t use (apparently cartoon characters aren’t cool in kindergarten!). When we set up our next child’s nursery, we bought a lamp base that we could use with any number of shades. That investment has more than paid off over the years.”