How Many Recessed Lights In Bedroom: Find the Perfect Balance

Recessed lighting is the perfect way to upgrade your bedroom into a modern masterpiece. 

However, deciding exactly how many recessed lights you need can be an overwhelming task for many homeowners or budding interior designers.

Never fear! Detailed below is everything you need to consider to create the space of your dreams. Specifically, this guide will cover:

·  Determining the number of recessed lights for a bedroom

·  The spacing and layout of recessed lighting in a bedroom

·  Choosing the size and type of recessed lights for a bedroom.

Let’s get into it!

How Many Recessed Lights Do I Need For A Bedroom?

How many recessed lights you need for a bedroom depends on multiple factors such as the size and shape of the room, the vision you have for the space, whether there are other objects on the ceiling, such as a ceiling fan or chandelier, and the bulb you have selected. 

However, a general rule of thumb is that if you divide the height of the ceiling by two, you’ll arrive at the number of lights required! 

Determining the Number of Recessed Lights for a Bedroom

 Following the ceiling height rule of thumb

The general rule of thumb for determining the number of recessed lights you need is to calculate the height of the ceiling and then divide it by two. 

For instance, an 18-foot-high ceiling would require 9 lights. However, be careful! Measuring is the most important step in the whole process, as inaccurate measurements could lead to misplacement and poor illumination.

Considering the lighting application and goals

While the calculation above will guarantee great lighting coverage, the final number of lights is completely up to you and your goals. 

For example, you may want to make the room very bright and therefore need more lights than suggested. The opposite may be true as well if you want the space to be slightly darker or have a specific vision or style to achieve. 

Sketching a room plan

To help bring this vision to life, it can be very useful to make a sketch of the room plan!

It doesn’t have to be 100% accurate, but having a visual representation of your dream lighting arrangement could help you decide on placement or recognize any potential problems. 

For the best results, measure all furniture and areas that you will spend the most time in as these will be the spots that require the most light. 

Running calculations for lighting placement

If you’re anything like me, maths isn’t your strong suit. 

But don’t worry! Running calculations for lighting placement is actually super simple. 

To determine the amount of space required between each light, all you need to do is divide the total height of your ceiling in half. It is the exact same calculation you used to determine the number of lights!

Spacing and Layout of Recessed Lighting in a Bedroom

Determining the spacing between recessed lights

The spacing between recessed lights is dependent on what you want them for. 

In the case of a bedroom, you should calculate the distance by dividing the height of your ceiling by two for the best result. However, you may want them to be further apart if your goal is to have ambient lighting. 

Considering the size and shape of the room

Although the ceiling height rule is helpful, it may not be applicable to all room shapes and sizes. 

Not all ceilings are completely flat, so you need to consider the direction the light will be pointing! Furthermore, part of the bedroom might be shaped differently and may require more light than others. 

Factoring in other sources of lighting

Most rooms will have multiple light sources, whether that be lamps or decorative lighting. 

Therefore, it is important to consider where they will be placed and how powerful they will be! This information should then be factored into how many recessed lights you need. 

Choosing the Size and Type of Recessed Lights for a Bedroom 

Deciding between 4″ or 6″ recessed lights

A diameter of 6 inches is the standard size for recessed lights, although you can often find them in 4 or 5 inches as well. 

If you’re looking to fit the ceiling of a large, master bedroom, 6 inches would likely be best to give the greatest coverage! 

On the other hand, 4 inches might be perfect for a smaller bedroom or dressing room.

Considering the desired light output and energy efficiency

When it comes to recessed lighting, there are many types of fixtures to choose from. 

Incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, or LED bulbs all produce different amounts of light, slightly different color temperatures, and have varying degrees of efficiency. 

Therefore, it is important to do some quick research or consult an electrician for the type of bulb that would suit your space best. 

Ensuring compatibility with dimmers and other lighting controls

If you want to have dimmers or other lighting controls to set specific moods, it’s vital to check their compatibility with the lights you choose to install.

This is because some bulbs are not dimmable and therefore will not work on a dimmable circuit! Other light bulbs may be dimmable but incompatible with your dimmer switch. 


In summary: if you want an uncluttered, elegant look to your bedroom, recessed lighting is the way to go!

By considering factors such as the size and shape of your room, color temperature, and spacing, you have already taken the first step toward creating a beautiful new look for your space. So, go ahead and start designing!  


·   Source A: How to Layout Recessed Lighting in Your Space

·  Source B: How To Layout Recessed Lighting in 4 Easy Steps

·  Source C: How do you layout recessed lighting?

·  Source D: 5 Tips to use Recessed Downlights for Perfect Layout

·  Source E: Dimming for Dummies – Your Complete Guide

·  Source F: Where to Place Recessed Lighting in a Living Room
John Bayly

John Bayly

John has dedicated his career to the lighting industry. Starting out as an interior designer with a specialism in lighting, he went on to found his own commercial lighting business. He now shares his expertise and passion for all things lighting with readers of