Reading Time: 4 minutes

Cozy Lighting for Your Reading Corner

The main priority for many people setting out to create a cozy, secluded reading nook is picking out their comfy chair or seating. We agree that this is a key component to an inviting reading corner, but did you know that choosing the right lighting is just as vital when it comes to manifesting an inviting and comfortable reading nook?

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Factors to consider when choosing your lighting

Great lighting is an important component that many people gloss over when setting up their special space for leisure reading and the type of lighting you will need for your reading nook can vary from space to space depending on where in your home it is located. Additionally, did you know that the sort of lighting required for your reading nook will depending on if you are a tablet swiper or a page turner? Here are a few things to consider while you decide on which lighting to use in your reading nook.


What’s your reading material? Back-lit electronic devices—like first-generation e-readers, the Kindle Fire or iPads— require lighting that can be positioned in such a way that it eliminates glare so that your chances of eyestrain are reduced, giving you a healthier reading experience.


To make this possible, avoid positioning lighting at the center of your reading nook and, instead, move them off to the sides so that they cancel out any glares caused by overhead lighting.

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Location, location, location. Another factor to consider is the location of a reading nook in your home. If it is near a source of natural light, like a window, then the amount and type of artificial light that you will need will be much different than a reading nook located in darker corners or spaces—like an under-the-staircase nook or in a re-purposed closet, for example.

If your reading area is located in a darker space and you find yourself using first-generation e-readers or reading from paperbacks, then you’ll want to consider equipping your nook with a good task light that provides directional lighting. A task lamp designed to be adjustable is an even better option! This way, as you shift your position and get settled into your sofa or reading chair, your light source can adjust with you.

If your reading nook is tight on space, then you’ll want a lighting option that doesn’t get in the way or feels like it’s crowding your area. In these cases, you may want to consider a wall sconce option! An adjustable sconce is a great solution to get the reading-ready lighting that you need for a space-constrained nook. They also enhance interiors with a touch of modern elegance. A win-win!

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Night owl or early bird? Assess the amount of light you will need by determining the time of day you’ll be most likely to use your reading nook. Do you like to snuggle up with a good book right away in the morning? Or do you find yourself cozied up in the evening with a glass of wine and your e-reader? Wall-mounted fixtures like sconces, or even well-placed floor lamps, are great, simple solutions for evening readers. Wall lamps are going to be ideal for those cozy, corner-of-the-room reading areas that don’t have an available surface to house a table lamp or enough floor space to comfortably fit a floor lamp.

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Strive for even illumination

As long as we’re talking about all you evening readers, what happens when you don’t have natural light available? This can be because of the time of day, the weather outside or maybe even the location of your reading nook. We’ve talked about it before and we’re going to talk about it again: use light layering!

The best way to light a room is by utilizing a mix of light sources. Blending recessed lighting with a floor lamp, pendant lamp or a wall sconce creates different layers of illumination that complement one another. As a result, the distributed light throughout your nook is well-balanced and optimal for reading.

Ignoring recessed lighting, or conversely relying on it completely, will lead to harsh shadows and eyestrain, so be sure to layer light for the best possible reading environment—remember, it’s all about balance!

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Use natural light if possible

When it comes to reading, natural light will always be best. That’s why, if possible, create your reading nook near a source of natural light. This can be near a window or skylight or it can even be a space that benefits from the reflected light from an adjacent room or a mirror!

Natural light is much easier on your eyes than artificial lighting and will cause less strain but, just like layering artificial light, it’s about balance! Too much natural light can actually cause your eyes to feel fatigued because of glares caused by excessive brightness. To help balance this, consider adding sheer curtains or maybe even give your window a tinting treatment. Using a combination of natural light and artificial light will give your reading nook the most inviting (and functional!) result to keep your eyes healthy and focused.

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Consider LED light bulbs

You can purchase the most beautiful and functional lamp available, but if you don’t have the right source of light in the lamp then your nook won’t benefit from optimal lighting.

The kind of light bulb you choose will determine how the light will appear and function in your reading space. Each bulb performs differently, so be sure to know the differences between your four basic bulb choices!

For lighting a reading nook, consider using LED bulbs. Not only do they provide you with optimal lighting, but they’re also more energy efficient than traditional lighting sources like CFL bulbs and incandescents. LED bulbs have a longer lifespan than their CFL counterparts and can also closely approximate the color spectrum provided by natural light, making them kinder to the environment and your eyes.

Be sure to check that an LED light bulb is flicker-free, dimmable and offers warm light in the 2700K color temperature range for your reading nook to get the best possible lighting result.