The Right Light for the Nursery

The right light in the children’s room is important so the little ones can learn, play and sleep undisturbed. The spectrum should range from bright to soft because this is the only way to create a comfortable atmosphere.

The right light in the children’s room must be well-planned. But not all light is the same. Rather, the children’s room requires a detailed lighting plan with different light sources and qualities. For example, the writing, painting, and handicraft areas should always have bright, radiant light that promotes concentrated work and is easy on the eyes. As for basic lighting, however, it is best to choose a warm, glare-free light that sufficiently illuminates the playing area. As a third type of lighting, a snooze or indirect light with a dimmer is needed, switched on for cuddling, resting, and falling asleep.

When buying a new lamp, you should pay attention to shape, color, and function – for example, is a table lamp stable? Can it be easily adjusted by a child? How hot is the halogen lamp, and can children burn themselves on it? In the specialized trade, you have a large selection and usually learn more than you see at first glance.

Light for Learning


The best light for working is daylight. That’s why you should place your schoolchild’s desk near a window. Turn the desk so that the light falls sideways on the work surface – for right-handers, the light must come from the left; for left-handers, the other way around – this prevents the writing hand from casting a shadow on the notebook.

Does the afternoon sun interfere with studying? A blind that can be raised or lowered as needed can usually help.

If your child also works on a PC, the screen should be positioned so that the sun does not shine directly on it, nor should it be “framed” from behind by the incoming light. As with writing and painting, the child should also sit in front of the monitor, preferably facing the window.

Desk lamps

If you don’t have enough daylight during the day, sooner or later, you’ll have to help with artificial light in the form of a desk lamp.

Light for Learning

You work best when the light shines directly. For example, a swiveling and rotating luminaire with a reflector that evenly illuminates the work surface is suitable for this purpose. Show your child how to adjust the luminaire so that the light does not dazzle and there are no reflections on the screen. Pendant lights, such as those often found above professional monitor workstations, are an alternative to a table lamp.

Also, ensure the environment is not in darkness while you are working. Otherwise, this requires maximum effort from the eyes. In this case, the other lights in the room provide an important learning aid. Wall and ceiling wash lights illuminate the space around the workstation and relieve eye strain. Install best still a dimmer; this allows a completely individual setting as needed.

Good to know: Even luminaires not equipped for this purpose during manufacture can still be converted afterward. Install a wireless cord dimmer between the luminaire and the socket (for lamps up to 50 watts).

Luminaires with integrated sensors are ideal for students who spend a lot of time at their desks. These measure the daylight and provide more or less artificial light as needed so that the overall luminosity remains at the desired level.

Light for Romping and Playing in the Children’s Room

To ensure sufficient light in the children’s room during the day, it can already help to furnish the room with light colors and light-colored furniture, as these reflect the incident light. The ideal light trap is a light floor with a smooth surface (for example, planks of maple or laminate in birch wood look) – this should be left clear directly in front of the window. Only in this way can the daylight be effectively passed into the room.

Light-colored furniture reflects light better and makes the room appear larger
Light-colored furniture reflects light better and makes the room appear larger.

Multiple light sources

Even when playing, the children’s room must be sufficiently illuminated. Otherwise, the eyes get tired and start to hurt. Although a single ceiling light can provide enough light for the room, it does not create a cozy atmosphere. A better solution is to distribute several light sources throughout the children’s room and shine less intensely. If you place the luminaires at different heights and corners of the room, light, and shadow overlap, harsh contrasts are blurred, and the room looks cozier.

Radiant light all around

If the children’s room is small, wall and ceiling washers are suitable, distributing the light indirectly and harmoniously. To illuminate a large children’s room well, rope, rod, or track systems are also recommended. It is best to check whether your child is dazzled in their play area. A light that shines strongly in one direction also casts sharply defined shadows – the eyes have to make an enormous effort to compensate for the differences in brightness.

The ceiling reflects light upwards, making the room seem larger and wider. Light shining downward opens a manege, and the child plays “in the spotlight”. Light from the side emphasizes contours and textures. When several spotlights shine in different directions, the child’s room almost looks like it is in the sunshine.

One ceiling light is usually insufficient and should be supplemented by several light sources
One ceiling light is usually insufficient and should be supplemented by several light sources.

Light to rest and fall asleep

Light is almost indispensable in the little ones’ sleeping place. If placed right next to the bed, the offspring can switch it on and off with a wrist flick. Apart from rotating and swiveling bedside lamps with reflectors, securely installed wall lamps are also suitable. It is important to make sure that the lamp can be dimmed because a different brightness is needed for reading than for falling asleep. If children sleep in a bunk or loft bed, an additional light switch on the bed can be helpful to turn off the wall or ceiling light. The little ones don’t have to sit up – hold out your hand: After all, there are pull switches.

If siblings have to share a room, conflicts over the light can often occur. While one wants to sleep, the other is still engrossed in their book. In such cases, the so-called “Night Reader” can provide a remedy. The reading light is placed on a book page in the dark and illuminates it completely glare-free, the room remains dark, and the other child can sleep in peace. However, this type of lighting is only suitable for a short time because it is tiring for the eyes.

Light to rest and fall asleep

Plug-in nightlights

Turn off the lights, but not completely: Many children become afraid of the dark at preschool age. This fear often lasts for years but can be easily dispelled if a gentle snooze light keeps vigil. Power-saving plug-in nightlights switch on automatically when it gets dark and go off when it gets light.

Electrosmog in the children’s room

A household power grid causes two types of smog: alternating magnetic fields disappear when appliances are switched off. Not so electric fields – they persist throughout the power grid, all the way to the switch or outlet, even after it’s turned off. The good news for parents who fear electrosmog in the children’s room: You can easily install a mains decoupler in the distribution box – this automatically disconnects the circuit from the mains as soon as the last consumer is switched off, for example, the bedside lamp, If a device is switched on, the supply voltage switches back on.

Good to know: Orientation lights in light switches and baby nightlights also work when disconnected.

Regular safety checks for luminaires

All luminaires in the nursery should be checked regularly. Rope and rod systems should be checked regularly to ensure all connections are tight. After all, in the worst-case scenario, a fire could break out. Experts advise using safety transformers. If you install halogen lamps, observing the prescribed distances from flammable materials is essential. And while you’re at it, remember to install Don’t forget a smoke detector in the children’s room.

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