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Four Types of Lighting for Your Personal Reading Nook

A reading nook is a budget-friendly project that transforms an unused corner of the house into a visually pleasing and rightly functional piece to catch up on your book club reads in peace and quiet. All you need is a cozy surface to sit on and plenty of light to guide your eyes. Depending on the shape of your nook and amount of natural light provided, different types of lights work better for the space. Here are some options for lighting to cozy up with.

Recessed Lighting

Don’t want your lights in the way? Set them into the ceiling with recessed lighting (by Spyglass Design, Inc.)

Recessed lighting is the most non-obtrusive option, set in the walls or ceiling to stay out of your way while you read. They’re good for low ceilings and tight spots where a normal lamp would get in the way of you or your book. Recessed lights are fairly formal though, so if you’re looking for cozier lighting you may want to invest in a reading lamp that isn’t shining on you from above.

Wall Sconces

Even more convenient than a room switch is a built-in switch on your wall sconce for instant illumination (by Hage Homes)

Wall sconces hook up to the wall and don’t move once placed, making them a steady stream of light at a lower point than ceiling lights. Typically, they’re equipped with dimmer lights to let you get just the right level of ambiance for your cozy corner. Most also have built-in switches, so you can turn them on without getting up from your nest of blankets to flip a wall switch. Depending on the design and placement, though, they might not shine directly onto where you need them, which can mean you need a brighter bulb than you’d like to get enough illumination to read by.

Swing arm lighting gives you more say in where the light reaches than other types of lamps available (by ROAM Architecture)

That said, not all wall sconces are totally fixed. Swing arm lighting is a type of wall sconce and is the most adjustable of lighting types, letting you direct where the light goes with a gentle push or pull of the lamp. Some lamp heads can swivel to further adjust your light in the direction you choose and get at more precise angles. How adjustable each lamp is depends on the maker, but if you’re looking for a more personalized reading experience, swing arm is the way to go.

Pendant Lighting

If you don’t have a low clearance, a pendant light is perfect for adding elegance to your reading nook with the installation of only one light (by Rudloff Custom Builders)

Pendant lighting provides a solid overhead light with which to read by, just like recessed lighting, only with more visual appeal. It has the same appeal as a chandelier, but typically to a scale more suited to a reading nook – say one or two bulbs rather than ten or twelve. One thing you want to be careful about, though, is the size of the pendant relative to the height of your reading nook. A too-large pendant is a recipe for a bump on your head! In a really small nook, opt instead for a flush mount light – they’re a little less stylish, but can still be pretty, and will provide you plenty of light without lowering the clearance of your space.

Table Lamps

A table lamp is the easiest option to install into a reading nook because you simply plug it in (by Mary Cook)

Don’t want to run new wires through your walls to the reading nook? No problem. A table lamp is easy and requires no rewiring or invasive installation. If there is an outlet, you can just plug one in, and with extension cords you’re not limited on where your reading nook is. Plus, having a table for your lamp means also having a place to put your books and any drinks or snacks you’re bringing to your reading session.

Adding a reading nook can be a fun project for the odd corners of your home and help motivate you to read more. Good lighting is crucial to a successful nook, but you’re not limited on how you get it or how it looks, so dream big on your preferred style and lighting needs.