Choosing the right amount of Downlights for a bedroom or rooms in the home

Choosing the right amount of Downlights for a bedroom or rooms in the home

How much downlights do I need for a bedroom or room

How much light you need for a bedroom in a new home or renovating can be a difficult, if not daunting process, coupled costs of getting and electrician in to install and adjust your lights could wind up costing you more than anticipated if not done right the first time. A general rule of thumb you can go by is around 1 downlight per 1.4m2 of coverage at an average roof height for an adequate cover of light.

At the light guys, we'd like to help and give you a rough idea of how much light, more specifically, downlights you'd need for your home or renovation project.

Primary vs Secondary Lighting

Downlights originally were never intended to be a primary light source for rooms, when meaning primary, meaning lights used for general lighting, and illuminating a space, that traditionally was done more effectively with oysters and batten or panel lights.

In the below photo, we can see this room uses a combination of primary and secondary lighting sources, primarily receiving light through the downlights and strip lighting hidden in the alcove, the secondary light sources such as the table lamps and floor lamp provide the ambience and all together provide a "Cosy" feel.

Primary and secondary lighting

Traditionally downlights were for accent or decorative lighting, but in the Australian market these are almost the default standard for lighting a room.

So how much downlights do I need in a room?

(In this example 31 Course 2.7m high roofed room)

The number of downlights that you need in a room really depends on the effect you are after. Want to create a cosy relaxing atmosphere in your room like the photo above? Have less primary light sources and accent with secondary decorative lighting. Or maybe you just want a no frills set up to light up a room for your investment or rental property?

The lights needed between these two scenarios can be vastly different. For the latter, it is generally easier, as with light calculations we can set up a handy guide if you'd like to light up a bedroom for average amount of light levels, at 31c based on certain factors*.


Room Size based on a 31 course roof of 2.7m


Cosy, with recommendation to add additional light sources


Bright, high levels of light, no additional light sources required

Small Rooms 2.8 x 2.8m (7.8m2)

Childrens rooms, Study rooms

4 Downlights 6 Downlights

Medium Rooms 3.3 x 3.3m (10.9m2)

Guest bedrooms, general rooms

6 Downlights 9 Downlights

Large rooms 3.8m x 3.8m (14.4m2)

Master bedrooms

6-9 Downlights 9-12 Downlights

* This table is to be used as a guide only and is based on assumptions such as a square room, working planes of 0.75m and room relectance of 70/50/20 (Roof/Wall/Floor)

Downlight specs used for this table is based on the OSRAM LEDVance range, seen below, which is what we at TLG recommend for best bang for your buck, for a general lighting fitout.

General recommended light layout or arrays for your rooms below:

Lighting your room layout

For a combination of primary and secondary light sources it gets more complicated, as most of your lighting would be very personal, and with secondary light sources, light out put levels and distribution can vary vastly between fittings to fittings.

Our recommendation in these cases are to light your room with a low light level in mind, and add/remove secondary lighting as required. Or better yet, light your room as per normal and control your lighting levels through dimming.


Lighting a bedroom is a very personal affair, be that you choose to go for a cosy effect, or clean, minimalist effect or the hundreds of other styles out there is limited by only your imagination and personal taste. The next stages of choosing colour temperatures, secondary lighting via wall lights or task lights will be covered in the next articles, so stay tuned. If you liked this article, why not support us and like, subscribe, or even support us by purchasing our recommended products from this article below.

Recommended Products for lighting your bedroom

4 Pack of the downlights recommended in this article, ideal for small rooms 6 Pack of the downlights recommended in this article, ideal for large rooms Single pack of the downlights recommended in this article


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