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Published Sep 16, 2023 6:55 AM
The inventor Nikola Tesla once famously said, “Everything is the light,” and it’s tempting to think of his mystical quote as an endorsement of using magical lighting everywhere, including string lights in the bedroom. Adding fairy lights to a space is one of the most economical ways to change the mood of a room without spending a bunch of money. There are a lot of string lights available on the market, though, and you don’t want to waste your money on ones that fail quickly or don’t put off the kind of light you want. Bulb type, string length, power source, and extra features like remotes or color-changing options are all things to consider before making a buy on the best string lights for bedrooms.
How we chose the best string lights for bedrooms
String lights take up very little space, yet they can completely change a room’s look and mood. There’s a surprising amount to think about when picking the best string lights for your bedroom. We considered bulb type and brightness, the spacing of the bulbs, the length of the cord, the power source, ease of use, ease of hanging, style, and cost. We also looked at extra features like the ability to change colors and options like a remote or an on-off timer. To pick the best lights across a tangle of types and brands, we took a look at the most popular LED string lights (there are no incandescent strands on this list) and then judged their appropriateness for a bedroom, prioritizing string lights that offered soft, gentle lighting, were easy to hang, and came in a variety of shapes or configurations that worked for a bedroom. We tried to keep the cost accessible, too. While fixing your bedroom, try soundproofing it and adding a sunset lamp and white noise machine for the ultimate relaxation pad.
The best string lights for bedrooms: Review & Recommendations
The following string lights for the bedroom represent the best in their respective classes. The choices represent the best options from a wide variety of lights. If you don’t have something specific in mind, start with the best overall pick. But don’t miss the other categories; you might find an option or feature you didn’t even know you wanted. No matter which string light you choose, you’re sure to find one to light up your life (and your bedroom).
Best overall: JMEXSUSS Lights
Why it made the cut: A long see-through cord, plenty of lighting modes, and a soft just-right light put these at the top of the list.
- Length: 76-foot total length with 66 feet of LED lights
- Modes: 8 lighting modes
- Cord type: Clear cord
- Plug-in lights avoid battery changes
- Timer option, plus eight lighting modes for visual variety
- Soft, white light that isn’t too bright
- No remote
- No settings memory
- Cannot connect multiple strands together
- Plug itself is not waterproof
These aren’t your typical indoor Christmas lights. They’re reimagined for a softer, more twinkly look. Instead of the dark green or black cord, the cord is translucent, allowing it to blend into the background of whatever you put it next to—the wall or ceiling, a curtain, your bedpost, a dresser, etc. The bulbs on these string lights for the bedroom are also a bit smaller than some of the holiday string lights, lending them a more subtle glow that is more “sleep gently into the good night” than “wake up now, you dolt!”
You certainly get a lot of light length with this set, which comes with 200 LED lights (with 10 centimeters between each) over a full 66 feet with an additional 10 feet of lead cord for a total of 76 feet in length. It’s hard to imagine a better value for large bedrooms, and it’s a great value when you factor in the low cost. The 10-foot lead cord is especially handy when your bedroom outlet plug isn’t as close as you’d like it to be to where you want to hang your lights. And since it’s a clear cord, it’s also much less obtrusive than with a typical white, black, or green Christmas light cord, especially if your walls are painted in other colors.
The controls and buttons are very simple and easy to use on this device. To control the lighting modes and timer function of these string of lights for the bedroom, simply use the button on the adapter. Press the button down for three seconds to activate the timer, and wait for the LED indicator on the adaptor to turn green. The lights will then stay on for six hours and stay off for 18 hours. Another three-second press cancels the timer function. There are eight different light modes accessible through this button, as well—one steady light mode and seven other various flashing modes. There is no remote, however, so make sure you plug these into a place where the adaptor is easily accessible.
There are a few things to note about these LED string lights. One big difference between these LED lights and the more traditional kind of Christmas lights is that these cannot be connected to an additional strand. So if you want more than 200 lights with 66 feet of lighting, you’ll need to buy an additional set and plan to plug it into another outlet or power strip. The power adapter itself is not waterproof, so while the light string itself can be used outdoors, the plug needs to be inside. If you’re searching for bedroom string lights, this likely won’t be a problem, but something to note if you decide to buy more and put them outside.
Best globe light: RaThun Globe String Lights
Why it made the list: These small, pretty globe lights deliver a romantic bedroom glow with plenty of cord to reach wherever.
- Length: 49-foot total length with 33 feet of LED lights
- Modes: 8 lighting modes
- Cord type: Clear cord
- Waterproof and good for indoor/outdoor lighting use
- Plug-in lights, so no need to switch out batteries
- Warm lighting for soft glow
- Settings are changed via control on plug
- When lights are off, globes are frosted white (vs. clear)
These globe-string lights fit the bill when you want a soft glow in your bedroom. With a bulb size of .7 inches, you’ll find these bulbs to be of the Goldilocks variety, AKA not-too-big and not-too-small. They’re a frosted white color, which helps get that soft hazy glow when turned on and avoid that bright bulb look you may not want in a bedroom. That also means they might stand out against a dark background when turned off. You’ll get 100 LED individual bulbs over 33 feet of cord (with 4.2 inches between each bulb), with a generous extra 16 feet of lead wire to get you from that outlet to where you want the light to start—an especially handy feature if your bedroom isn’t studded with outlets.
These globe lights have eight lighting modes, including a steady mode, slow fade, and twinkle/flash, and they are dimmable if you have a separate wall dimmer switch, which means you can get that just-right brightness to go with the time of day or your mood. There’s no remote, so to operate, you’ll use a button on the cord itself—something to keep in mind when you’re choosing where to hang these white lights.
Best fairy lights: 12APM Dimmable Starry Fairy Lights
Why it made the list: The bendable nature of the cord and tiny twinkle fairy lights are a real turn-on.
- Length: 66-foot total length with LED lights
- Modes: Power controls, dimming controls
- Cord type: Copper wire
- Adjustable brightness for more control
- Flexible three-strand copper wire can be wrapped around almost anything
- Dimmable fairy lights for easy brightness adjustment
- Lightweight and easy to hang or wrap
- No plug included (USB compatible)
- No remote
Bedroom lighting gets a major upgrade with these delightful fairy lights. They are the perfect option for when you want a glitter of extra lighting in your bedroom. These fairy lights come in a 66-foot length, giving you plenty of room to play with decorative accent lighting in your bedroom, no matter where you want the light to shine. Forget dull lighting that comes from a boring table lamp; these LED fairy lights create a cozy space that’s perfect for the sanctuary that is your bedroom.
Instead of a standard wrapped wire, these fairy lights have a bendable copper wire that’s highly flexible and can be wound around almost anything, from bed posts to plants to curtain rods. They’re the perfect option for people who want to decorate their indoor space with a sense of whimsy. Unlike a lot of copper wire fairy lights, these aren’t battery-powered and instead operate via a USB port (a USB brick charger port is not included). Via the cord, you can control things like turning them on or off and raising or lowering the brightness so you can set the lights to the brightness level you want at the moment. And while your bedroom is probably indoors, you can take these from your indoor space to your outdoor space without worry. One-hundred-thousand hours of lifetime expectancy means you can keep the vibes going for many years.
Best curtain lights: Twinkle Star Window Curtain Lights
Why it made the list: These curtain string lights are loaded with features and make transforming any space with lighting a cinch.
- Length: Coverage area of 6.6 feet wide by 9.8 feet long
- Modes: 8 lighting modes, including slow fade and twinkle
- Cord type: Clear
- Connect up to 5 light strands
- Warm white color (or choose from 10 other colors)
- Easy to hang as a curtain
- 9.8-foot drop for floor-to-ceiling reach
- Must cycle through 8 modes every time you use the controller
- No remote
- No timer
Whether you’re looking for a string of curtain lights for a larger wall, a curtained area, or a gallery wall in your boudoir, this bedroom lighting solution will do the trick in a jiffy. Unlike some other models on the market, these hang a full 9.8 feet from floor to ceiling, so you’ll cover a larger area for a better look. You can combine up to five lights together (each covers 6.6 feet across) for full room coverage for both small bedrooms and large bedrooms. It’s by far the best option for high ceilings and the best decorative bang for your buck on curtain lights if you just want to hang it and forget it.
You won’t be short on the light-up area. You get 10 strings of light on each curtain, with each strand holding 30 LED lights. The strands are about 8.6 inches apart. And the lifespan of the bulbs is around 1,200 hours. Expect a warm, white light that’s perfect for that late-night dreamscape you want to create in a bedroom, dorm room, or child’s room.
While curtain lights often hang from the wall like curtains, you can also drape them across a canopy at the ceiling height, or from the ceiling in the middle of a room as a light-up room divider. However you hang them, you can control the eight lighting modes (everything from waves to steady on) via a controller on the cord. Like most of the string of lights on this list, you’ll have to cycle through the mode options to find the one that works for you.
Best for kids: Omika Color Changing Globe Lights
Why it made the list: Kids like bright, colorful lights, and these deliver on those fronts with plenty of features, too.
- Length: 26-foot total length with 16.4 feet of light
- Modes: 16 colors, 4 multi-color modes, timer
- Cord type: Clear plastic-covered copper wire
- Bubble balls for pretty light, especially in the color settings
- Timer function
- Memory function remembers mode settings
- Remote control option
- Cannot connect to other sets
- Less bright light
Unlike adults who often seek calm, relaxing bedroom lighting, kids often love bright colors and flashing lights. These color-changing lights strike a good mix between bedroom-appropriate and fun. With 16 color choices and four multicolor modes, these string lights certainly aren’t boring. And the crystal outer shell of the lights helps to diffuse the colors into something relaxing. The bonus remote control means you don’t even have to get out of bed to adjust the mode settings. Or if you’re really feeling lazy, just use the timer mode, which automatically configures for six hours on and 18 hours off.
Unlike many other string lights on this list, this set has a memory setting, meaning it stays in your preferred mode, even when you turn it off and back on again. If your preferred setting is several modes in, this can be a real-time saver. The full length of the set is 26 feet, but that’s with nearly 10 feet of lead wire, leaving a little over 16 feet of actual lighting wire. Each globe is spaced just under four inches apart, with 50 LED lights per string. You can’t connect additional strings, so if you want more than one, you’ll need to plug it into a separate outlet or use a multi-plug outlet.
Best budget: Janchs Vintage Bulb Lights
Why it made the list: These battery-operated bulbs have a vintage look.
- Length: 25 feet long
- Modes: On/off timer
- Cord type: Black plastic
- Remote for easy changing eight functions
- 10 adjustable brightness levels
- Portable, no need to be near outlet
- Come with small plastic wall hooks for hanging
- Will need to replace batteries
- Dim light may not be to everyone’s taste
Jump on the hip, vintage lighting bandwagon while saving some cash. These lights look more expensive than they are, and are both shatterproof and waterproof. These unique string lights come with 20 bulbs spaced out a foot apart along a 25-foot cord. Inside each shatterproof bulb are five LED lights that operate in eight lighting modes. It also includes an on/off timer and brightness dimmable from 100% to 75%, 50%, and 25%.
Don’t expect a dull lighting experience, either. Use the included small plastic wall hooks behind each bulb to easily hang your light string wherever you’d like in your bedroom. These are larger bulbs than what you’d find with fairy lights or globe lights, and the cord is black. As they’re not corded but run on 3AA batteries, you’re not bound by distance from a wall socket. Thankfully, there’s a timer for six hours on and 18 hours off. That way you won’t run your batteries down when you don’t want them to stay on.
To get the most out of your string lights for the bedroom, you’ll want to dig into the specifications of your string lights. Here are a few things to consider before you make a call on which lights to add to your bedroom.
Does the string light have a cord, or does it run on batteries?
Where you want to put string lights in your bedroom and where the outlets are located in your room will play a major role in deciding whether you want your string lights to plug into a wall socket or use battery power (we always recommend rechargeable). You may also want to think about how long the lead cord should be from the wall socket to the point on the cord where the lights begin.
Are there additional lighting modes, and how do you change them?
If you only care about on/off mode, you can skip this question. But for those of you who want string lights to blink, change colors, or run up and down the light strand, you’ll want to pay attention to what lighting modes each string light offers and be aware of how you change the modes. You might prefer a remote function, or a manual switch on a cord might be more your speed.
Do the string lights come with a preset timer?
Whether you’re looking at a battery-powered set of string lights or one that plugs in, you need to consider whether a preset timer is also on your must-have list. Some people like their bedroom string lights to come on (and go off) at the same time every day, and a preset timer is a great way to accomplish that without lifting a finger or buying an external timer.
Q: What kind of lighting is best for bedrooms?
According to the U.S. government, environmentally conscious LED lighting saves energy over incandescent bulbs. When it comes to bedroom lighting, a dark room is best for sleep. Warm hues are best for prepping for sleep. Avoid bright blue light, which doesn’t encourage a restful state.
Q: What is the difference between fairy lights and string lights?
Both fairy lights and string lights come on cords, or strings, and so they’re similar. The term string lights is really an umbrella over a whole bevy of lights on strings. Most people consider fairy lights to be smaller and less bright when compared to other string lights.
Q: Are LED lights safe in the bedroom?
Yes, LED lights are safe to use in your bedroom or in any room of your house. However, LED lights do emit more sleep-disrupting blue light than incandescent lights. Look for warm white LEDS over cool white LEDs. The best light for actual sleeping is no light at all, however.
Final thoughts on the best string lights for bedrooms
The best string lights for the bedroom have the power source that you prefer: a regular outlet plug, a USB plug, or are battery-powered. Features that make the lights easy to use, such as a pre-programmed timer or a remote control add appeal. String lights that offer the option to change the brightness or to change the type of light, from always on to running lights, are nice when you want to switch up your lighting in the bedroom. Check out one of the above options if you want to try string lights in your own bedroom.
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