The reading light that hung above my bed as a kid never sat quite flush against the wall (or not for long anyway). It rocked when I turned it on and off and it slumped at an angle that made it look just a little dopey. It was a plug-in fixture with an articulating arm and to better achieve the soft glow of “candlelight” that I told my parents I preferred to read by, I would drape a polyester blanket over the brass shade. Yes, it’s a wonder I didn’t burn the house down.
I don’t mean to scare anyone with that childhood anecdote, but I’ve been thinking about that lamp lately and I think the memory illustrates two truths: 1) There’s something special about the bedside lamp you use to read bedtime stories as a kid. 2.) Bedtime isn’t the moment for the harsh glare of an overhead lamp.
A bedside lamp needs to be something that’s easy to reach. It needs to be unobtrusive. Bright enough to read by, but nothing like a floodlight. It’s a lamp with a glow that I’m after. You might say, like candlelight.
Here are a few finds that I’ve gathered in my search for my kids’ room:
Radar Plug-In Sconce from Schoolhouse Electric: I keep returning to this fixture. I think it might be a bit too modern and a bit too industrial for the rest of our apartment but it’s kind of jaunty and has an air of summer camp about it that’s appealing for a kids’ room.
Hector Small Dome Clip Lamp by Original BTC: I love these bone china lamps (in all of there many forms) so much. I’m not actually sure the clamp configuration would work with our particular set-up, but I had to include this longtime favorite anyway.
Nymane Reading Wall Lamp from Ikea: These simple powder-coated steel fixtures are also appealing and come recommended by another reader. I think the simple lines here could work well paired with the more modern lines of the bunks. If I’m feeling brave, I might take the bus down to Ikea and check them out in person.
Lovell Porcelain Wall Sconce from Barn Light Electric: This is by far the most customizable option that I’ve found. It doesn’t have the same magic glow of the BTC lamp, but the shape is similarly classic and with the right combination of finishes I think it could look lovely. (I’d choose white on white, if you had any doubt.)
Jansko LED Clamp Light from Ikea: This lamp wins the prize for the most number of recommendations in yesterday’s post. It’s not something I would have picked out myself, but I can see the appeal and it’s growing on me. It’s certainly the least obtrusive option in terms of hardware and size, to say nothing of price.
Isaac Plug-In Sconce from Schoolhouse Electric: These little globe lights have enjoyed lots of time in the limelight. I’m not sure they’d be my first choice in our apartment, but in searching for simple plug-in sconces, their ubiquity makes sense. They’re beautifully made by a trusted company and they’re small and compact in a lighting world where so much is not.
What do you think? I’m not sure any of them are exactly right, but time will tell. And no matter. I’ve never shied away from a Goldilocks moment. If you have others to recommend, let me know!