The best light solutions for windowless rooms

9 June 2021

Rooms without a window – basements, bathrooms or other interior rooms, for example – can feel dark or cold and be a real challenge to decorate. Fortunately, there are plenty of light solutions for windowless rooms that are easy to implement and don’t require any reconstruction. Follow our tips and tricks to transform your windowless room into a cosy, bright and welcoming space. 

Recreate natural light

The number one thing a windowless room lacks is sunlight – so replicate it! A tunable smart bulb with warm-to-cool white light works great for mimicking the sun. If you’re using your windowless room in the morning or during the day, a cooler blue light will help you feel energised and focused. Later in the day, use warmer, dimmed light to mirror the sunset and trigger your mind and body to relax.

Bright idea: use Philips Hue White ambience bulbs, which have four preset light recipes designed to follow the sun’s rhythm, in fixtures around your windowless room. Set the Energise light recipe in the morning to help you wake up, Concentrate to focus on your tasks, Read to dig into your next novel or Relax to wind down after a long day.

Living room with white sofa and warm white lighting

Choose your lighting fixtures wisely

With no window to share the lighting load, there’s more pressure on the light fixtures in the room to create brightness and ambience. The type and number of fixtures you need will depend on the size and purpose of the room. When it comes to windowless rooms, more is more – having multiple light sources at your disposal will help boost brightness, create layers and diffuse light uniformly.

Cast light evenly with overhead fixtures

Lighting one area more intensely than another creates a harsh contrast in a room without windows, so use overhead lighting to evenly illuminate the room. For smaller rooms, a single ceiling fixture distributes a uniform wash of light across the room. If your windowless room is bigger, use spotlights or recessed lighting to fill in the areas the ceiling fixture doesn't reach. 

Create layers of light with lamps

You don’t have to rely on overhead fixtures alone! Lamps are a vital light solution for windowless rooms. However, it's wise to avoid lampshades, as they soften light, and you need to go bright. Instead, use table lamps that cast light upwards, such as the Iris table lamp, to increase brightness and warmth. Got a dark corner that needs some love? Use the Signe floor lamp to wash it in vibrant light.

Add a mirror light to windowless bathrooms

If you have a small bathroom with no windows, install a dedicated mirror light, such as the Adore vanity mirror alongside your ceiling fixture. That way, you’ll always have the perfect, bright light for getting ready and looking your best each day.

Dining room table lit by pink ceiling lamp

Go light and bright with colours

Having the right light fixtures in place is all well and good, but if you choose decor in light-zapping colours, you’ll find yourself in darkness. Don’t skip these colour tips for how to brighten a room with no windows.

Avoid dark colours and all white

Dark colours absorb the light in a room, whereas lighter colours reflect light and add energy. But that doesn’t mean you should go all white, as it can look too stark. White ceilings are ideal for bouncing light, but consider a richer cream or ivory on your walls. If you want coloured walls, pastel tones are perfect for keeping windowless rooms light. 

The same idea applies to flooring and furniture. Stick to neutral or pastel-coloured rugs and lighter wood furniture to ensure the space has an airy, open feel.

Enlarge rooms with a statement wall

Bigger windowless rooms can appear even larger with a brightly coloured wall, which makes the two neutral walls surrounding it look longer. If you don’t want to commit to a painted or wallpapered wall, you can use coloured light to create a statement. Try placing a Hue Go or two on a side table to cast bright, colourful light onto your wall.

Bright idea: room too small for a statement wall? Use bright furniture, accessories and art to add pops of colour that contrast against light-coloured walls, ensuring that your windowless room doesn’t feel sterile. 

woman putting away books on shelf with back lighting

Add extra light with small details

You’ve chosen your light fixtures and created an airy space – now, for the finishing touches. Get creative in the way you use your lights and add a few extra details to the room to make it feel even more cosy and complete.

Use LED strips for extra illumination

Add smart LED strips under shelves or cabinets for subtle additions of light that lift the overall brightness of the room. If you’re using your windowless room to watch films or play video games, you can even add smart LED strips behind your TV or PC to create a more immersive entertainment experience and reflect light off the wall in the process. 

Bounce light with mirrors

A windowless room should never be without a mirror. They add depth, bounce light across the room and, if you choose a rectangular mirror with a frame, can even replicate the look of a window. You can even add several mirrors around the room that bounce the light off each other to really open up the space. 

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and colour ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness