Are you tired of your bookshelf feeling dull and lifeless? Do you want to give your favorite reads the attention they deserve? Look no further than bookshelf lighting!
Adding the right lighting to your bookshelf can transform it from a mere storage space into a stunning display that showcases your favorite book collection in all its glory.
From built-in lighting to antique lamps and candles, there are plenty of creative ways to light up your bookshelf and create the perfect ambiance for reading, relaxation, and even social gatherings.
In this article, I will share 13 bookshelf lighting ideas that will help you to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in any room of your home. So without any delay let’s get started.
13 Awesome Bookshelf Lighting Ideas 2023
Table of Contents
1. LED Strip Light
You can use LED Light strips for lighting your bookshelf as it’s both convenient and affordable. With various light color options, LED light strips will help you enhance your overall decor if you choose the strip light color accordingly.
The installation process is easy & anybody can install strips to their bookshelves. However, you must know how to cut & connect LED light strips for the installation.
LED strips come in 16 feet or 32 feet lengths. You will have to cut these strips into small sections matching your shelf size & connect them with connectors. Power your strips & you are all set. That’s how you can decorate your bookshelf with LED light strips.
If you don’t want the hassle of cutting the LED light strips, you can consider options like Hitlight pre-cut led strip light for your bookshelf. These LED light strips are already pre-cut (12 inches per strip). All you have to do is connect these precut strips together with the provided connectors & you’re all set. Light up one of the strips & others will also be illuminated.
However, if you do not want any wiring or do not want to make any holes in your bookshelf, you can consider using battery-powered LED light strips. These LED light strips are very easy to install, as they come with adhesive, and they can illuminate your bookshelf properly
2. Light Bar
If you’re looking for a warm white light solution for your bookshelf, you should definitely consider light bars. These light bars are great as they are already in perfect shape & ready to install underneath the shelves.
The beauty of these light bars lies in their flexibility. Unlike LED light strips, these light bars are not interconnected with each other.
This means you can attach each of the bars to the power adapter (through a connector) individually. As they are not interconnected, you won’t have to worry about making holes in your bookshelf to install them.
Instead, simply place the connector in the middle of your bookshelf from where the power adapter is easily accessible. Later on, attach light bars on each shelves of your book shelf. As the wires connected with the light bars are long enough, you won’t have any problem setting these bars on the shelves.
I suggest getting Cefrank Bookshelf light, which provides bright warm light (3000k) and consumes 90% less electricity than traditional halogen light. That being said, you will save significant money on your electricity bills in the long run if you opt for the Cefrank bookshelf light.
3. LED Puck Light
I encourage getting LED lights for bookshelves because of their versatility and energy efficiency. LED puck light isn’t an exception & this small, circular light provides a significant lighting effect on any bookshelf.
You don’t need DIY experience installing puck lights on your bookshelf. All you have to do is attach the lights underside your shelves through the provided adhesive or screws (both options will be available).
Depending on your preference, you can choose either a wired option or a wireless/ battery-operated option. If you don’t want to waste money on changing batteries frequently, go for the wired option.
On the other hand, if you want flexibility in placement and usage, the battery-operated/wireless puck light will be a good choice for you.
4. Wall Sconce Lamp
Make your room look elegant by installing wall sconce lamps above your bookshelf ceiling. With wall sconces lamps, you can have directional lighting that focuses on particular books or objects without scattering lights all around.
Make sure to purchase wall sconce lamps with arms that cover the bookshelf’s ceiling width. If you buy lamps with too small arms, you won’t be able to cover the width & won’t be able to direct lights inside your bookshelf.
5. Bookshelf Sconces
If you don’t want the installation hassle of wall sconce lamps, consider using bookshelf sconces. These sconces require no installation process; you only have to place them between your books.
Bookshelf sconces offer a premium lighting solution that will make your book collection shine. Most bookshelf sconces provide a warm white light that is perfect for highlighting your favorite books, but you can also find sconces that emit a bright white light if that’s what you prefer. Whatever your preference, there’s a bookshelf sconce out there for you.
6. Adjustable Spotlights
The adjustable spotlight works great as modern bookshelf lighting. You can give your room a modern look by mounting adjustable spotlights on the ceiling or on the wall, directing toward the bookshelf.
With these lights, you can highlight or focus on specific books or objects on your bookshelf. These lights work similarly to wall sconces lamps. But, adjustable spotlights’ intensity is higher than wall sconces lamps.
7. Recessed Lighting
A bookshelf lighting ideas list will remain incomplete if the recessed lighting option isn’t there. You can have a clean and modern look in your room if you implement recessed lighting correctly. Place your recessed lights in the ceiling or wall just above your bookshelf & let the light highlight your entire bookshelf.
You will get a scattered lighting effect with recessed lighting & it’s helpful if you intend to enhance the overall brightness of your room. Don’t be overwhelmed with the variety of recessed lights available in the market; just pick the small-sized lights & install them in the right places.
8. Fairy Lights On Bookshelf
Fairy lights can be a great addition to your bookshelf lighting. You can use them to wrap your books or weave them around your bookshelf. Most fairy lights’ comes with soft and warm hues which will add a cozy and romantic atmosphere to your space.
But, if you prefer brighter illumination – you can opt for bright white lights. Remember, fairy lights won’t increase the brightness of your room overall; they will add some light to the bookshelf area at the most.
9. Bookend Lights
Bookend lights are a unique approach that adds style and function to any bookshelf. This type of light provides both illumination and decorative touch to your bookshelf.
Talking about the placement of bookend lights, they are designed to attach to the ends of the row of books and illuminate the books from the side.
Please remember that you will need good DIY (Do It Yourself) knowledge to create bookend lights on your own. You can checkout this tutorial.
10. Antique Lights
If you’re lucky enough to have some antique lights in your home, why not spread the love to your bookshelf? Antique lights enhance the beauty of the bookshelf by creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
One of the best things about antique lights is that each one has its own unique charm, so you can pick and choose which one speaks to you. For example, a brass candlestick lamp can add a touch of old-world elegance, while an art deco-style lamp can make a bold and modern statement.
Want to bring a touch of cozy romance to your bookshelf? Look no further than candlelight! However, we should always keep in mind that candles can be a potential fire hazard, so it’s important to exercise caution.
To enjoy the warm glow of candlelight without the risk, I highly recommend using flameless LED candles. They’re a safe and stylish alternative that can create the same effect as real candles.
No matter which type of candles you choose, you can take them to the next level by using decorative candle holders. Whether you prefer a vintage or modern look, there are plenty of options to choose from to suit your style.
Talking about the placement of the candles, spread them across the bookshelf & let the warm glow lighten your favorite books and novels.
12. Built-in Lighting
Wire management becomes the primary headache while lighting a bookshelf. You have to make several holes, attaching screws and using clips in order to manage the light wires.
Fortunately, you can emit the wire management completely if you design your custom bookshelf with built-in lighting.
Not only does built-in bookshelf lighting offer a clean and seamless look, but it also opens up a world of possibilities for showcasing your book collection, artwork, and decorative items in style.
With options like LED light strips and puck lights, you can customize the lighting to suit your taste and really make your bookshelf pop.
13. Track light
The track light is a kind of adjustable spotlight that you can use for highlighting books or objects on your bookshelf. You can have either warm or bright white light from the track light, depending on your preferences.
Just like the adjustable spotlights, you can change the direction of the track light. This feature alone will ensure your bookshelf is always beautifully illuminated. Several types of track lights are available in the market & you can choose from options such as – modern smart look or traditional style lights.
Bookshelf lighting can be a game-changer in terms of adding that special touch of ambiance and coziness to your home. However, as with any form of lighting, it’s important to be aware of the potential safety concerns that come with it.
Don’t let the excitement of creating a stunning display of your favorite books and decor overshadow the importance of proper safety protocols.
Remember to take the necessary precautions when installing any lighting fixtures or wiring, and make sure to always prioritize safety above all else.
By being mindful of these safety concerns and taking the necessary precautions, you can enjoy the beauty and comfort of bookshelf lighting without any worries or risks.
So go ahead and unleash your creativity with these amazing bookshelf lighting ideas, and let your bookshelf be the shining star of your home!
I am Mark Braeden, a professional electrician based in California. With over a decade of experience in the electrical industry, I have launched this website with the aim of sharing my expertise and providing solutions to common lighting issues that can cause frustration for homeowners.
Whether you need help selecting the right bulb for your living room lamp or require guidance in installing LED strip lights, I am here to assist you.
But it’s not just about fixing problems. I’m also here to inspire you with all sorts of creative lighting ideas that can transform your home.