14 Dorm Lighting Ideas To Glow Up Your Space

Article by BlissLights LLCFri, Jan 29, 21
student studying with laser lights

College is a thrilling time when you can experience new activities, go on exciting adventures, and make new friends. You know what’s not exciting, though? A dull dorm room with cinderblock walls and drab lighting. Instead, your dorm room should be warm, comfortable, and welcoming for you and all your friends. The best way to achieve this warmth is to personalize the area with your favorite dorm decor and the perfect lighting. Not only will your room be functional for studying, but it will be a great place to relax and de-stress as well.

Dress up your room with these 14 dorm lighting ideas

Dorm rooms are typically outfitted with harsh overhead fluorescent lighting that can make studying more difficult and give your room an unpleasant feeling. This lighting can make it hard to get work done, especially since fluorescent lighting has been correlated with daytime drowsiness. As such, proper dorm lighting will serve as practical, useful, and unique decor to help make your time in school even better. Transform your dorm room from dreary to dreamy with these lighting options:

1. Rope lights

Add a pop of color or a soft glow to your dorm room with flexible rope lights. These ropes can easily be positioned to add shine around your windows, door, or desk, or wrap them around your bedpost for memorable bed lighting. Alternatively, you can wrap rope rights around the sides and posts of a bunk or loft bed. If you’re feeling extra creative, try spelling out words of inspiration with your rope lights to get you motivated each time you turn on your lights.

led rope lights

2. LED strips

For a unique way to incorporate colorful accent lighting into your study space, use LED strips. Just peel and stick these to your desired surface and watch as colorful lighting illuminates the area. Frame your LED strips around your computer and TV or put them under your bed for an eye-catching light display. To change your LED strips’ colors, just use the lights’ remote control to quickly match the lighting to your mood.

led light strips

3. Galaxy lights

Picture yourself resting in bed under your soft blankets and watching a peaceful galaxy fill your dorm room. Galaxy lights achieve this effect with swirling arrays of colors, stars, and clouds. You might have an easier time drifting off to sleep when you use the BlissLights Sky Lite Evolve Galaxy Projector, which shines peacefully moving blue clouds and stars that bring tranquility to your dorm room. Pair these galaxy lights with a DIY galaxy project to further elevate your room into a pleasant nebula.

galaxy lights

sky lite evolve smart multicolor galaxy projector

Sky Lite Evolve: Smart Galaxy Projector


The latest evolution in smart galaxy lighting.

4. Sparkling fairy lights

Turn your dorm room into a whimsical fantasy with sparkling fairy lights. Hang them with self-adhesive hooks above your bed, on the wall, or around the window to create a fascinating sparkle. Many fairy lights also have different functions such as flashing, twinkling, or continuously shining. These lights are perfect to help you unwind at the end of the day, read a book, and drink a cup of tea.

led string lights

5. Colorful lights

Staring at plain white cement walls can be boring and make it harder for you to stay motivated while doing work. Although you likely can’t paint your dorm room walls, adding colored lighting is the next best thing. Scientific studies have shown correlations between red, blue, and green lighting and your mood and emotions – for example, it’s hard to focus on studying when you’re stressed, and red light may possess calming properties.

For colorful dorm room lighting, swap out your regular bulbs with the BlissLights BlissBulb to shine thousands of glittering stars in red, green, or blue throughout your room. The color and the twinkle of stars will help you stay relaxed while studying for your finals.

colorful laser lights

blissbulb laser lightbulb in green

BlissBulb Laser LightBulb


Transforming your world is as easy as changing a lightbulb.

6. Ceiling lights

Although your school likely won’t allow you to install your own overhead ambient lighting in a dorm room, you can come up with unique ways to add some lighting flair without breaking the rules. For example, you can reimagine LED string lights as ceiling lights by lining them around the edges of your ceiling for a cool and sensational look. You can also use a string of lights to create a canopy effect by draping multiple lights from one side of the ceiling to the other.

blue laser lightbulb

7. Functional desk lamps

No matter your academic major or lifestyle preference, there’s one thing all college students have in common: studying. Lighting makes a difference in your study habits – in fact, there may be a correlation between cool lighting and improved concentration. That’s why desk lamps are especially helpful. You can use them to achieve the right lighting for your concentration and, depending on your roommate’s sleep habits, stay up studying while your roommate is sleeping. Additionally, this dorm room essential comes in various colors and styles to match your decor.

string lights as ceiling lights for dorm

8. Portable lights

Dorm rooms are notorious for being on the small side, so they can quickly get crowded when you try to fit all your things while sharing space with another person. Luckily, you won’t have to sacrifice good lighting just because you don’t have a ton of space – that’s where portable lights come in.

Portable lights are small in size, USB-powered or battery-operated, and easy to move around, thereby allowing you to find the perfect spot for them in your dorm room. They’re also perfect for those all-night study sessions spent at a friend’s dorm – just pack your light and take it with you.

For example, with the BlissLights StarPort Laser USB, you can carry around a starry night sky right in your pocket. The StarPort can be plugged into your computer, phone charger, or gaming console – anything with USB ports – to transform your space wherever you go.

desk lamps

starport usb star projector in red

StarPort USB Light


One tiny light. Thousands of stars!

9. Decorative desk lights

Your desk isn’t for just homework – it’s also a place for you to read, do crafts, and show your personality with fun decor. Jazz up your workspace by adding succulents, picture frames, and, of course, special desk lighting to tie it all together. Salt lamps, light-up message boards, and electric candles are just a few examples of lights that can brighten things up while setting the mood.

decorative desk lighting

10. Globe lights

For a cute, dramatic dorm room look, hang globe lights on your walls or from the edge of your loft bed. These lights come in different colors, sizes, and finishes to properly complement the atmosphere of your dorm room. Turn them on for some extra light while studying or use them by themselves to set the stage for a movie night with friends.

globe lights

11. Pendant lights

If you like the “globe” design but don’t want an entire string of lights, you can hang a single pendant light instead (provided you do so without breaking your school’s aforementioned rules about ceiling lights). Pendants provide a simple way to get that polished dorm room look without distracting or overwhelming you or your guests. You will also have the option to choose what type of bulb works best for you, whether standard, vintage, or twister – you have the power to decide.

pendant lights

12. Window lights

Show some school spirit by hanging window lights that match your team’s hues. Regardless of whether your school’s football team wins or loses, your lights will show that you’re still proud of your school’s colors. If you want something more chic, put up flower, star, or paper lantern lights for a glimmering effect. You’ll grab the attention of everyone who walks past your window.

chinese lantern window light

13. Jar lights

Elevate your dorm room by adding shimmering jar lights around your space for a cozy experience. These jars use the same type of lights as fairy lights, but instead of these lights floating on the walls, they will appear like jars full of lightning bugs dancing around. Place these lights on a desk, bookcase, nightstand, or dresser for a magical glow.

jar lights

14. Tapestry wall lighting

To cover up bland dorm room walls, you can hang a tapestry that reflects your own unique style. Highlight the tapestry as your dorm room’s focal point by surrounding it with glistening lights. Whether you use string lights as a tapestry border or have them dangle from the top of your tapestry, lighting will add another dimension to your tapestry. Choose from a myriad of lighting and tapestry colors, styles, and sizes to create a warm, welcoming environment great for rest and rejuvenation.

galaxy tapestry wall lighting by instragram user @james_m_buckley

Take your dorm from drab to fab with BlissLights

Your time at college should be fun and special, including the time spent in your home away from home. Granted, college dorm rooms usually aren’t students’ favorite places to live, but you can turn your dorm room into a cozy and inviting space with just a simple lighting change.

At BlissLights, our laser lights make this transformation easy. With our laser bulbs, projectors, and portable lights, you can fill your dorm room with remarkable effects and calming, focus-enhancing colors. Our lights can give your room style that matches your personality, not to mention adequate lighting for those much-dreaded all-nighters. Browse the BlissLights collection to find the perfect lighting for creating a relaxing, inspiring, study-ready dorm room.

About BlissLights

BlissLights has been a leader in the laser lighting industry since the company was founded in 2006. Our team of experienced engineers and technicians helped create award-winning special effect lighting for major theme parks before minaturizing ourpatented technology for home use. BlissLights is dedicated to laser safety and education, and is registered with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).

View all articles by BlissLights LLC

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