I love a two-for-one. A two-for-one sale, a two-in-one house tool ... what's better than thinking you're going to get one thing and ending up with multiple? This is especially clutch when it comes to furniture and home decor: a couch that folds down into a sleeper, an ottoman with secret compartments underneath, a chic basket that's both storage and decor combined ... in a world of limited resources and limited space, a piece that can do it all is increasingly more desirable day after day.
So after that spiel, it should come as no surprise that I'm about to evangelize bookshelves with lights as some of the best bookshelves to buy right now. Not only do they offer a chic and functional spot for your books and trinkets, but the problem of illumination is addressed as part of the unit's structure, an intrinsic solution to a common pain point.
Lighting is a 'terrific addition' to a bookshelf because it draws the eye toward the 'bookcase itself' but also toward 'the items on the shelves,' said Jane Barnes of Jane Barnes Interiors. Bookcases are typically a 'darker piece of storage furniture,' so any additional ambient lighting adds some dimension, as well as a 'relaxing and welcoming vibe.' Moreover, ambient lighting is also big in the 'Norwegian/Danish art of hygge,' which prioritizes comfort and coziness in design. 'Can't imagine a room where hygge lighting isn't a lovely addition, especially in the darker and colder months of the year,' she told me.
Ultimately, bookshelves with lights present yet another perfect two-for-one, and I can't wait to highlight some of the best on the web now. So keep scrolling — there's plenty of BOGO action to be had ahead!
12 of the best bookshelves with lights
Livingetc knows design.
With 6 storage cubes and two shelves (one of which is equipped with LED lights), this 5-shelf bookcase scratches almost every possible itch you could have. Roomy, unique, and functional.
This white bookshelf is unlike other white bookshelves, not only because of its brushed wooden frame but because it comes equipped with 3 colored lights that can be adjusted depending on the vibe/mood of the room and the time of day.
A large bookshelf like this is only made better by the addition of RGB lights, which feature multiple adjustable modes and colors. A total 5-tier showstopper.
This mid-century modern bookcase stuns with its 3-mode LED lights — white light, warm light, blue light —which turn on as people approach and turn off after they leave.
Here, the light is quite discreetly built into the structure of this minimalist bookshelf: open-concept, thin frame, visually unobtrusive. Chef's kiss.
This freestanding bookshelf unit is pretty traditional and expected ... aside from the LED light twist. And for an added bonus, each shelf can hold up to 88lbs!
This white bookshelf is more of a curio cabinet than anything, but it still works perfectly as a spot for books or trinkets you'd like to display. The glass doors add a museum-like quality to what's behind them — a bookshelf that makes your living room look more expensive.
I'll admit, this bookshelf is more of a floor lamp with shelves — but, given the functionality, it still counts, ok! A wonderful way to display a few bits but light up your room at the same time.
Black bookshelves exude luxury and elegance, almost no matter how you style them. But it's easy to see that the addition of lighting takes things up a notch here regardless.
Given its size, the two drawers at the bottom, and the included LED lights, this is quite the affordable bookshelf. A stunning Amazon steal.
For more of this bookshelf mania, make sure to read through my edits of the best floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, the best red bookshelves, the best green bookshelves, the best circular bookshelves, the best low bookshelves, and the best modern bookshelves.
What is the best way to light a bookshelf?
'The best way to add lighting to a bookcase would be to have it wired for it when it is built and installed,' Jane told me; something like under-cabinet strip lighting would be the goal here. If that's not an option, however, you can still retroactively add some light to your bookshelf.
For example, if the 'bookcase is not built into a wall and can be moved,' try drilling a hole in the back, adding a bespoke lighting option on one of the unit's shelves, and then running the cord through the newly-drilled hole and down to the outlet.
And finally, 'if neither of those options will work then a battery operated light is the next option,' Jane explained. She suggested battery-operated candles or maybe even string lights, which 'can be magical when placed on a shelf.'
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Brigid Kennedy is a style editor at Livingetc.com, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at TheWeek.com, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.
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