How to Install Lighting in a Headboard

Adding a light fixture to your headboard can eliminate the need for nightstands, clearing up some floor space and eliminating a flat surface that can accumulate unsightly junk. With the right kind of lamps, you can complete this project with no wiring work, making it a job suitable even for beginning woodworkers.

  1. Set the lamp in position on your headboard. Lightly trace the base onto the wood of your headboard, using a pencil.

  2. Remove the base. Measure the distance of the power cord from the sides of the base, using a ruler. Locate and mark that position on the outline you drew on the headboard.

  3. Drill a 1 1/2-inch-diameter hole at the point you marked. This will be big enough to accommodate the power cord. If you don't have an auger bit, drill multiple, overlapping holes with the largest drill bit you have.

  4. Set the lamp in place, passing the power cord through the hole you've drilled. Mount the lamp to your headboard, using the wall-mount instructions that came with it. Usually this means attaching it via the screws that come with the lamp, using a screwdriver or a drill and screwdriver bits.


  • Choose low-wattage light bulbs for your lamps, preferably 40 to 60 watts. High-wattage bulbs can generate enough heat to become a fire hazard. Even if it doesn't start an actual fire, the heat can blister or discolor the wood and stain near it.

About the Author

Jason Brick has written professionally since 1994. His work has appeared in numerous venues including "Hand Held Crime" and "Black Belt Magazine." He has completed hundreds of technical and business articles, and came to full-time writing after a long career teaching martial arts. Brick received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Oregon.