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.

Things You Will Need

  • Power drill
  • 1 1/2-inch auger bit
  • Screwdriver or screwdriver bits
  • Ruler
  • Wall-mounted lamp
  • Pencil


  • Place the lamp where there will be enough space for the fixture and at least 6 inches of clearance between the bulb and anything flammable.
  • If you're not experienced with electrical work, buy lamps that come complete with power cords. Pass the cord through the hole and plug it in. Only use fixtures that require actual wiring work if you're experienced and confident with your abilities.


  • 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.