Top News

'A full-on night club dance party scene': Adding neon lighting vibes hot bedroom decor trend among kids, teens

These LED lights come on a flat strip, much like Christmas lights, and have a remote for turning them on and off, dimming them, and changing the colour, says 16-year-old Samantha Hovey, who added the lights to her bedroom recently.
These LED lights come on a flat strip, much like Christmas lights, and have a remote for turning them on and off, dimming them, and changing the colour, says 16-year-old Samantha Hovey, who added the lights to her bedroom recently. - RF Stock

Samantha Hovey says her room now feels like her own because she was able to customize it just the way she wanted.

The 16-year-old from Bedford, N.S. has joined the ranks of teenagers across Atlantic Canada who are now decorating with strands of LED lights, adding neon vibes - and self-expression - to their rooms.

Samantha originally saw these lights on the social media platform, TikTok, but when a friend got them and she saw them in person, she found them very cool. Her mother, Anita Kirkbride, decided to make LED lights a Christmas present.

Virginia Fynes, of Fynes Designs, an online designer for the past 10 years who works alongside major brands to promote what is available in the Canadian market and beyond, agrees.

She says the LED light trend came on strong just before the holidays, which made them the perfect Christmas gift for young trend-setters. Like Samantha, Fynes credits the lights’ popularity to social media, mainly TikTok.

How they work


Virginia Fynes of Fynes Designs based in Morristown, N.S., says the LED light trend came on strong just before the holidays, and she credits their popularity to social media, mainly TikTok. She's decorated her son's room with the lights. - Contributed
Virginia Fynes of Fynes Designs based in Morristown, N.S., says the LED light trend came on strong just before the holidays, and she credits their popularity to social media, mainly TikTok. She's decorated her son's room with the lights. - Contributed


These LED lights come on a flat strip, much like Christmas lights, and have a remote for turning them on and off, dimming them, and changing the colour, says Samantha.

"You can make customized colours, too," she says.

Fynes says her nine-year-old son has a set of these lights in his bedroom that he had requested for Christmas as well, along with a second set for the playhouse. Like Samantha’s, one set works with a remote, while the other pulses to the sound of music.

"They are so lightweight, and operate from a battery so that you can use them anywhere," she says.

Online retailers, such as Amazon, offer many options for lights, says Fynes. She opted to buy her son's sets at a local Winners store.

How you envision using them will help narrow down the choices of which ones to buy, says Fynes.

Fynes bought herself a couple of sets at Christmas to use for various decor pieces.

"They are so lightweight, and operate from a battery so that you can use them anywhere," she says.

Remote operated is very handy, but the sets with just a switch typically have a timer setting too, so they come on and off at the same time each day, she explains.

"I, of course, wanted white twinkle lights, but my son’s are every colour of the rainbow, with multiple sequence choices of how the lights flash," says Fynes.

Samantha suggests getting lights with a long cord so you can put them up high, like along the ceiling. Some sets have short cords because they're made to decorate TVs and not rooms.

Installing LED lights


Atlantic Canadian kids and teens are all about the neon vibes from LED strip lights this year.  - RF Stock
Atlantic Canadian kids and teens are all about the neon vibes from LED strip lights this year. - RF Stock


When it comes to installing them, Fynes says if you are using them in a permanent place, you can get a LED light strip that has an adhesive backing so they can stick permanently where you want them.

The LED fairy light stands, which are a very fine wire - no thicker than a twist tie wire - can easily be draped around a picture or window frame, and can be held up with tape, says Fynes. She suggests using painter’s tape to avoid any wall damage.

If you are using them to cover a short distance, Fynes says there are markers where the strands can be cut without damaging the lights.

The other style of light comes with an adhesive backing, says Fynes.

"My son’s room has a chair rail, so we ran the lights along the top edge of that," she says.

The heavy battery pack, however, will need to rest on something. Keep this in mind when stringing them.

Before you begin, Fynes suggests measuring the space, especially if you want them to span a large area.

"You want to ensure you have enough," she says.

"I don’t suggest sticking it to painted drywall, as removing anything sticky can result in tearing the paper from the drywall. If you’d like to use them on a wall, I’d suggest using small 3M command hooks to drape them from," she says.

If you are using them to cover a short distance, Fynes says there are markers where the strands can be cut without damaging the lights.

Samantha wanted her lights to extend across the whole ceiling, so she could spread the colour around as much as possible. But don't worry about going all the way around your room, if it’s not possible, she adds.

"It's not that bad if it doesn't," she says. In her room, she says they don't reach one corner of her ceiling.

Before making the final mount, Fynes suggests thinking about whether you'll want to remove them in the future.

"I’d be wary of the adhesive on the strips if taping them up," she says.

Instead, she suggests using an inconspicuous area that could be touched up later if needed.

"I don’t suggest sticking it to painted drywall, as removing anything sticky can result in tearing the paper from the drywall. If you’d like to use them on a wall, I’d suggest using small 3M command hooks to drape them from," she says.

"These hooks are damage-free, especially when the lights are removed when the trend fades. These hooks come in a variety of sizes so you could stick one on any part of the bed or wall and string the lights from them."

To hide the cord, Fynes says her son's are plugged in near the floor and ran up the wall behind the door of the bedroom and is taped in place with painter’s tape. If seeing the cord is an issue, Fynes suggests opting for a battery-operated set.

Get creative


There are some easy tricks to hanging these lights, says Virginia Fynes of Fynes Designs based in Morristown, N.S. She recommends measuring the area first, and considering whether you want to use the adhesive backing on the strips. She recommends using command hooks instead to offer greater flexibility and reduce the chance of damaging walls.  - RF Stock
There are some easy tricks to hanging these lights, says Virginia Fynes of Fynes Designs based in Morristown, N.S. She recommends measuring the area first, and considering whether you want to use the adhesive backing on the strips. She recommends using command hooks instead to offer greater flexibility and reduce the chance of damaging walls. - RF Stock


Besides installing the lights on the ceiling or around the room, consider accenting just one part of the room.

For example, Elizabeth Hovey, Samantha’s 17-year-old sister, did not have enough lights to cover her whole ceiling, so she opted to surround her closet door instead.

Fynes has seen pictures where LED lights are hung around a bed using command hooks.

Consider other places like a fort, dollhouse, inside a closet hideaway or a reading nook. String them around photo frames or create a clothesline for clipping up memorable photos, suggests Fynes.

For adult use, Fynes says they are excellent for décor. Use them inside a vase, a dark entrance, or on holiday decor, like an indoor or outdoor wreath. You could also use a set with a timer for a night light, she says.

Depending on the age of the child, Fynes says she would be cautious of when they are allowed to have the lights on in their rooms.

"My son’s room is a full-on night club dance party scene when the lights are in action," she says. "He loves them and they are fun for playing."

But she can imagine how distracting they would be for nap or bedtime if someone younger had the rule of the remote.

RELATED:

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories