8 tips to improve bathroom lighting
Last modified: 2018/11/30 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Small rooms in the home require ample planning in order to set the right tone. Lighting is an integral part of this process, as excellently designed and placed lighting and fixtures can help a space to really shine. To achieve a successful lighting layout in your bathroom, it’s all about the layers. Here are our tips to greatly improve the lighting in your bathroom!
8 tips to improve bathroom lighting
1- Focus on natural light
Whether we’re brushing our teeth, doing our hair or washing up before bed, most of the time we spend in the bathroom, we’re focused on the mirror. Depending on where the bathroom is situated in your home, we think it’s very important to include as much natural light as possible.
If space allows, try installing large windows and incorporating frosted glass if privacy is a necessity. Not only will frosted glass keep things under wraps, but it works to diffuse natural light and make things a little bit softer. If you already have windows but they’re quite small, we’d suggest renovating to enlarge them or add more.
2- Task lighting
Although most bathrooms will do just fine with a ceiling light, this obviously isn’t ideal for grooming, putting on makeup and other intricate tasks. Also worth mentioning is that lighting from above can cast some serious shadows across the face, and this could be dangerous or messy when shaving, putting on makeup or for older residents living in the home.
This is why task lighting is generally recommended for a bathroom. Consider installing bath bar lighting for getting in and out of the tub safely as well as vanity lighting or vertical sconces placed around the mirror. This will allow for the best possible lighting to complete detailed tasks and intricate jobs.
3- Layers of light
As we mentioned in our introduction, layering different types of light is an essential aspect of a well-rounded bathroom lighting plan. It is important to have bright light flood the space during morning preparation rituals but to allow for a softer, mood light during evening baths and so forth. A dimmer switch is an excellent way to do this, as either overhead lighting or task lighting can be controlled to suit the time of day. Dimmers have come a long way, and there are many options on the market to suit varying styles and taste.
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4- Ambient lighting
Ambient lighting is crucial to fostering a positive and comfortable bathroom environment. This type of lighting will stand in place for natural lighting if or when it isn’t available. Since skin, hair and clothing are best represented in natural light, you’ll want to mimic it as closely as possible. It's important to consider the colour of both the shade and fixture, as working with a white shade will offer the closest thing to ambient lighting- think frosted, clear or otherwise.
Bear in mind that you should be looking for the appropriate bulb type to mimic natural lighting in relation to the bathroom itself. Incandescent lighting has a white colour bulb. They come in both warm and cold. Compact fluorescent bulbs are another option, though it’s important to make sure their Colour Rendering Index is above 90. Be sure to ask an expert at your local hardware store which bulbs would work best for the colour of your bathroom.
5- Accent lighting
If all else fails in the realm of bathroom lighting, the right accent can lend the correct type of ambience. This is especially true if your bathroom layout is awkward or doesn’t allow for large windows or overhead lighting. Recessed spotlights work to spread light evenly throughout the room without taking up too much space. Consider diffused and recessed lighting close to and around the shower in place of a single or direct overhead lamp. Another option is to look for integrated LEDs, placing them around cabinets or vanities.
6- Warm things up!
As is common knowledge, mould and mildew can be serious issues in the bathroom. If space and electricity allow, we are suggesting that you look for light fixtures which can incorporate an extraction fan to rid of some of the inherent humidity. Another method to keep things warm and cosy while absorbing some of the excess humidity is to install a heat lamp.
A heat lamp is a low-cost method to provide your bathroom with both extra, soft lighting as well as helping to absorb some of the moisture. Infrared bulbs do not produce an excessive amount of light, but instead, work to produce heat which is an excellent touch when getting out of the bath or shower. However, we should mention that running a heat lamp can be expensive, so make sure to turn it off as soon as you’re not using it.
Wattage is another important consideration when choosing your bathroom lighting. It is recommended that you use between 75 and 100 watts of illumination, which translates to either a 24 to 26-watt fluorescent or a 20 to 25 watt LED. We should mention that compact fluorescent bulbs are better used as task lighting, whereas LED can be used in secondary places or in bathrooms that do not require an excessive amount of light.
8- Consider your surroundings
Not only are the bulbs and fixtures themselves important, but the surfaces and colours of your bathroom walls are integral aspects to the quality and tone of the light in the room as well as how it is reflected. Some paint colours work well with cool bulbs while others look much better with warmer ones.
Aside from the colour on the walls and the tone of the paint itself, consider other elements of the room including mirrors, tiles, steel appliances and other surfaces that may reflect the light. Not only can these reflect the light, but they also have the ability to cause glare. If possible, consult a lighting professional to help you carefully plan out the possibilities of your bathroom lighting.
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