How does your bathroom make you feel? Does it have the right lighting in the right places? Or is there some room for improvement?
Create your dream bathroom by implementing some of the ideas that follow, and you’ll look forward to getting up each morning, and enjoy a comforting end to the day when you’re ready for sleep.
The daily tasks we perform in the bathroom demand different types of lighting. Most bathrooms feature a large mirror or medicine cabinet over the sink area, with possibly a second mirror on the door or an adjacent wall. This makes lighting the bathroom quite tricky, since there is a lot of reflected light. When you add in outside light from a window or skylight, the combination can cause unusual shadows or oddly bright areas.
Taking all of these factors into consideration usually means utilizing both wall and overhead lighting for the best coverage. Vanity lights on either side of the over-sink mirror are best for applying make-up, shaving and hair styling. Wall sconces direct light on your face, not on the mirror, which is what is needed for those types of detailed tasks. Using over-mirror lighting can cause harsh (and unflattering!) shadows. On the other hand, ambient light is more enjoyable for bathing or showering, so a diffuse overhead light works best in conjunction with other lighting for the tub area.
The lighting for a bathtub or shower can be as simple as a water-resistant recessed light in the ceiling directly above the tub/shower – or a decorative fixture with diffuse light that spills over into the tub area.
The color of your bathroom is also an important factor when selecting lights. A light-colored room reflects more light, so smaller fixtures with opaque glass are a good choice. Darker bathrooms need more light, since the light is absorbed by the dark color – so larger fixtures with clear glass shades would provide sufficient light for daily tasks.
If your bathroom is very small, you may have space for only one wall light. In that case, it’s best to install it on the side of the room furthest from the window (if there is one), to give more coverage.
After assessing the bathroom size, color and access to natural light, the next step is choosing the fixtures. This is the fun part! There are literally thousands of styles and finishes to consider – from traditional chrome finishes to contemporary styles or vintage restoration designs. Or you may prefer lots of bling – perhaps a mini-chandelier with crystal accents? More and more lighting manufacturers are designing LED lighting for the bath. These lights are unusually stunning, since the lighting designer is not limited by traditional bulb sockets – freeing them to create new shapes. Personal taste is your guide – and the best place to see bath lights in person and on display is in your local lighting showroom. There’s nothing like seeing fixtures in person to judge the scale and finishes of potential lighting options.
Finally, consider adding lighting controls to your bath lighting. It’s startling to stumble half-awake into the bathroom first thing in the morning, and being greeted with glaring light. A dimming switch will allow you to start your day more gently, and, after you’re more awake, you can turn up the light and get ready for your day. Likewise, winding down at the end of the day may mean dimming the lights, especially if you like a bath before bedtime.
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Your local showroom has lighting experts on staff who work on customer lighting projects every day and are trained to guide you in making the best selections based on your preferences and budget. Stop by today and start thinking about your dream bathroom!