The bathroom requires more thought than other rooms in the home. IP ratings need to be considered with a minimum of IP44 required for zones 1 and 2.
How To Get The Best Bathroom Lighting: Hints And Tips
Your bathroom is not simply a place to use in a hurry, when necessary. It is a place of rest and relaxation. It is a useful room, yet it is also decorative. Your bathroom can be a haven of tranquility in a busy life. You have probably spent a lot of time planning how your bathroom can be most effectively designed to achieve these aims, but have you considered how the lighting will help enhance the look of your bathroom and its functionality?
Many times, bathroom lighting is an afterthought. A beautiful bathroom has one single central pendant light. Overhead lighting casts a shadow over your face when you are using the mirror. The lighting is too harsh for romantic baths in the evening. You need a lighting design that enhances your bathroom and helps you enjoy the many activities that happen in this crucial space. Here are some ideas for the best bathroom lighting products, and how to use them to best effect in this room.
Effective Lighting in the Bathroom
It helps to look at a bathroom not as a single space but a space which is split into different areas. Each area or task needs specific lighting in order to maximise use and comfort. There are three main different types of lighting, which are ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Design your bathroom lighting with these different types in mind.
Ambient Lighting Solutions
Ambient lighting is also called general lighting and it is the simplest form of lighting and probably the one that gets switched on by default. You can see everything and safely use the bathroom for any kind of purpose.
Consider Using Dimmer Switches
When you use ambient lighting in the form of a central pendant light or ceiling light you can install a dimmer switch. This provides extra versatility for bathroom ceiling lights. You can set the mood from lively and upbeat when getting ready in the morning to soft and romantic at night.
Different Ceiling Lighting
There are many different types of ceiling light that are used to excellent effect in a bathroom, from a flush mount light to bathroom spotlights in the ceiling. Most of these ceiling lights will be operated by a single switch by the door, allowing for easy entry into the room.
When considering a ceiling light pay attention to the location of the light. The best place is the centre of the bathroom in order to get light to travel around the whole of the room. You should avoid locating a ceiling light above your mirror as this will cause light to shine directly down, resulting in an ugly glare and shadow situation over the face.
In terms of design you have a lot of options, from elaborate chandeliers that create a dramatic focal point in the room, to modern bathroom downlights that give the room a contemporary look. Downlights are an effective asset in the bathroom and provide streamlined lighting that gives even illumination across the space.
Task Lighting in the Bathroom
You need task lighting in the bathroom when you are carrying out an activity and you need focused light, for example shaving or putting on make-up.
Common task lights include vanity lights, which are installed horizontally on top of a mirror or built into the vanity cupboard which has a mirror also attached. This provides light across the face without shadows, and it is useful for grooming tasks.
Cabinet lighting also includes options for attaching bathroom LED lights or a strip of light that attaches to the bottom of the cabinet. Flexible lighting can be installed around the edges of a cabinet, which is good for a cabinet which has an unusual shape.
Bathroom Mirror Lights
For task lighting, illuminated bathroom mirrors are ideal. These are special mirrors with built-in lights that allow for beautifully clear viewing when you are putting on make-up or you want a close-up view of your face. They can also be magnifying. Or you can install led bathroom lights around a larger mirror – use them on either side of the mirror so that you don’t get any shadows.
Beautiful Accent Lighting
Once you have planned your essential task and ambient light in the bathroom it is a good idea to look and see if there are any areas in the bathroom that still need illumination. Accent lighting creates interest and depth in the bathroom. It is not necessarily used for a practical purpose but it provides an aesthetic glow that highlights colours and design features in the room.
Wall sconces and bathroom wall lights enhance certain areas of the bathroom and can light up an architectural feature or a painting, or simply provide extra soft light in an area that is otherwise shadowy. You can also create a pleasing symmetrical feature by highlighting a door and also an opposite window, creating a nice lighting effect on both sides of the room. You need to make sure that wall lights in the bathroom are mounted at sufficient height to get the light flowing around the room.
Safety Considerations for Bathroom Lighting
Obviously, the combination of water and electricity can be a dangerous one, which is why bathroom lighting is specifically designed with safety as well as aesthetics in mind. All modern bathroom lights and bathroom light bulbs are designed to be used in areas where there is dampness and possible exposure to liquids and moisture. There are different zones within a bathroom that require different types of lights, for example the light fitting installed inside a shower are rated for safety even when they are in contact with water. Other areas of the bathroom that remain largely dry have different codes and regulations. Don’t install bathroom lights yourself unless you are a qualified electrician.
Also consider the energy efficiency of the bulbs and the light fittings you use in the bathroom. Since these lights will be in regular use it is a good idea to install energy saving light bulbs and lights that reduce your energy bill as well as your environmental impact.