I always love when Diana Smith is on the blog to share her great ideas. This one is on how to illuminate the Bathroom. I love some of these ideas. Thanks Diana!
As a room where people spend incomparably less time than in the living room or kitchen, the lighting in the bathroom usually gets neglected. A single ceiling fixture is far from enough. The bathroom has evolved, long time ago, from a necessity to an area designed for relaxation. Putting an extra effort into bath lighting will transform your bathroom into an intimate sanctuary – a place where you start and end your day.
In short, task lighting is the light by which you can see yourself at the mirror. A pair of sconces mounted at the eye level on both sides of the mirror will do the trick, illuminating the room without creating any shadows. That is a perfect setup for putting makeup, shaving, dental care and everything in between. For this purpose, you should avoid lights above the mirror, including recessed lights in the ceiling. Lights mounted high would cast a strong beam onto your forehead, while casting deep shadows below your eyes, nose and chin, making you look 10 years older.
Many world-renowned home designers advocate putting pieces of art into the bathroom. Recessed directional lights will provide focused illumination for every piece separately, whether it is a painting or a tasteful sculpture in an alcove. Additional recessed spotlight directed at the basin will add another layer of light to the room.
This layer acts as a natural light. In most cases, it is a central surface-mounted ceiling light, or a pendant lamp or even a chandelier. Alternatively, homeowners opt for cove lighting – LED strips hidden behind a molding several inches below the ceiling. This setup facilitates indirect lighting and a soft glow around the room perimeter.
Building codes are very concise about lights over tubs and steam baths. Open or hanging fixtures are not allowed within 8 feet above the tub, nor for another 3 feet in front of it. As most bathroom ceilings are under 8 feet, this rule eliminates open or hanging light fixtures above the tub. You can either go with lensed downlights that are damp- or wet-rated, or use spotlights fixed outside the danger zone. On the other hand, if the ambient light is sufficient, there is no need for a separate tub light.
People often use bathroom in the middle of the night, so they need a fixture that provides some light for navigating the way safely, but does not illuminate the room too much. When you wake up from a sound sleep, your eyes are adjusted to darkness, and turning a bright direct light on is not very pleasant. In that case, everything above 5 watts is too much. Consider installing a low-power light source you can leave on all night or the one that responds to motion. Bathrooms in exclusive hotels sometimes have a LED strip lighting under vanity or countertop edge acting as a night light. Hiring experts, like the ones from ASAP Electrical Services, to install a hidden electrical outlet to plug in one of those strips is your best option.
It is known that crisp white light shows the skin tone most accurately, with halogen bulbs being the best option. Low-voltage options are compact and suitable for a variety of fixtures. Halogens cost a few dollars more than the standard incandescent bulbs, but they last three times longer. These days, many of them come with screw-in bases, while those labeled MB (medium base) are shaped like regular incandescent bulbs, so they can fit most fixtures. The newest compact halogens are up to 10 times more efficient than regular bulbs with glowing filaments.
Everybody loves dimmers, as they provide absolute control over the lighting levels and the mood of the room. For small baths, dimming the vanity lights lets you moderate ambient and accent lighting as well. What is more, dimmers conserve energy, with the savings determined by how much you dim the bulb. For comparison, a bulb dimmed just 10 percent lasts twice as long as a bulb in full mode.
A great bathroom lighting plan involves a series of layers. You need generous illumination for showers, shaving or makeup application, while other fixtures improve the overall mood of the room.