They may be small, but bathrooms require careful planning when it comes to lighting. Bathroom lighting must banish shadows but not introduce glare. Lights must be functional and safe from the hazards of splashed and spilled water. Oh, yeah. Bathroom lights need to meet all these requirements and be affordable and stylish at the same time.
The area around your sink and mirror should have plenty of light, but not enough to cause a glare. A fixture at the top of the mirror and sconces on either side will provide good light while eliminating shadows.
Bathroom lighting comes in a number of finishes and selecting the right one can be confusing. Your best bet? Match the finish of your bathroom’s plumbing fixtures.
The bulbs for your bathroom lighting are as important as the fixtures. Frosted bulbs soften and diffuse light, eliminating the glare of clear bulbs. Compact fluorescents may save energy, but their cool white light makes make-up application difficult.
Bathroom lighting’s proximity to water can create a hazard. Make sure fixtures are rated for Ingress Protection (IP) against water. The second digit of the IP codes indicates water protection—a higher number equals better protection.
In the bathroom, ceiling lighting takes a back seat to vanity task lighting. Call attention to your ceiling with dramatic fixtures like a short chandelier or recessed lighting.
Bathroom lighting fixtures come in a number of light configurations. Sconces may have as little as one or two lights, while fixtures above the mirror may have as many as six lights. Three lights are most common.
Bathroom lighting is available in a wide range of colors and finish, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. To simplify, match your lighting finish to the color or finish of your plumbing fixtures.
Don’t feel that all the fixtures in your home need to have the same style. Private bathrooms are the perfect place to add drama and a unique personality. The wide range of available bathroom lighting styles makes it easy to let your imagination run wild.
Bathroom lighting comes in a number of different types. Sconces are appropriate for the sides of mirrors. Vanity lights are placed over mirrors and often contain multiple fixtures. Overhead lighting is used to fill the rest of the room.
Bathroom lighting is available in a wide range of styles, types, colors and finishes. It can be confusing, however, to wade through all of the choices available. Not only do your lights have to look good, they have to be functional and safe as well. Luckily, there are a few basic principles that make selecting bathroom lighting a less painful process.
The sink and mirror combination in your bathroom is often called the vanity. You’ll want a vanity fixture over the mirror that will provide even light as you shave or apply make-up. Vanity fixtures often have multiple lights and are commonly sized to match the width of your mirror. Look for a fixture that has a frosted shade to help avoid glare.
Sconces are single or double wall lights that are placed on either side of the mirror. If you’re planning for sconces, you’ll need fewer lights in your over-mirror fixture. If you find yourself with too many lights around the vanity, lower the wattage of your light bulbs to compensate.
For a coordinated look, try to match the color and finish of your light fixtures to the existing plumbing fixtures. While it is common to coordinate the bathroom lighting fixtures throughout the home, don’t be afraid to mix it up, particularly in master or private bathrooms. It’s easy to add drama to a bathroom by breaking your home’s pattern with unique lighting fixtures. And with available styles covering the spectrum from Asian to Rustic, it’s a simple matter to find bathroom lighting to fit the theme you have in mind.
Bathroom lighting and its proximity to water present a unique challenge. When selecting bathroom lighting fixtures, you’ll need to match the Ingress Protection (IP) rating of a given fixture to its intended location. Fixtures with an IP rating of 44 or better are suitable for use around vanities or above showers or tubs. Fixtures with and IP rating of 67 or better can be used around tubs.
Once you’ve installed your lights, it’s time to think about bulbs. Frosted bulbs are best for vanity lights, as they reduce glare. If you’re applying make-up, you’ll appreciate the warm tones of incandescent lights over the cooler tones of compact fluorescent bulbs. For the ultimate in warmth, consider infrared fixtures and bulbs next to tubs and showers.
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