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Bathroom Illuminations

Hello everyone and welcome to my October blog. This month we’re talking about bathrooms but I’d like to concentrate on bathroom lighting as it’s such an important element of any bathroom design.

Your bathroom is where you start your day and finish it so as well as being beautiful, it should be practical, clean, & comfortable. Ideally you will need to have a combination of light sources to provide you with a practical but relaxing haven.

So, whether you’re installing a brand new bathroom or just making a few tweaks to upgrade your existing design, read on. Apart from the obvious aesthetics and the all-important layout, your priority should be lighting. Never under-estimate the importance of good lighting in your bathroom.

I’m going to give you the best tips to get the most out of your bathroom lighting.

@ Prima

A common mistake people make is trying to use one light source to illuminate the whole bathroom. Bad lighting will either cause a glare or create dark unwanted shadows. Bathrooms generally benefit from 3 layers of light.

The best fool-proof combination is a mix of ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting:

  • Ambient lighting is your general room light and usually seen on the ceiling

  • Task lighting which is your functional lighting and ideal for mirrors

  • Accent lighting which will highlight your bathroom’s best features and areas of beauty

Let’s take a look at each type of lighting in more detail. Ambient lighting is usually created using overhead fixtures like recessed spotllights, track lights, chandeliers or pendants. For a glamourous look, go for a chandelier, as seen below.

@ emileefuss.com

Another popular choice for bathroom ceilings is spotlights. Opt for LED spotlights as seen below which are energy efficient and long-lasting. Here’s an example of simple LED spotlights which perfectly blend into this elegant scheme with its own beautiful features.

@ Lusso Stone

A top tip, install a dimmer switch. This will allow you to change the look and feel within your bathroom. You can easily control the amount of light to suit your mood or the time of day. The dimmer switch will need to be installed outside of the bathroom for safety reasons.

The next type of lighting is task lighting. This is essential for those all-important daily tasks when we’re rushing around in the morning such as applying make-up, shaving, grooming, brushing teeth etc. This sort of lighting is also useful for cleaning. Again, a dimmer switch gives you the option to adjust the lighting for whatever your chosen activity and to brighten or darken it in order to suit your needs. Here’s a good example of task lighting with the use of bar lighting at the sides of the mirror.

@srint.org www.designoursign.com

Halogen bulbs work well for task lighting because they produce a white light, similar to daylight and use less energy than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs are another good choice because they produce a direct, bright light that won’t get hot.

LED lamps are ideal for bathrooms. However, be sure to look for light sources that deliver a CRI of 80 or higher. CRI stands for Colour Rendering Index. CRI values above 80 show colours as they appear in natural sunlight.

Another top tip, avoid adding a light above your mirror, this shines a strong light onto your forehead, casting deep shadows below your eyes nose and chin which can visually age you. The best position for mirrored lighting in your bathroom is at the sides of the mirror. You can use bar lighting as above or wall sconces seen below. Bar lighting, wall sconces or vanity lighting are all great options for mirrors as they will provide a comfortable level of brightness.

@ Lumens Lighting

A pair of wall sconces mounted at eye level on either side of the mirror as above will provide a shadowless illumination. This creates the best scenario for makeup application, shaving, tooth care etc.

Sconce lighting is a cheap way to include colour and depth to the surfaces as seen below.

@ Lightology

Vanity mirrors with integrated lighting are an increasingly popular option for streamlined, eye-catching bathroom design and perfect for small spaces like en-suites.

@ Y Lighting

Finally, accent lighting creates a focal point. It builds upon the ambient lighting of a room by adding dimension and can be used to draw attention to a feature, like a piece of artwork, a plant, or to highlight a unique design element, like wall texture or decorative coving. Incorporating more accent lighting allows you to create a warm, soothing atmosphere.

Who doesn’t want to create a luxurious atmosphere in their bathroom, especially after a stressful day! Here’s a beautiful example below of how to create a stunning, gorgeous spa-like atmosphere with the use of up and down lighters.

See how impressive the reflections are from the down lighters at the top of the back wall and the uplighters at the bottom of the bath. Again, dimmers will enable you to control the level of light to suit your mood.

@ Brilliant Lighting

Notice the accent lighting in the recessed shelving & under the bath in the image below and how it’s illuminated to create a warm glow.

@ The Lightworks

So, having highlighted the benefits of the different types of layered lighting here’s a good example of how it all looks when it comes together. This bathroom has ceiling LED spotlights and has accent lighting behind the bath and in the recessed shelving in the shower and on the wall. Notice the bar lighting at the sides of the mirror (though unfortunately not switched on in this particular image).

@ Kitchen Fitters Sutton

Thanks for tuning in, I hope you’ve found this useful and look forward to seeing you again next month.