More spacious and multifunctional than ever before, the once-utilitarian bathroom has evolved into a private retreat for relaxation, escape and self-indulgence. The right lighting can make a bathroom even more gracious.
Whether built new or recently remodeled, bathrooms today demand intricate lighting solutions. Task lighting must be bright enough to do its job, but also work well with indirect accent lighting to soften the room’s ambiance and provide a warm glow. Decorative and ornate light fixtures and lamps provide elegance and sophistication. Shower lights brighten up enclosed stalls. Reading lamps by the toilet provide more focused lights.
Lighting Techniques for the Bathroom
- For small mirrors For small mirrorsFor small mirrors, decorative wall fixtures placed on each side of the mirror will provide the even, shadow-free facial illumination necessary for daily grooming tasks. For best results, mount fixtures at least 28" apart and 60" off the floor. Newer techniques of bathroom lighting even include using small pendants on either side of the mirror.
- For large mirrors For large mirrorsFor large mirrors, a strip of horizontal vanity lights will ensure that each person has sufficient light. Mount the strip 78" off the floor. The best lighting solution is achieved with fixtures that include a shade for each bulb.
Also add a dimmer to your vanity light. You will be amazed at how often you will use it and how much comfort it adds to the use of your bathroom.
- Shower and tub lighting Shower and tub lightingShower and tub lighting should be bright enough for cleaning, shaving and reading shampoo labels. Choose recessed down-lights designed for use in wet areas. Shielded fixtures will protect reclining bathers' eyes from glare.
An adjustable accent light aiming from outside the tub is dramatic, glare-free and great for those who bring books to the bath.
- Decorative light fixture Decorative light fixtureIn the center of the ceiling, a decorative light fixture that blends with the rest of your decor provides an elegant touch while providing adequate light for safety, cleaning and moving about. It also balances the brightness of other bathroom lights.
Ceiling mount fixtures, small chandeliers and decorative vent fans with integrated lighting are a few of the options for modern bathrooms.
- Undercabinet lighting Undercabinet lightingUndercabinet lighting can make middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom safer and easier. Install a low-voltage linear lighting or LED system in the toe spaces beneath the vanities and cabinets.
Consider installing an occupancy sensor wall switch so the lights come on when you need them and switch off when not in use to save energy.