What Is The Best Lighting For A Bathroom

What Is The Best Lighting For A Bathroom

Bathrooms can pose an interesting challenge to lighting design. Like kitchens, bathrooms require practical and functional lighting solutions for a primarily task-oriented space. Grooming requires just the right amount of well-placed lighting. Too little and you won’t be able to see what you’re doing. Too much lighting, or poor placement can cause glare issues. However, like kitchens, you also want something beautiful. Something with style and quality that both suits your décor and creates a soothing environment. So how do you pick the perfect bathroom vanity lighting? It’s not as difficult as you might imagine. These days, a wide selection of wall mounted bath bars and vanity lights are available to provide the light you need in virtually any style. There are a few things to consider when choosing and installing your bathroom lighting. The following questions are the ones I hear most often from my customers (homeowners and interior designers alike). Cube Wall Sconce by Tech Lighting Help! The lighting in my bathroom is terrible and really unflattering. What are my options for really nice mirror lighting? Is that the same thing as vanity lighting? Where do I start? Yes, vanity lighting may be defined as a light fixture installed above, or alongside a mirror. We offer many vanity lighting options with excellent and flattering light output. Two measures to remember when selecting fixtures for your bathroom are CRI (Color Rendering Index), and color temperature. In terms of CRI, choose a fixture with a high CRI (90+ is preferred). Incandescent and halogen light sources always have the best CRI – 100 – meaning they most accurately render colors. If you wish to use an energy-efficient LED or fluorescent light source, ensure your selection has a CRI or at least 90. This provides excellent color rendering in bathroom settings. For color temperature, try selecting fixtures / light sources with a warm color temperature (2700K – 3000K). Many find warm color temperatures more flattering than cool ones, because they are similar to the incandescent lights most people have become used to. When I meet with clients, I work with them directly to determine the color temperature option they like best. That said, you never want to go above 3500K in a bathroom lighting application — it’s just not as flattering and inviting as warmer temperatures. In terms of fixtures, the Twiggy LED 1RE fixture is my personal favorite. It’s a high quality fixture with minimalist styling and great light output, it’s cool to the touch, and there are so many lengths to choose from. Generally 36-48 inch lengths are best for vanity lighting applications, but this also depends on the size of your mirror. Also, I highly recommend installing a low voltage electronic dimmer for this fixture to control its light output, and create a different atmosphere as needed. At what height should I install wall mounted bathroom lighting such as bath bars and vanity lighting? If you are mounting wall sconces on each side of your mirror, you should mount them with the center of the fixtures about 60″ high and about 28″ apart. If you are mounting a bath bar above the mirror, it should be mounted about 78″ high. These are generally-accepted measures from the American Lighting Association. At what angle should my lighting be mounted? This depends on the dimensions of your mirror or medicine cabinet. If the fixture is enclosed with a diffuser to create comfortable distribution of light, you don’t necessarily need an angled bath light. Some of the bath bars that we offer are angled, or are able to be angled. The Bardot, Audrey, and Twiggy Hinged LED vanity lights by Edge Lighting are all great selections that are able to direct the light towards you at about a 45 degree angle. Audrey Vanity with Square Canopy by Edge Lighting What are my options for energy efficient bathroom vanity lighting? Are LED fixtures available? LED and fluorescent fixtures are available for bathroom lighting. These are great energy efficient options that last a long time, and many LED Bath Bars and LED Vanity Lights are dimmable when paired with the appropriate dimmer. Traditional Incandescent and Halogen vanities are also dimmable, which can extend lamp life. Since bathrooms can get pretty wet, do I need special bathroom lighting, or can I use the normal fixtures that I’d put elsewhere in my house? For your shower and/or tub area, you would definitely need shower lighting that is wet rated. If you are interested in recessed cans, there are many options of shower-rated trims to choose from. Elsewhere in your bathroom you can use regular fixtures, but keep in mind that fabric typically stains from moisture or splashing, so glass, metal and plastic are better selections for bathroom lighting fixtures. How much light is the ideal amount for a bathroom? I always say the more lighting the better, because you can always dim lights. You want a lot of light for the bathroom — about 50-75 foot candles on your face — because of the variety of tasks done every day in that room. Consider a layered lighting plan for the bathroom. This is an ideal solution that can address the different lighting needs various areas in the bathroom. What is layered lighting, and why is it important in bathrooms? Layered lighting is very important for any room, but especially bathrooms. Because there are a wide variety of tasks done in a bathroom, (such as shaving, cleaning, grooming, applying makeup, and other general tasks), it is good to have layered lighting options designed for the specific needs of each task. For instance, in addition to bath bars or bathroom vanity lights at the mirror for face-based tasks, I also like to install a downlight mounted over the sink, about 12″ from the wall (with a dimmer, of course). This provides general illumination that fills the area over the sink. Mounting it back from the wall keeps the light out of your eyes. Other examples of light layers in bathrooms include wall sconces to help define the space, small chandeliers to provide general illumination, or even LED uplights installed in the shower for a unique take on task lighting in the shower. I like adding Edge Lighting’s Sun3 LED fixtures as uplights in the corners of the shower or using Port LED fixtures 3-4 inches off the floor in the wall or tile. Use different dimmers for each fixture to set different moods and accommodate various tasks. See our other article on bathroom lighting design to read more about the importance and effects of layered lighting in bathrooms. Left – Solace Bath Bar by Tech Lighting Right – Tigris Oval Recessed Mirror by Tech Lighting Looking for more information? Our lighting experts would be happy to discuss the best vanity lighting for your bathroom. Contact us at 954-4489
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What Is The Best Lighting For A Bathroom

When it comes to interior lighting, bathrooms are probably given the least consideration of all the rooms in the house. The average client I meet doesn’t think to invest there — save it for the living room or kitchen, they say. I see a lot of baths with inadequate lighting at the mirror. Often there’s just a single ceiling fixture that’s supposed to do it all. But as the bathroom increasingly becomes a place to relax and recharge, complete with steam shower and spa tub, the lighting requires extra thought. And when it’s done right, the payoff is great. After all, this is the room where you start and end your day. A good lighting plan is a series of layers — placing ample light where it is needed for showers, shaving, or putting on makeup, for instance, while other light sources enhance the overall mood of the room. Decoding the Layers of Light Task Lighting Vanity lighting gets top consideration because these fixtures work the hardest to illuminate the head and face for grooming. The most common mistake people make is putting recessed ceiling fixtures directly over the mirror. These cast shadows on the face, making daily grooming rituals more difficult. Vertical fixtures or sconces mounted on either side of the mirror are best for casting an even light across the face. But given the size and positioning of some vanity mirrors, sidelights can be impractical (mounting them directly to the mirror is always an option, but at greater planning and cost). Only then do I suggest a fixture for over the mirror. It should be placed 75 to 80 inches above the floor and, like all vanity lighting, contain at least 150 watts — ideally spread over a fixture that’s at least 24 inches long so that the light will wash evenly over the hair and face. The shower is a secondary area of task lighting. In smaller bathrooms, if the stall has a clear glass door, a dedicated fixture may not be necessary. Otherwise, I recommend a recessed light with a glass lens (plastic will yellow). Similar recessed fixtures work well over a freestanding tub or the toilet.
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What Is The Best Lighting For A Bathroom

Other Considerations Photo by Deborah Whitlaw In this children’s bath, the vanity lights are installed at standard height; the wall-hung mirror can be raised as the kids grow. Set on a separate switch, rope lighting hidden along the vanity’s bottom edge functions as a night-light. Choosing Bulbs A crisp white light tends to render skin tones most accurately. Halogen bulbs set the gold standard. Low-voltage varieties (with a built-in transformer that converts 120 volts to 12 volts) are especially compact, and the smaller bulb gives a nice sparkling effect. Halogen bulbs cost a few dollars more than standard incandescents but can last three times as long. Many feature screw-in bases; those labeled medium-base (MB) are shaped like standard incandescents, so they fit most fixtures. The newest compact fluorescent bulbs also offer good color rendering and are up to 10 times more efficient than regular incandescent bulbs. Think Dimmers These are a lighting designer’s best friend because they grant absolute control over the lighting, and thus the mood, of the room. In a very small space like a powder room, dimming the vanity fixtures might even provide all-in-one task, ambient, and accent lighting. Plus, dimmers conserve energy. The total savings depends on how much you dim the bulb, but one dimmed just 10 percent will last twice as long as a bulb at full brightness. Today’s dimmers work for every kind of light source, though you need to know what to ask for. A 120-volt incandescent or halogen light source will need an incandescent dimmer, while low-voltage and fluorescent fixtures require their own compatible dimmers. Occasionally, dimmed bulbs will buzz as the filament vibrates. Switching to a lower-watt bulb (which has a smaller filament) should reduce or even eliminate the noise. Safety First Attention to aesthetics in the bathroom doesn’t diminish the importance of safety. Electricity and water are still lethal companions, and nowhere do they mingle more closely than in the bathroom. Always consult a certified electrician before tackling even the simplest lighting project. The National Electric Code requires all new outlets to have GFCIs, ground-fault circuit interrupters; the newer ones can be retrofitted to existing outlets. Even with a GFCI, freestanding plug-in lamps should never be placed near a sink or tub. Fixtures that are going to be within a certain distance of the tub or shower (usually 6 feet, though local codes vary) must be “wet” or “shower-location” rated. Don’t confuse this with the less rigorous “damp-location” rating that’s ascribed to most outdoor lighting.

What Is The Best Lighting For A Bathroom

What Is The Best Lighting For A Bathroom
What Is The Best Lighting For A Bathroom
What Is The Best Lighting For A Bathroom
What Is The Best Lighting For A Bathroom

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