How-To Articles

How to Light your Bathroom

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HOW TO LIGHT YOUR BATHROOM

Your bathroom is one of the most functional spaces in your home so ensuring that it has the right type of lighting is essential. Good lighting in the bathroom is not only functional though – well-considered lighting can take your bathroom’s overall aesthetic from drab to fab with the flick of a switch.

Ambient Lighting

Ideally, your bathroom’s main source of light should come in the form of downlighters. If you’ve decided to go with this option then be sure to choose sealed, waterproof downlights for above the shower as constant exposure to steam can lead to electrical problems further down the line. This said, downlighters are costly. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option then a circular, sealed fluorescent fitting is the way to go. These offer sufficient light for good visibility and don’t use much electricity. This is also a clever option if the bathroom light in your home gets left on throughout the night for the little ones.

Mirror Lighting

Bathroom mirrors and good lighting go hand-in-hand. The most important thing about mirror lights is that they need to work to make your face look even and shadow-free for the most accurate reflection of yourself. To achieve this shadow-free look, shine the mirror light towards your face instead of shining the light onto the mirror and straight back at you, as you would with a painting. Instead of reflecting the light glare of the fitting, the image reflected in the mirror will be beautifully illuminated.

If the mirror is square, rectangular or round then luminaires on either side of the mirror will illuminate your reflection best. If the mirror is diamond or octagonal in shape then it is advisable to light the mirror from above. Tilted lights on either side of the mirror are guaranteed to give you the best effect. They need to be installed with precision though and work best if positioned as close to the wall on either side as possible.

Cabinet Lighting

Shine a light on your morning and evening routine by installing lighting in the cabinet under the sink. Under-counter lighting or LED strip lights work well here. You may also want to consider placing a battery-operated touch light in this space. It will come in handy in the event of a power outage.

Heaters and Extractor Fans

It is often necessary to have an extractor fan in the bathroom to draw out the steam from the bath and shower, especially when there is little or no natural ventilation. An extractor fan serves the added purpose of protecting electrical components, an important safety measure.

As an extractor cools the bathroom slightly, a heater warms it up. Bathroom heaters are most effective if positioned close to where you stand when you get out of the bath or shower. There are two main options for heating this space. A directional infrared heater will warm you up and also help you dry off quickly. These usually have a light fitting too, which makes them useful as a dual-purpose feature. The second option for heating the bathroom is a bar heater. These are great for warming the whole space, but they take a while to heat up so may not the best option if you bath or shower very quickly, unless it is switched on well before you take that bath or shower.

Sensor Lights

Spaces that are used infrequently, such as a guest bathroom, call for sensor lights. These lights only come on when movement is detected and remain on for a set period of time. Sensor lights are programmed to only turn on when the light levels are low so they are excellent energy savers too.