The bathroom is often the first room we visit in the morning and the last one we leave before heading to bed. It is a space that accommodates a wide variety of activities, from functional tasks like shaving or applying make-up to relaxing activities like soaking in a warm bath at the end of a long day. While it may be one of the smallest rooms in the home, it requires careful planning to ensure it is a welcoming space no matter what you may need and a big part of that is the bathroom lighting. We asked the experts at Multi Lighting, a Canadian lighting retailer with showrooms in Quebec and Ontario and an online store offering Canada wide shipping, what you should consider when creating a bathroom lighting plan for your home!
Layer Your Bathroom Lighting
No matter what room you talk about, chances are you’re going to be informed that layered lighting is important and the same is true for the bathroom. This involves creating a lighting scheme that can be adjusted to different levels to accommodate for different tasks. You will want bright lighting for applying make-up or shaving but you will want softer lighting to create a spa like feel when soaking in a bubble bath. This can be accomplished by combining options including overhead or recessed ceiling lights, vanity lights and shower/tub lighting to create just the right level of light in each area. Then, install all your lighting on a dimmer to give you even more control over the level of light at any time.
Select the Best Vanity Lighting
The best option for vanity lighting is to provide symmetrical light from each side of the mirror with a fixture hung at eye level. This will provide the most even lighting and eliminate shadows across the face. The most common option is to mount a sconce or bar light on each side of the mirror. If space does not allow for this, you can mount the fixture right onto the mirror, hang pendants from the ceiling or mount sconces on the side walls, depending on your bathroom’s layout. If these options do not work for your space and an above the mirror fixture is your only option, opt for a linear fixture that provides even lighting across the mirror and avoid downlights as they often create harsh shadows.
Bathroom Lighting for Safety
Safety is also an important consideration when planning your bathroom lighting. Bathrooms, particularly the tub and shower area, are one of the top locations of slip and fall injuries in a home. Damp or wet-rated fixtures should be used in the tub/shower area to ensure it is well lit. A 3’x4′ or smaller shower can be lit with just one fixture but for a tub or larger shower area, you may need to consider two fixtures, one at each end, to provide even lighting.
Place Bathroom Lighting Effectively
When choosing the placement for ceiling lights, whether you have a decorative fixture or simple recessed lighting, you want the placement to be as effective as possible. It is important to avoid placing lights where they will shine directly down on your head. This will create harsh and unflattering shadows. Instead, place lighting so that you are lit from behind.