Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

Lighting is critical to your bathroom design. When considering a bathroom install or renovation, be sure to think about the overall aesthetic you hope to achieve as well as your particular space requirements. Enter a bathroom with properly placed lighting and you’ll notice the room feels larger, taller, and more impressive.

Bathroom lighting choices can draw attention to quality design elements, bring energy into a space, and create a functionality necessary for one of the most used rooms in your home.

Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom Lighting 101: There are three types to consider as you begin your research. Rather than choose just one type, most bathrooms rely on a combination in order to achieve your design and usability goals. Each type of lighting fulfills a different function, so it’s important to determine which is best for various areas of your bathroom, keeping size and style in mind.

Ambient: Ambient lighting sets the tone of the space and is responsible for the overall illumination in your bathroom. This category may include downlights, pendants, chandeliers, and sconces.This type of lighting truly creates the overall atmosphere of your bathroom space.

Task: When you’re applying your favorite shade of lipstick or trying to get a close shave, the task lighting in your bathroom needs to hit the mark. Before installing task lighting, reflect on how you will use your space. Will you sit at a vanity to apply makeup? Do you stand at the sink to groom your beard? Light your bathroom accordingly.

Accent: Accent lighting is used in a variety of ways throughout your home, but in your bathroom it can shed light on a visually interesting piece of art or cabinetry: essentially any feature you want highlighted. Common accent lighting includes recessed spot lighting or wall lights.

Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

Once you decide which types of lights to include in your bathroom, consider which direction those lights need to face.

An upward-facing light provides ambient light and illuminates the entire room with soft light. This is a great way to mimic natural light in your bathroom.

A downward-facing light creates task lighting on your vanity, or any other space where lighting is purposeful and focused.

Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

Whether your bathroom boasts natural lighting or not, an upgraded bathroom with smart lighting placement is essential for daily life. Consider the following types of vanity lights separately or together. For example, combining a vanity light with sconces will provide both ambient and task lighting. Win-win!

Vanity Light: Vanity lights are installed directly above your mirror and may include anywhere from two to eight lights. Three bulbs are a common choice, but your selection depends on your vanity and mirror size.

Vanity Light Bar: Bath bars are similar to vanity lights but can also run vertically on either side of the mirror.

Sconces: Wall sconces are quite popular among homeowners, and there are many to choose from. Sconces are placed on either side of the mirror and contain one bulb. These can face upward or downward.

Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

Once you’ve selected your vanity lighting, you’ll want to make sure it’s positioned properly. Install a light that’s to scale with your vanity and mirror, and your bathroom will feel balanced. However, if you fall in love with a particular fixture, it’s okay to include it in your bathroom design. Style and function can, and should, co-exist. When placing wall sconces, consider installing them at eye level (at least 5 feet). This will provide the right amount of light distribution.

Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

Your lighting is in and it’s now time to select your lightbulbs. There are so many choices! You’ll notice two types of measurements for bulbs: kelvin (K) and lumens (lm).

Kelvin describes the color of a light. The higher the kelvins, the bluer and cooler the light will appear. If the kelvins are low, you’ll get a yellower and more warm-hued color. Cooler light mimics the hue of natural daylight, which is ideal for bathrooms.

Lumens measure the bulb’s brightness. The higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb. 70-80lm per square foot is a good recommendation.

Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

The options are limitless when it comes to bathroom lighting. As you can see it’s really your choice based on your design aesthetic and how you use your space.

Sconces are a great option if you plan to get ready daily at your vanity. If you place them on either side of your mirror, they ensure that no harsh shadows appear on your face. Look for shades that will diffuse the light and aren’t too bright for your eyes. If you have a small bathroom space, consider an above the mirror vanity light.

Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

Are you working with a small space? Vanity lights above the mirror will draw eyes upward and make your room look taller and brighter.

Don’t have a lot of natural light in your bathroom? Layer your lighting. Bright, white lights will open up the space. Cooler temperatures (remember those kelvins) will offer that natural lighting effect. Combine ambient and task lighting for an ideally lit space.

Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

If you’re looking for that extra something special, a bathroom is the perfect place to add a chandelier or pendant. After all, this should be a retreat. If you have the luxury of having a larger bathroom, a hanging piece in the center of your room or positioned above a tub can add the perfect touch of elegance.

Your Guide to Bathroom Lighting

Lights installed above vanities should be rated for damp or wet environments to make sure they stay in good condition and don’t have any safety risks. Shade materials like glass, acrylic, and metal do better in moist locations compared to a material like fabric, which will stain easily.

Style. Check.
Function. Check.
Safety? Check.

Ready to transform your bathroom? If you have questions about bathroom lighting for your renovation, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation! – Schedule one with our team today!


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