Choosing the lighting for a bathroom is a big decision which requires a little foresight and planning. From aesthetics and style to functionality and safety, there are a number of factors to consider when selecting bathroom lighting that delivers both practically as well as visually.
One of the main aspects to consider, is bathroom lighting safety, which is of paramount importance, and why it is always recommended that a trained electrician installs any new bathroom lighting. There are a number of regulations to adhere to, including IP rating, which measures the likelihood of steam or water accessing the light fitting, placements of fixtures within the different zones of bathrooms, and the general suitability of lighting fixtures and fittings for bathrooms.
Bathrooms are predominantly bathing spaces… So why is good bathroom lighting such an important aspect of the design?
Often in smaller rooms, or if the bathroom is in the middle of the home, there may very little, and sometimes even no source of natural light. In this scenario bathroom lighting will often be selected as a substitute for natural light. This means that it needs to do more than simply brighten the room, and so several light sources are likely needed to cover various tasks and functions.
Bathrooms are where we do a lot of preparation for the day – from makeup to shaving, to hair, we need to be able to see clear detail (and often on a microscopic level!) Decent lighting will make these jobs a lot easier to do!
From an interior design perspective, better bathroom lighting can immediately transform a space, and it also helps draw attention to certain aspects of a room.
You can save on the cost of energy by investing in decent lighting solutions. By selecting energy efficient lighting such as LED’s, you will use less power consumption which means that the lights will last a lot longer, prolonging their use as well as protecting your wallet a little in the process.
Bathroom dimmer switches are also an energy efficient option, as even on their brightest setting they use significantly less electricity than a standard light switch. As well as adding a subtle ambient glow, dimmers can also help with the adjustment of your eyes between darkness and light – a gentle way to ease into those dark winter mornings!
So now we’re fully versed in what is so amazing about great bathroom lighting, what are the different types, and why do we need them?
If you have begun your research into bathroom lighting, you may have noticed that there are a broad range of different types on the market. The key thing to note is to use lighting to layer and highlight different zones of the room, enhancing experience and functionality of those areas dependent upon their usage.
- Recessed spotlights
Spotlights sit within the ceiling so that the lightbulb is flush with the ceiling surface. By positioning spotlights equally throughout the bathroom, you can ensure that the room is evenly lit for general lighting use. They’re a great option for smaller spaces, since they don’t encroach into the bathroom itself at all.
- Short bathroom ceiling lights
If space is not an issue, ceiling lights make great alternatives to recessed spots. Choose a short ceiling light that sits up to and over the ceiling fitting to light the bathroom as a whole.
- Bathroom ceiling chandeliers
Used to enhance a space visually and add a little luxurious elegance, a chandelier is a great option for adding a show-stopping statement to larger bathrooms.
Top tip >> Before hanging chandeliers, ensure that you check the weight and bathroom suitability first.
- Bathroom wall lights
Often positioned to frame the sides of a mirror, wall lights are frequently selected for their decorative qualities as well as for their functionality. Usually chosen to add a soft glow to a room, they’re an ambient addition that has the additional use of helping brighten the space.
Top tip >> Since many bathrooms are tiled, the installation of wall lighting fixtures and fittings always needs to be planned intricately as selecting the wrong position can have costly implications.
- Bathroom mirror lights
Used to enhance and illuminate a bathroom mirror, bathroom mirror lights can usually be found around the edge of the mirror frame. Depending upon the design, the lights are positioned to the sides, top or bottom of the mirror and can emit anything from a soft glow to stronger lighting appropriate for such tasks as the application of makeup and shaving. Whilst not designed to be the primary or sole light-source of a bathroom, they do provide optimal lighting for beauty regimes.
Top tip >> Consider how bright you need your lighting to be. For example, do you require strong, focussed light directed to one specific area, or perhaps it’s more of an overall glow to enhance the whole room? Brightness is measured in Lumens, so it is a good idea to take the time to check and compare the Lumens across different LED lights.
Once you have established the type of lighting that you would like for your bathroom, another key consideration is the temperature of light.
By temperature we mean how ‘cool’ (blue toned) or ‘warm’ (yellow toned) a light is, which is measured in Kelvins (K).
Generally speaking, a warmer light (around 3000 Kelvins) will emit a gentle, more flattering and even glow – ideal for photographs and for assessing how you may look in an environment with softer light. Cooler, more natural lighting (around 5000 Kelvins) provides a more intense, harsher light, and is therefore more suitable for tasks such as makeup application as it provides a true reflection of detail and colour.
So, which is better?
The temperature of the light is therefore an important decision to make when it comes to installing lighting. Ideally, if you are looking for both task lighting in the bathroom and would also like the ability to be able to see how you would look in varying lighting environments, then it may be worth considering illuminated mirrors that have the benefit of being able to switch between different lighting temperatures.
The best of both …
All our UK manufactured mirrors use CCT (corrective colour temperature) LED lighting, which enables the user to flip between 3000K and 5000K, meaning that you can quickly see your reflection in different lighting scenarios and feel better prepared for your day (or night) ahead.
Colour corrective temperature lighting also means that you can mimic the natural light of a day, by setting it to 5000K for the cooler light of a morning (an ideal setting to gradually wake you up for a morning shower!) and you can then change it to 3000K to appear warmer for the evenings – ideal to create a calming atmosphere for bedtime. This can be especially helpful in supporting and enhancing circadian rhythms, and for helping children with night time routines too.
Design your bathroom lighting to coordinate with your interior.
Lighting a bathroom needn’t only be about the technical aspects of design. There are also ways to add more colour to an interior, solely with clever lighting. If you are looking to add pops of colour as well as better lighting, then it is worth considering colour changing LED lights.
Ultra-versatile dual white LED lights, coupled with our Spa Mode lighting can instantly and dramatically change the look of the interior simply with the flick of a switch. Used within many of our mirrors, you can quickly and easily control the light colour of a room and therefore the mood and aura too.
For example, if your bathroom is all white, you can inject colourful yellow and orange lights to add warmth and a welcoming feel for visitors.
Calming blues and greens can add a spa-like sanctuary feel, perfect for relaxing baths and R&R.
To find out more about lighting options within our mirrors, take a look at the collection here