Bathroom Lighting Considerations
Choosing the best lighting options and fixtures for your bathroom is an important consideration in planning your bathroom remodel. Certain kinds of light, light intensity and light fixtures will be best suited to your needs in various areas within the bathroom, especially if you are remodeling a large bathroom.
Here are a few tips on choosing lighting for a bathroom:
- Natural light is ideal in a bathroom. A good source of natural light, such as a window or a skylight (or roof window) will provide the light needed without energy use for artificial lighting.
- Natural light is often preferred for make-up application. For this reason, it makes sense near a dressing table or a vanity.
- An operable window (one that can be opened) also provides natural ventilation without the cost or the energy required to use an exhaust fan.
- Bright light is desirable around showers and tubs because it makes it easier to see water on the floor that could cause a slip and fall.
- Natural light can reach farther into the room if partitions are made of translucent glass blocks or panels.
- Brighter light is generally preferred for shaving and personal hygiene, and thus makes sense near sinks and vanities.
- Light fixtures used in bathrooms should be moisture-proof to prevent damage to wiring.
- Any light fixture used in a shower should be one designed for use in a high-moisture area.
- Lights directed toward the ceiling will make the room appear larger.
- Using compact fluorescent bulbs in bathroom fixtures will last longer and save energy.
- Choosing energy-efficient light fixtures will save energy and might qualify for a tax credit or a utility rebate (depending on your locality).
- Lighting a vanity area from above will cause shadows.
- Unless your bathroom is very small, some sort of ceiling-mounted lighting will probably be necessary.
- Dimmer switches are a great idea for general lighting in any bathroom. If you want to create a subtle mood, you can dim the lights.
- Lighting placed to illuminate mirrors should light both sides of the face and should total at least 120 watts.
- If you want whiter light in your bathroom which best approximates sunlight, you should choose fluorescent, halogen or xenon bulbs. Although more expensive than incandescent bulbs, these are more energy-efficient and they last longer.
Thinking carefully about how lighting can work with your design and the specific needs of your family in various areas of the bathroom can make a big difference in your comfort in the bathroom, your energy-savings, and the choices you make in lighting for your remodeled bathroom. We hope these tips will help you make the best choices for your needs.