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When Is It Time To Update Your Bathroom Lighting?

bathroom lighting
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Our bathrooms play an important role in our daily lives. It’s the place where we get the confidence we need to start the day. Additionally, it’s the sanctuary we retreat to when we need to unwind at the end of it. With that being said, would you believe that bathroom lighting is often one of the most outdated and neglected areas in homes?

Lighting in a bathroom needs to create a mood, but it also needs to be practical. If you still have a single mounted fluorescent light in the center of the ceiling, or dull, recessed lights, it’s time you consulted with an electrician to update your bathroom lighting.

What Type Of Light Does Your Bathroom Need?

Bathroom lighting does not come as “one size fits all”. To perform its function effectively, bathroom lighting needs to be layered. If you are relying on a single light source to perform all the functions, then your bathroom lights need updating. There are different types of lights and light fittings, and each has a very specific function.

Gone are the days of a single, harsh fluorescent light mounted in the center of the ceiling. Layered lighting means that each area in the bathroom needs special consideration, and each light will perform a different function.

Useful Tips To Consider When Choosing Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom lighting, especially in the vanity area, should render light as close to natural light as possible. This is usually achieved by installing cool white light bulbs with a high Color Rendering Index (CRI), preferably above 90. Light fixtures can be chosen to match your style and decor. Moreover, lights can be placed on a dimmer. This means you can adjust the brightness according to your preference and the time of day.

Choosing light fixtures with similar finishes helps to maintain unity in design. Brass and chrome finishes are very popular as they are versatile and complement most bathroom accessories. 

Apart from purely decorative purposes, specific lighting functions to consider in the bathroom are:

Task Lighting

There are two reasons you would want task lights in the bathroom. First, to see where you are stepping, Second, to see what you are doing.

Low-level under-counter or under-cabinet lights usually provide enough light to prevent accidents. If needed, water-tight light fixtures can be mounted on the shower ceiling or the wall (within a regulated distance) or ceiling near the tub. However, a more specific task light needs to be mounted at the vanity.

Vanity Lighting

The light you choose for the vanity area is very important. This is the area you use when applying makeup, styling hair, or shaving. 

The light fixture needs to provide you with a light that:

  • Is as natural as possible
  • Is bright enough, but not blinding
  • Does not cast shadows

There are very definite dos and don’ts when choosing vanity task lighting:

  • The size and shape of the mirror must work in tandem with the light fixture. For example, a round mirror cannot be coupled with a globe-style light, which will give a bold, bubbly, and geometric feel.
  • The light must not be mounted above the mirror unless it is coupled with two light sources on either side of the mirror. Lights mounted above the mirror effectively light up the top of the head and forehead but cast a dark shadow on the rest of the face.
  • To be effective, lights mounted on the side of the mirror need to be at eye level.
  • If you are also going to mount lights above the mirror, they should be centered. Typically, about one-third of the width of the mirror.
  • If you have a wide mirror or two sinks, it’s advisable to use two lights above the mirror, as well as the lights on either side.
  • If you have a narrow mirror and you want a light mounted above it, the light can extend past the mirror. However, the light should not be longer than the vanity.
  • The light bulb needs to be as natural as possible / as close to white light as possible.
  • When choosing light fixtures, remember that vanity lighting is there to enable you to effectively perform a task, not to light up the whole room.

Accent Lights

Accent lighting provides an illuminating glow and adds depth and dimension to the bathroom by highlighting attractive artwork or plants.

Depending on the design of the bathroom and the item you want to accent, accent lights can be recessed or directional. Recessed lights are mounted in a cove and cast light on an item on a shelf or windowsill. Directional lights are mounted to point directly at an item, usually an attractive plant or piece of art.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is a gentle light that fills the room, creating the mood. These lights do not provide any depth or dimension to the area. Additionally, they’re usually wall-mounted fixtures that allow the light to bounce off the ceiling. These lights should not be mounted in the center of the ceiling. Instead, they should be placed perpendicular to the ceiling, in a cove, or with wall fixtures that direct light upwards.

Decorative Lighting

The sole purpose of decorative lighting is to add interest to a space. An example of decorative lighting would be the warm glow provided by the attractive chandelier mounted above the tub.

Does Your Bathroom Lighting Need Updated? Art Can Fix It!

Are you tired of your ineffective bathroom lighting? Are you remodeling your bathroom and want an expert opinion? Contact Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric at 1-800-475-1504 today! We’re open Monday to Saturday 8 am to 8 pm and on Sundays for emergencies. You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


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