Bathroom Lighting Guide

Bathroom lighting and light design is given the least importance when it comes to home interior lighting. Most people pay attention to lighting in the living room or the kitchen. So, most of them just have a ceiling light fixture in their bathrooms.

Modern day bathrooms are more than just a bathroom. They have become a place for relaxation with vanities such as steam shower and bathtub. Considering the fact that most of us start and end our days in the bathroom, it pays to invest in your bathroom improvement project for the right and the best possible lighting fixture.

A good bathroom lighting design and fixture can change the whole look and experience of your bathroom. Modern and comfortable bathrooms need ample light for satisfying shower, shaving and even for putting makeup. Good lighting in your bath can change the whole look of your bathroom.

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Astro 0440 Galaxy 2 Light IP44 Switched Bathroom Mirror Light, Ocean Lighting Ltd, UK

Types of bathroom lighting

When it comes to bathroom lighting options and choices, there are three options available:

1. Ambient – General lighting that takes the place of daylight.
2. Task – Lighting for specific jobs such as applying make up or shaving.
3. Accent – Adds texture to your bathroom.

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Bathroom lighting fixture options include: ceiling lights, recessed lights/down lights, wall lights, spotlights, over mirror or shaver lights.

Bath and Vanity (bath bar): These fixtures house two or more bulbs and are installed over the mirror and sink. You can use several bulbs depending on the length of your mirror or sink.
Sconces: These can be added to the sides of your bathroom mirror. They provide light on your face without any shadow. These are good when you are shaving or doing makeup. They are decorative lighting and add beauty to your bathroom.
Ceiling Lighting: The illuminate the whole bathroom and can be used when your are taking shower or bath.

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Endon EL-20043 4 Light Bathroom Ceiling Light Polished Chrome IP44, Ocean Lighting Ltd, UK


Recessed Down Lights: These lighting fixtures are pre-wired and grounded to their own housing boxes. When instilling this fixture, make sure you leave several inches of clearance above the ceiling. If you have a small bathroom with less space, go for low-clearance fixtures.
New-work units: These are used at places with easy access.
Surface-Mounted Fixtures: These are mounted directly to a housing box and hence they demand lesser space. Under-counter task lights are also available that you can easily plug into any nearby receptacle.
Track Systems: These fixtures are mounted to the wall or ceiling. Tracks fixtures can also accommodate pendant fixtures, clip-on lamps, and low-voltage spotlights, and most standard lighting fixtures.

Most bathroom lighting professionals and experts suggest to choose the bulb first and then the fixture. This helps to make the perfect and right combination of light and fixture. Most popular choices for bathroom lighting bulbs include – CFL or fluorescent lamp, quartz-halogen, and incandescent lamps. New trend is towards full-spectrum “natural” bulbs.

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Design by Osborn Architects

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