You want your bathroom lighting to serve two functions, to add ambience for a relaxing soak whilst providing adequate brightness for tasks such as washing, shaving and applying make-up. This needs to be planned to be effective and in the majority of cases suitable IP rated light fittings must be used. Good use of different types of lighting in the bathroom will ensure that you accomplish both tasks with ease. Many people spend lots of money planning the perfect bathroom layout but give little thought to the lighting scheme. This is a shame as a good combination of low level lighting to set the mood for a relaxing soak, plus strategically placed light fittings for illuminating areas where you need more light can really make a bathroom shine.
IP Ratings and Bathroom Lights
The first thing to remember is that whatever you choose must have an IP rating. IP stands for Ingress Protection, which in this case relates to water, either from a shower head or similar, or from steam. The first number relates to the impact resistance of the fitting and the second relates to its level of protection against water and steam. In both cases the higher the number the greater the protection. Full information can be found by following the link to our Bathroom Light Zones guide.
Bathroom lights are mainly ceiling mounted, wall mounted, illuminated mirrors and something to create a calming atmosphere. To achieve the best effect you should consider combining at least two of these types in your bathroom. The important thing to remember is that it can almost always never be too bright.
Bathroom ceiling lights are now available in many styles to complement every type of bathroom from ultra modern to the more traditional or period bathroom. In a smaller modern bathroom, a small flush mounted energy saving fitting is a good choice, whilst in a larger or period bathroom, a crystal fitting or chandelier may be more desirable.
Recessed down lights are becoming increasingly popular in bathrooms. They are inexpensive, versatile and you can have as many or as few as you like. They need to be chosen with care to ensure that you use the right type for its location. You can get further information by following the link to our article entitled Recessed downlights explained.
Bathroom wall lights are primarily used to illuminate an area that would otherwise be in shadow. A good example would be above or alongside a mirror or mirrored cabinet to shine on your face whilst applying make up or shaving, but not both at the same time I hope?
Bathroom mirror lights are an excellent idea and will shine directly into your face. They are available in different sizes and some even have demister pads attached to ensure that they remain clear when there is steam in the room.
Ambient mood lighting is really the finishing touch. The best example I can think of is candles around the bath whilst having a relaxing soak. This effect can be created by using low-level background illumination, normally in the form of white or coloured LED’s. A good example would be some small LED’s fitted in the bath panel, shower plinth or sunk into the floor. If you are starting your bathroom from scratch, they can be recessed into the wall around the top of the bath to create a lovely effect. LED ribbon concealed behind a pelmet on one wall can look absolutely stunning.
Plain mirrors are an excellent way of making a bathroom look brighter and larger that it is. A mirrored wall can add extra dimension to any bathroom. The careful placement of any mirror can transform a bathroom into a brighter larger space.
If you require any further help in selecting your bathroom lighting, please contact us for friendly, honest and down to earth advice.
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