A thoughtful, expertly designed lighting plan can provide years of beauty and functionality in your bathroom. As bathrooms gain popularity as a room designed to relax and retreat, planning lighting to complement this is more important than ever.
Here’s how to plan lighting for today’s bathroom designs.
Create a Layered Lighting Design
Design trends in the bath run the gamut from organic textures, cool coastal décor and sleek modern style. It’s essential that bathroom lighting highlights the design while creating a relaxing mood.
Plan the lighting in layers and zones: it makes it easier to decide which lights are on or off depending on the activity and the ambiance you’re trying to create. First, consider the amount of natural light the bathroom receives when designing your layered lighting approach. Bathroom settings with large windows over a tub or skylight may not need as many layers of illumination to achieve the desired effect.
Next comes task lighting. The key to lighting the vanity area is to provide the bright, shadow-free lighting at the mirror that is necessary for completing everyday grooming tasks.
Gorgeous, luxurious large shower areas are trending, and the shower zone needs to be well-lit. Install recessed downlights that are rated for wet locations to add function and highlight the design elements.
Finally, add decorative lighting that fills in dark areas and provides a stylish element to the bathroom. The bathroom isn’t just about function: a fashionable fixture such as a bold chandelier makes for a stunning centerpiece.
Regardless of your bathroom design style, lighting needs to be properly installed to look great and function well. Here are some sizing and placement guidelines for your bathroom lighting plan.
Recessed light fixtures are a bathroom staple. To space them correctly, divide the ceiling height by two. In a bath with a 9-foot ceiling, place the lights 4 1/2 feet apart. This layout provides enough light without overwhelming the space.
Install vanity lights above the mirror about 80 inches from the floor. The bottom of the fixture or shade should be three inches above the top edge of the mirror.
Side mirror lights should be placed on either side of the mirror at eye level, about 65 inches from the floor and two to three inches from the mirror’s edge. Other side lighting ideas include installing vertical bath bars or small pendants on either side of the mirror.
More Tips for Bathroom Lighting
Installing dimmers on your bathroom lights is an easy way to control the mood. Bright bathroom lighting can be harsh and obtrusive (especially when flipped on in the early morning).
As always, when it comes to electrical wiring near sources of water, be sure to check local codes and/or hire a professional electrician. They will be able to give recommendations on the placement of lights, product specifications, and the types of outlets required.
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