The bathroom is a multi functional room and to get the most out of it, you should spend some time considering which types of bathroom lighting will work best with your bathroom design. Getting the lighting right for a bathroom requires the right balance between lighting all the fantastic materials to be found in a bathroom, such as marble, porcelain and stainless steel and not creating too much glare from all the reflective surfaces. If you are planning your bathroom from scratch, make sure the lighting design is one of the first things you consider so that you can make sure all the wiring is in the right position before any tiling takes place.
Of course, bathroom lighting must comply with European safety regulations and should therefore be designed and manufactured for use in the bathroom. All light fittings should be entirely encased, double insulated and the bulb and all metal parts should be covered. Light switches must have a pull cord, or if the switch is conventional, it should be located outside the bathroom. There are broadly three categories of bathroom lights. Task, accent and ambient lighting should all be provided for. A layered approach works best at incorporating them all to the best effect.
Task lighting is generally required at the vanity unit and/or over the sink for shaving and make up application. Accent lighting should be used to highlight areas of interest such as architectural features, pictures or interesting bathroom fixtures. Ambient lighting is delightful for a relaxing bath and can be created to great effect with down lights. All the different types of light should be controlled separately to give you control over how much and what type of light you need depending on activity.
When lighting a mirror, use a row of bulbs all the way round instead of a strip of light across the top. A single strip of light creates shadows and if the light is too soft, you will not be able to see well enough. Down lights placed in the ceiling create a nice effect on the walls and cast light onto the surface below, so look great reflecting off water and glass. A false ceiling hides any wiring easily and a dimmer switch placed outside the bathroom is a great way to control the brightness of the room. Get creative with fibre optic lighting that can be used underwater to fantastic effect. Don't forget to make sure the shower cubicle receives enough light with the door closed. If your cubicle won't receive enough light, try a pressure mounted waterproof light that can be placed inside the shower door.
There is much greater choice in bathroom lights today as technology has enabled a wider variety of safe lighting for the bathroom environment. As well as fibre optics, halogen bulbs have enabled home lighting designers to get more creative with fixtures and designs for the bathroom. Wall lights, sky lights, recessed lights and even table lamps are all possible in the bathroom, creating a space that is more than functional; it is also a delight to spend time in.
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