Lighting for Different Rooms in the House: The Bathroom

Choosing lighting for different rooms in the house isn’t as straightforward as you may think. You should consider each room’s purpose and layout when deciding what types of fixtures to use and where to place them. Start out by identifying what you need for your lighting to do for you in that specific room.

Is Your Bathroom Up to the Task?

For many, task lighting–illumination for a specific purpose–is the most important aspect of lighting the bathroom since it is where we perform tasks related to grooming and cosmetics-application. Lighting at a vanity mirror should neither diminish nor idealize your image. When it comes to bathroom task lighting, just like Goldilocks, we need it to be just right.

In smaller bathrooms, it is not uncommon for the only light fixture to be placed over the vanity–this can actually detract from your reflection. A sole source of light over the mirror casts unflattering facial shadows on those standing below it and that can make applying makeup accurately a challenge and lead to more shaving nicks than necessary.

There are several solutions to this problem. Installing eye-level sconces on both sides of the vanity mirror will balance the light level and reduce shadows by providing cross-illumination and diffusing soft light. Hanging pendant lights from the ceiling on opposite sides of the mirror or placing lamps on each side of the vanity has a similar effect. (Note: Bathroom lamps should only be plugged into GFCI-protected receptacles.) By ensuring both sides of a mirror are equally lit you’ll see a more realistic reflection.

Here are some more tips to consider when lighting your bathroom:

  • Soften The Strip

    Strip lights put off a harsh glare, which washes out the complexion. Choose frosted bulbs for strip fixtures–they cause less glare than clear bulbs and they soften the light in the room.

  • Maximize Your Mirror

    If you are lucky enough to have a window in your bathroom, place a mirror opposite from it to bounce and “multiply” natural ambient light.

  • Ace Ambient Lighting

    Recessed spotlights or halogens are highly effective for providing ambient light in the bathroom. (Note: Any fixture located over a tub or a shower enclosure must be vapor-proof and approved for use in a wet location.)

  • Buy the Best Bulb

    Skin looks best when bathed in warm light, making incandescent bulbs and fluorescent bulbs with color correction ideal for the vanity area.

  • Get Ready for Your Close Up

    A lighted magnifying mirror is an inexpensive way to add task lighting for shaving or applying makeup. A fixture or lamp with a swing arm positioned near the mirror can also help illuminate these tasks.

To learn more about effectively lighting different rooms in your house, please Contact Us.