Design Dilemmas: The Bathroom

Bathroom lighting is often at the bottom of the decorating priority list in comparison to the other rooms of your home. But when you get right down to it, the bathroom is the first place you go to in the morning and can set your mood for the entire day. You might not want to spend your extra dollars on a small room, but take a few minutes to understand the value of its importance. Light, particularly daylight, is what sets our circadian rhythms for the day, which plays an important part in your overall health. Helping you see clearly is also critical for your family’s safety, since the bathroom can be prime real estate for a nasty slip and fall. Bathrooms are spaces for multiple uses and need to be properly lit for those various tasks.

So let’s cut to the chase, a single fixture just doesn’t cut it anymore! When you’re thinking about bathroom lighting, take into consideration…

Task Lighting:

  • It’s a priority! Vanity lighting should be at the top of your list because these fixtures work the hardest to illuminate your face when grooming.
  • You can also try lighting from the side with sconces – you don’t want to cast too many shadows on your face.
  • Overhead lights should be a minimum of 24” long for best light coverage.
  • Secondary task lighting in the shower in the form of a recessed light with glass lens is perfect, and avoid using plastic as it breaks down and yellows over time.

Ambient Lighting:

  • Use mood lighting to substitute natural light whenever need be, these would include central fixtures, pendants, and chandeliers. Ambient lighting helps to create a warmer, softer ambience by offsetting the bright glow of task lighting.
  • Set the mood for your relaxation times with the installation of a dimmer.

What to Avoid:

  • Low task lighting – opt for 150 watts.
  • Warm bulbs for task lighting – use pure white, they’re more accurate.
  • Avoid any fabric, it tends to discolour over time.
  • Don’t opt for the value fixtures, pick something that works with your space and performs the job you need it to.

Final thoughts, do not overlook enclosed toilet areas, storage areas, tubs and showers in your lighting plan. Got kids? You might also want to provide a light source in the bathroom that can also can be used as a night-light!