How to Light a Bathroom
Though the bathroom is not used as often as, say, the living room or the kitchen, lighting it properly is still in your best interest. Providing good, flattering light in every room of the house is important, especially when you're getting ready to go out and want to make sure you look your best, or if you're using your bathroom as a minor triage unit for treating small cuts, scrapes and other boo-boos. Here's how lighting can help your bathroom help you.
Bathroom Lighting Basics
First, consider the temperature of your lights. No, that doesn't mean how hot a bulb feels when you touch it. In this case, color temperature refers to how white a light source is. The Kelvin temperature scale is used to measure color temperature. Light sources that produce a bluish-white light will have a higher color temperature and their yellowish-white light counterparts have a lower color temperature. For the best lighting experience in your bathroom, look for high color temperatures in your bulbs.
Bulbs are also rated on their ability to be as true to daylight as they can be. That's called the color rendering index, or CRI, rating. In the bathroom, you want to look great and get the truest color rendering you can--especially for tasks like shaving, putting on makeup and seeing colors in the best light--so you will want to look for bulbs with high CRIs and high color temperatures. For artificial lighting sources, a CRI of 85 to 90 is great. The highest score, 100, is reserved solely for daylight because that's the ideal source of light.
Bathroom Lighting Methods
If you want to move away from lighting a bathroom by putting a row of bathroom vanity lights above the mirror, try mounting sconces or pendants next to the mirror instead. Think about looking at sconces or pendants finished with pewter, nickel or brass or matching the color to your other bathroom fixtures (although you are welcome to mix metals, too!). Some sconces even have adjustable arms to give you light where you need it most and others look like candles, but won't burn down your house.
Think of it this way: just using a row of lights above the mirror to light your bathroom is not exactly flattering. It lights up some areas, but not others, which won't help you when you really need all the light you can get.
If you do prefer the way a bath vanity light looks in your bathroom, or you cannot use the sconce method, there are still a lot of choices that will look great and endure for years to come instead of falling by the wayside and immediately looking outdated. (Most people buy bath lights to keep for about a decade, after all.) Still, if you go this route, do try to combine the over-the-mirror light with other sources of illumination as well. Again, it's for your benefit!
For a glamorous experience, try putting in a mini chandelier, also known as a chandelette. Not all chandeliers are massive statement pieces meant for entryways or large rooms--these mini chandeliers are a great idea for any space! Plus, not all chandelettes are created equal. Many of them follow trends like modern, minimal, organic and so on, so you're sure to find one that fits your decor perfectly. Remember: the higher a fixture is hung, the smaller it appears, and chandeliers should be hung about seven feet above the floor of the room. Please make sure to follow electrical code when considering chandelier placement--you usually cannot place one directly over a bathtub, for example.
Lighting Your Bathroom
No matter how big or small your bathroom is, you can find lighting solutions to make it the best it can be. Homeowners are making bathroom renovations a top priority, so implementing good lighting is a very important part of making sure you get the best bathroom for your buck.
If you need more advice or are ready to get started, contact us, call our lighting specialists at 1-866-688-3562 or click here to browse all of our bathroom lighting solutions. You may want to read our Bath Lighting Buying Guide for further information, too. You can also sign up for our newsletters.
Emma Harger-Young - Lights Online