How to choose bathroom lighting?

The bathroom should be bright at all times of the day, whether or not it has a window, but atmospheric enough to make it easy to unwind while showering. And this will require differentiated lighting, not only functional but also decorative.

Color and power

As with any room, the bathroom should have at least two light sources. How to determine their number in the interior?

It is assumed that 1 sq.m. (11 sq ft) Requires 5 watts of power. For example, in a room with an area of 5 sq.m. (55 sq ft), the mirror can be fitted with five 5W concealed eyelets and an additional lamp. Much also depends on the interior color – in a darker one, it is better to choose more powerful bulbs or more light sources.

It is good if one of the lamps will give light close to natural. This will be partially offset by the lack of a window in the interior. Also, do not mix too many contrasting colors of light – this will create visual chaos and tire the eye.

So what color of light is best for the bathroom?

It is definitely good to avoid cold colors – the skin will be an unpleasant pale color, and the lighting will irritate, not help. A slightly cool neutral light is better, and wood and warm shades prevail in interiors – light bulbs of a slightly warm shade, which, in turn, should be avoided near the mirror, as they can distort the color of the makeup.

LED bathroom lighting

Currently, the most popular are LED lamps. Their advantage is energy efficiency and durability (they last 25 times longer than traditional bulbs). The led bulbs do not heat up, which makes them safe – touching the lamp does not lead to burns even for a long time. With less energy consumption (they use 80% less than incandescent bulbs), LED bathroom lighting can generate the same amount of light as traditional bulbs – for example, 40W corresponds to 4-6W LED.

Bathroom halogens

In turn, the light emitted by halogen lamps is close to natural, that is, healthy for the eyes. It also does not change the color of the skin or the color of items such as cosmetics. Halogens last from 2 to 5,000 hours, which is much longer than incandescent bulbs and consumes 30-50 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Fluorescent lamps, compared to traditional bulbs, consume five times less energy, and their service life is several times longer (on average, they last 10 years). Modern halogen bathroom bulbs light up quickly, also warm with a yellowish tint. However, they contain mercury and are harmful to the environment.

Lighting in a small bathroom

When preparing a light design in a small bathroom without windows, it is worth looking for ways to add additional lighting to the room. For example, you can separate part of it with a glass wall instead of full doors, install glazed or entirely of opal glass, and replace matte cabinet facades with lacquered or mirrored facades.

Basic lighting

The luminaire’s size and model, which will illuminate most of the interior, must, first of all, correspond to its surface and style. A pendant lamp with a large decorative shade is not suitable everywhere. This solution will look good in a very high interior – it will reduce the distance between the floor and the ceiling. It is also a must in elegant bathrooms, glamorous or rustic bathrooms. However, in small rooms there is a risk of water getting into electrical cables – in this case, it is better to refuse this idea.

LED or halogen spots installed at regular intervals in a false ceiling are much better suited. However, this requires adjusting the electrical installation, so it will not do without a little remodel.

An alternative would be surface-mounted luminaires – they do not need to be recessed into the ceiling. They take up little space and are great for small bathrooms. In addition to neutral fixtures in powder-coated steel cases, wooden models can also be found to bring some warmth to a sterile bathroom.

Another frequently used solution is linear fluorescent lamps hidden behind glass fittings. They light up the room fairly evenly, can be used in a shower cabin, and evoke pleasant associations with roof windows, which is especially beneficial in small rooms. Unfortunately, their disadvantage is the price and complexity of assembly.

Bathroom functional lighting

This is an important category of lamps. Thanks to them, we can efficiently perform precise actions such as makeup or shaving or take out something from a huge storage. They are not required to attract attention with their appearance, but they are most helpful in using the bathroom efficiently.

Bathroom mirror lighting

Let’s start with the mirror. This is where we most often go wrong. You need to decide on the choice of lighting in this place already at the stage of repair – it depends on how many connections you need. If you opt for one lamp above the mirror, it is best to gently diffuse the light if it has a frosted glass lampshade.

LED linear fluorescent lamps will also work well. Wall lamps with an open shade direct the light directly to the top, which creates shadows on the face – in such conditions, it is difficult to get good makeup.

The lamp above the mirror must be installed at the height of at least 170 cm (5.5 feet) from the floor, i.e., in the line of sight, so that it does not blind the eyes. The best solution is two lamps located on the mirror’s sides – the lamps will illuminate each side of the face well.

You can also buy a cabinet with recessed lighting – with a wall light, LED strips, or small dots of light. In this case, the electrical cable must be laid behind the cabinet.

The mirror is just as important as the lamp and the bulb itself. The optimal power for an ordinary light bulb is 60 W (they are, however, used less and less), and 6.5–8 W for an LED.

Remember the appropriate color – the best is natural, that is, the color 4000-5000K (the marking can be found on the lamp packaging). Another important factor is the color rendering index (CRI). It is defined on a scale from 0 to 100 – the higher it is, the more natural the colors are. There should be a 90 gauge light next to the mirror.

Cabinet lighting

What else is worth remembering? Interior lighting on a cabinet will also be useful in a bathroom, especially if you have ample storage space at your disposal. It is straightforward to illuminate the shelves with LED strips or light points. Some lighting systems start when the cabinet is opened.

If there is not enough space inside the storage compartment for a traditional switch, it can be replaced with a cable switch (but this solution is only for high furniture). If we do not want to install an additional electrical installation in the cabinet, LED lamps fixed on strips and powered by batteries will come to the rescue.

In the dark light

Let’s not forget that a bathroom is also a relaxing place where you want to relax after the day’s troubles.

So let’s create an atmosphere conducive to relaxation, and in this area, the benefits of light are invaluable.

Stores have color-changing LED strips that will give a gentle glow that will make the bathtub more pleasant when installed in a bathtub body on a floor or in decorative niches.

There are also special tiny LEDs for installation in the joint between ceramic tiles.

Their dim light will help create a pleasant atmosphere and also decorate an interior that is generally devoid of decorations.

However, you need to think about such lighting in advance at the renovation or bathroom design stage.

Waterproof luminaires – we care about safety.

Not every lamp, socket, or switch is suitable for the bathroom. Some luminaires do not tolerate moisture and water vapor well.

To use the bathroom safely, you should choose waterproof models. This information, marked with an IP waterproof symbol and two numbers, is found on the product label.

The bathroom can be divided into four zones.

  • Zone “0” is located inside the shower and bathtub or on the floor. At this stage, you will need a luminaire that can withstand full immersion in water – it must have a degree of protection of at least IP 67 at a reduced voltage of 12 V.
  • Zone “1” is a place located up to 2.5 meters above the bathtub or children’s pool – you need lamps with the IP44 symbol and voltage of 12 V.
  • Sockets, switches, or lamps located in zone “2”, that is, at a distance of 60 cm (2 feet) from the side surface of the bath, washbasin, or shower stall, may already have a mains voltage of 230 V, but you should still maintain increased water resistance and choose equipment marked IP44 …
  • Zone “3” is the safest – contact with water is the smallest here, so you can safely choose lamps with the IP21 symbol, operating from 230V.
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