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Bathroom Lighting Design

Lighting makes up a small part of most bathroom plans, but for serious bathroom designers, it is one of the most demanding aspects of bathroom design. It has to be bright enough to be functional, but soft enough to relax and flatter. It also has to match your color scheme without clashing or blending in. You also need to consider safety, as you will be installing them alongside heating and water systems. The following guide should help you pick the right lighting system for your bathroom.

Start with a plan

Even the most expensive lighting fixtures are useless when installed with faulty wiring. Consult an electrician or contractor to help you plan out your overhead wiring. If your existing layout is still functional, you can simply have it rechecked for flaws before installing. But if the wiring is severely damaged or stands in the way of the heating or water system, you may have to have your bathroom rewired. A wiring plan will help you locate errors and know where it is safest to install your fixtures.

Maximize natural light

Natural light is still the best, safest, and cheapest way to illuminate, so use it whenever you can. Large windows and skylights allow sunlight to stream in and light up the entire room. Add a light-colored curtain to filter the light and cast a warm, relaxing glow. If you have small windows, increase natural light by placing mirrors opposite the windows. Mirrors reflect incoming sunlight and spread it throughout the room.

Use downlighters

Downlighters are lights that are recessed into the ceiling and point downwards. These are usually low-voltage and come in small bulbs, making them both economical and attractive. Install a series of downlighters instead of a single fluorescent tube for a softer, more even lighting. They can be blindingly bright at night, though, so use them with a dimmer.

Light mirrors from the sides

Mirror lighting can be tricky – lights have to be in the right position, angle, and brightness to be both functional and pleasing to the eye. Some of the no-nos are a strip of light at the top, daylight or fluorescent lighting, and dim incandescent bulbs. The best arrangement is a series of light bulbs installed around the perimeter, but this design is a bit dated, not to mention costly. A good alternative is to put a strip of frosted or diffused light on either side of the mirror.

Illuminate your tub

There are also underwater lights available for your bathtub. They are usually available in various colors, allowing you to set the right mood for a long, relaxing bath. Fiber optic lights are completely safe and perfect for children’s bathtubs. Make sure the wiring for these bulbs are kept safely away from the water and that the switch is tightly sealed and waterproof.

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