The Major Areas of a Bathroom Lighting Plan

First let’s consider the type of room we are creating and how the lighting design scheme will help us to achieve our vision. As you go through each area of your bathroom consider what you want to get out of it and how choosing the best light fixture will allow you to bring out the best in the room.Let’s consider function. Lighting for your bathroom needs to be of such an arrangement as to not only light the space but add personality and character to the ambiance of the room. It needs to be efficient and take as much advantage of any natural light that might be in the room. Your lighting design should allow sufficient light to be able to safely accomplish bathroom duties, but allow you to change the mood from duty lighting to relaxation lighting.The first function of the bathroom is to dress, do hair, makeup, go to the commode, perform personal hygiene functions at the vanity and sink, and relax in the shower or bath by yourself or with someone – hence the romantic part of your plan. Your bathroom lighting design will be varied for each of these areas, so let’s consider each one separately.The commode – This area is definitely an area for task lighting. There should be enough light in this area to be able to comfortably see what you are doing without a lot of glare. The light shouldn’t be so low that it is hard for your eyes to see what you are doing. This light should be a comfortable reading light. This light could be supplied by recessed lighting above the toilet, a small chandelier, or maybe a decorative spotlight over the area. The idea is to bring elegance and style to the bathroom while giving enough light to accomplish your duties and possibly some reading to pass the time.The sink and vanity – Because this area is also an area of task oriented personal hygiene you should also have specific task lighting to light it. Lighting here doesn’t need to be dull and boring. Here is where you are making yourself look presentable to the world and you need the atmosphere around you to complement the tasks you are working on. Pendant lights, chandeliers, spotlights, recessed lighting, track lighting, or wall mounted fixtures like sconces, can add style and excitement to this purely functional area of the bathroom. This area could flow into the commode area or it can have its own ambiance and atmosphere that is completely its own. In designing this area remember this is the last place you will probably visit at night before you go to bed so it needs to be able to start relaxing you. This area of the bathroom is also the first place you will visit when you get up in the morning, so it needs to be able to wake us up and invigorate us for the day. It is where we make ourselves presentable to the rest of the world and under poor lighting conditions it is hard to do.One way to allow the sink and vanity area to serve both functions of relaxing us and waking us up is to install dimmers with preset timers for the lights. Dimmers can make that atmosphere of relaxation in the evening by giving you softer more soothing light, and then in the morning it allows you to brighten up the space for the jobs that need to be done in a hurry. Dimmers can also help to set that relaxing, romantic atmosphere that full lighting just can’t achieve.The shower – The shower has its own special challenges and opportunities. It has its tasks that need to be performed, but there is nothing like a relaxing hot shower to help melt away the day and appropriate good lighting is essential to set the proper mood. The lights in the shower are generally recessed either into the ceiling or the walls of the shower. Whatever lighting you choose you must be sure that your lighting choice is U.L. approved for the shower area. It should be installed according to local electrical codes by a certified electrician. You will want the covers for these fixtures to be made of a high quality glass because plastic covers will turn yellow in the shower. Again putting a dimmer and timer on these lights will greatly improve the atmosphere in your shower and let you choose the lighting that most reflects the mood you are in at that time.The bath area – The primary function of the bath area is relaxation followed by hygiene. The lights in this area should be a mixture of all three types of lighting. There should be soft general lighting with the capability to turn on some task lighting when needed. To improve the atmosphere in the bath area you could have some accent lighting highlighting some art or a design feature of the bathroom its self. In this area you are trying to create an environment of relaxation, romance, and function. Let your imagination flow while designing this part of your room. There are so many different types of lights that could be used here to create the perfect atmosphere. Look at track lighting, chandeliers, pendant lights, sconces, and spot lights, along with anything else that catch your eye and evaluate what you think will work for you.Now that we have considered all the different areas of the bathroom to light, and what types of lighting should go into each area, put it all together into a bathroom lighting plan and let your imagination take you to different areas of discovery to see what is out there. Visit your local lighting store and have them develop a lighting design plan with you and show you what all the different lighting types look like in your plan.