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.

The Five Classical Portrait Lighting Set Ups

The options that a photographer has to light a person’s face and body are many. You may use different types of lights such as parabolic or diffused and you may position them in endless combinations. There are however, five basic set ups that photographers use over and over again, the Rembrandt, the split lighting, the broad lighting, the butterfly lighting and the loop lighting. Here we will describe each one, break down the set ups and give you tips on how to apply them in the optimal manner.Rembrandt LightingThis lighting set up is named after the famous Dutch painter who was famous for his low key and high contrast lighting style. This is also a great lighting set up for beginner photographers who don’t have many lights yet in their studios. The reason is, you basically only need one light or two for this set up as it doesn’t use any shadow fill or just a little. It is a simple one light set up that creates a chiaroscuro effect with only one side of the face well lit and a small triangle of light on the other side.To set up a Rembrandt lighting set up, first place a key light at about 45 degrees from your subject and slightly above the subject’s head. As the subject faces the camera, if you position the light at the right angle, you should see the small triangle of light on the opposite side of the subject’s face. Make sure the triangle of light is not too big and doesn’t pass the length and width of the eye and nose. If it does, adjust the light accordingly. Now that you have a nice contrasty image, it’s time to think about the fill. The point of this set up is to go easy on the fill, or even avoid it. However, that depends first of all on what type of key light you are using and also your style, how much you want to push the chiaroscuro effect. Many photographers use just a reflector or bounce to gently fill the shadows but some photographers also just like to use a smaller and softer lighting fixture. So, move your lights around and try different looks but remember, this set up is about achieving a dramatic look and keeping it simple.Split LightingSplit lighting is similar to Rembrandt type of lighting but even more dramatic. Another term used for this type of lighting is “side lighting”, used a lot in film noir cinematography. To achieve this look, just place your main light all the way to the side of your subject. The image will have one side well lit and the opposite in shadow. Then it’s up to you how much you want to add detail to the shadows. Just place a second light to the opposite side of lit area of the subject’s face and adjust the distance. By placing the fill far away from the subject, you’ll be able to add just the right amount of the detail. If you place the light too close, then you’ll end up losing the side lighting effect. You may also add a background light and aim it to your background. This will help separate the subject from your background and will give you a three dimensional image.Broad LightWith this set up you don’t really need to change the position of your lights much, compared to Rembrandt or split lighting. The reason it is called “broad light” style, is because the longer side of the subject’s face is lit. All you need to do is to have your subject face away from the light, which most of the times is positioned at 45 degrees from the subject. The subject’s chin, however, will turn to the opposite direction from the light, therefore the subject’s face from his/her nose to his/her ear will be well lit. So, is very easy to go from Rembrandt style to broad light style by just moving the position of the subject. Also, remember you may have the subject’s face in broad light style but have the body in Rembrandt style by just having the body face away from the light. If, on the other hand, the body faces the light, then it will be broadly lit.Butterfly LightThis type of lighting is also called “Paramount Lighting” because it was popular back in the 1930s in Hollywood. And the reason is called “Butterfly light” is because the light is positioned right in front the subject but at a steep angle facing down, therefore creating a shadow right underneath the subject’s nose that resembles a butterfly. The recommended angle is usually between 25 and 70 degrees. It is considered a beauty lighting set up, mostly for women, and also it works best with people with pronounced cheekbones and a lean figure as slight shadows are created right below the cheekbones. Also remember you may position a bounce board below the subject as a fill. This will give a beautiful glow to the subject’s face.Loop LightThe loop light style is just a slight variation from the Paramount light. All you have to do is move the light to one side, usually to the right of the camera, but still have it at a high angle. This style, because of the shadows it creates, gives a sense of depth that other styles don’t have. The reason is called looped lighting is because of the shadow that is created under and to the side of the nose that is loop-shaped.So now you have it. These are the most used lighting set ups for portraits. The more dramatic Rembrandt and split lighting, the more flattering broad light, and the beauty shots Paramount and loop lights. Too many choices? Well, always remember, find your style, try them out on different subjects. The more and more you practice you’ll also discover that most of the times the best style is the one that suits the subject the best. Every person has something in their features that makes them stand out. Choose the right lighting for each person so that you enhance those features and you’ll always get those beauty shots!