Lighting your Bathroom

  • August 1, 2019
  • Paul Reeves

A bathroom is a unique space in a home where you lock yourself away. It can be a luxurious and relaxing sanctuary yet still has to perform as a functional interactive space. There’s a lot to fit into what is a traditionally small space.

Task Lighting

Cover all the angles. Cross illumination is key in a bathroom. Having light from a number of different angles helps eliminate shadow or dark spots so when you’re going through those all important routines, you can actually see what you’re doing. Lighting from above only will cast deep shadows over your face (and age you) making applying makeup and shaving a trickier thing. Ideally place two wall lights on either side of your mirror at eye level. This will give an even distribution of light and make sure makeup can be applied with precision.

Be in Control

There are lots of factors that affect the brightness of lighting in your bathroom. Natural light. The bathroom layout. The lumen level of bulbs (light output is measured in lumen these days so don’t worrying about watts). Then depending on what you are doing you may want brighter or dimmer lighting. Nobody wants to have a relaxing soak with bright intense lights, while nobody can shave in a mirror in dim poor light. This makes the right controls essential. There are so many options in lighting controls from Bluetooth app enabled, to standard wall mounted dimmers and everything in between. The important thing is to select the option which gives you the light intensities you need, when you need them. Just be sure to check that the lights you buy will work with the control system you have in mind first.

Colour Temperature & Rendering

This is where it gets a little technical. To get the best flattering warm white lights (everyone wants flattering light in a bathroom) look for colour temperatures between 2700k* and 3000k from your light source i.e. the bulb. This colour range is ideal for bathroom tasks.

From the colour rendering side of things try to find a light source with a CRI** of 80 or higher. The closer to a 100 CRI rating the better. This makes makeup application much easier meaning the colours will look as good in daylight as they do anywhere else.

Know you IP Rating

Bathrooms are damp locations. It’s an unavoidable fact. This mean that installing anything that uses electricity has to be done with care and the fitting being installed has to include moisture protection. This is where your IP*** rating comes in. We would always suggest a minimum rating of IP44 for a light in a bathroom with a minimum IP65 if close to a water source like a shower. This is often seen as a restriction on light with many people limiting their search for lights to specific bathroom lighting. However outdoor light also comes IP rated to protect it from moisture and dust. So when shopping for bathroom light, shop by IP rating. This give so many more interesting design options, just maybe avoid the bollard lights.

We all work lots of hours so coming home to a warm relaxing atmosphere is more important than ever. Bathrooms are not just functional areas. They’re private moments of sanctuary. A place to relax. Become re-energized. Transform for the quiet night in or big night out. Having the right lighting in this crucial space enhances those private moments, making sure you are always at your best.

As always we’re here to help with any questions you might have on bathroom lighting. Feel free to get in touch with us at [email protected] or on 00353 (0)56 776 4308.

* K stands for Kelvin. This is the measure of light from warm reds to cold blues. Colour temperatures of 5000k are called cool colours with a bluish hint, while those between 2700k and 3000k are warm with a yellow/orange glow.

** CRI stands for colour rendering index. It measures how close a light source is to natural light, with a CRI of 100 matching natural daylight.

*** The IP rating or Ingress Protection rating defines the level an electrical product is sealed against outside elements.

  • Design
  • Bathroom, Bathroom Design, Bathroom Lighting, Design, Home, Interior Design, Interiors Trends, IP Rating, Light Design, Lighting
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About Paul Reeves

If you’re choosing the perfect light for your interior it’s most likely down to Paul. He has a borderline unhealthy obsession with our lighting products, apps and analytics. When Paul's not brushing up on random facts he’s honing his management skills by attempting to coach under 8’s rugby. ‘It’s like herding cats who can answer back.’