Setting the Mood
Artificial lighting has the power to impact the feel of your bathroom, whether it is calm and relaxing or purely functional. Lighting fixtures range from decorative classical style wall lamps to modern recessed down lighters that are simple and add a sense of purity to the scheme.
There are several types of artificial lighting: ambient, task and accent lighting. At minimum a bathroom needs two types of artificial light: the bright and lively kind that gives clear illumination and the soft, subtle, relaxing kind for those quiet moments.
Any lamps or fixtures for bathroom use must be specially made for wet environments and enclosed in sealed covers or shades to protect them from the effects of steam and condensation.
Water and electricity do not mix, so for your own well being make sure that any electrical work done in your bathroom is done by a professional or consult a qualified electrician to make sure your ideas are safe.
Ambient lighting is the regular light that fills a room so that we can see what we are doing. Frosted lights cut down on glare and harsh shadows. Down lighting, rather than aiming light at one particular part of the room, tends to give relatively consistent even light throughout the entire bathroom.
Designate a central ceiling area for ambient light; it can take the form of a central ceiling light or a central row of recessed down-lighters which are great if you need the head room.
Everyday bathroom activities require light sources that are directional and can be used to clearly light up certain areas, such as the bath, shower, storage areas and mirror. Task lighting is the strategically placed lights that we use for general grooming.
This light source should be placed at the front and both sides of your face so that you are fully illuminated. Multiple fixtures will help to soften shadows and supply a more diffuse light. When it comes to shaving, makeup application or tasks that involve close scrutiny, your lighting should offer clean, even, shadow free illumination.
Putting Your Best Face Forward When Grooming
A vertical light fixture at eye level on both sides of a mirror are a good example of task lighting and is the most flattering way to light up your face.
Tungsten, halogen and modern fluorescent tube strip lights can be used for this purpose. Mirror lights should illuminate the face of the person looking into it, not the mirror itself. Also make sure that the light does not shine directly into your eyes. Keep away from lighting the vanity area only from above since this causes unwanted shadows.
Wall lighting gives you the option of focusing light up or down, depending on your requirements for the room. Lighted wall mirrors can also help because they can be easily maneuvered and angled.
Down lighting or spot lights may be useful if your toilet or shower is in a separate part of your bathroom or behind a recessed wall where not enough ambient or natural light is available.
A dimmed down light over your tub can create an atmosphere of intimacy and relaxation. Up lighting is an excellent way of creating a sense of space and volume by reflecting the light off a white painted ceiling, heighten the roofline.
Accent lighting or feature lighting, is light used for a decorative touch to add ambiance or to feature specific aspects of design in your bathroom.
Small compact spot lights, strip lights, rope lights, lights that illuminate your shower head or bathtub or even candles, don’t give off much light, just enough to create a sense of atmosphere and glamour in your bathroom. These can also be used to highlight unusual special features, fixtures or ornamental details that add personality to the room.
Some showers and bathtubs offer built-in color therapy; fiber optic lights in your shower and bathtub that cast different colors and are said to relax or invigorate, depending on the color emitted.
The Power of Color
These colors are rotated in a cascading sequence, but if you like a certain color, you can press a button and that color stays on for as long as you like. Some studies have shown that color and light affect your mood. It is believed that warm colors fuel your mood whereas cool colors make you feel tranquil.
Some spa and whirlpool bath tubs have lights below the surface of the water so that, when they are lit, the inside of the bath tub and the swirling water is illuminated by the translucent lights bathing you in color.
Mirrors are always a great way to increase the effects of artificial lighting. Recessed ceiling lights are inconspicuous and add to the simplicity of the décor. Dimmers on the lights create mood as well as offer choice for everyone to meet their lighting requirements.
Colored shades and tinted bulbs can add a cheerful or decorative flavor to your bathroom. Light can create shadows, emphasize textures, cast patterns and add a new breadth to bathroom surfaces.
Bulbs are, as a rule measured in lumens, so the higher the lumens per watt, the brighter the bulb. Tungsten bulbs give off a warm light similar to candle light, which is flattering both to the décor and to the skin tone. Halogen emits a much whiter light which is better at rendering a bright sparkling effect to enhance surfaces such as glass and chrome.
The new generations of fluorescent lights are flicker-free and some even mimic natural daylight. Fluorescent tubes can be used close to sinks and vanity units to provide excellent light consistency.
Bathroom décor and surfaces plays a major role in lighting; darker surfaces require greater illumination whereas lighter surfaces call for less lighting. A rooms lighting can be greatly enhanced by white walls and a reflective cream ceiling.
From ornate classical to simple, recessed down-lighters, there are a multitude of bathroom fixtures to match every style of bathroom.