Bathroom lighting

iStock_000016983020_bathroom smallerThe bathroom is where we all get ready to start our days. It’s where we shower, shave, put on our makeup and check out our clothing before heading off to school or work. Since we spend so much time focusing on our appearance there, it is important that the lighting be impeccable.

There are a few different kinds of bathroom lighting that can be used in the bathroom, but the first we’ll discuss is vanity lighting.

Vanity lighting is arguably the most important because it surrounds the mirror making grooming easier. To cast an even light across the face, it is best to have vertical fixtures mounted on each side of the mirror. However, that can sometimes be difficult or impractical to install, so the second best option is a fixture over the mirror. The fixture should be:

  • 75 to 80 inches above the floor
  • Contain at least 150 watts
  • Ideally, be spread over a mirror that’s at least 24 inches long

Ambient lighting is used as a substitute for natural light and is usually a central fixture on the bathroom ceiling.  If you want to play around with this sort of lighting and get creative, you could try using a pendant lamp, chandelier or cove lighting for this.

Accent lighting is used to highlight certain aspects of the bathroom. It’s a spotlight aimed at a piece of art or fixture that draws your eye to it and makes it more aesthetically pleasing.

Now, with any kind of lighting, safety is always a concern. This is especially important in bathrooms because there is a greater chance water and electricity could come into contact. To avoid this deadly concoction, follow these guidelines to ensure safety:

  • Consult a certified electrician before going forward with any bathroom lighting project
  • Make sure new outlets have GFCIs as required by national electric codes
  • Make sure freestanding lamps are not plugged in near a sink or tub
  • Fixtures that are within a certain distance of a tub or shower must be “wet” or  “shower-location” rated, which is not to be confused with a “damp-location” rating