Bathroom lighting may not always be easy to face on an early morning, but our goal is to make your morning ritual more fun. A bathroom-lighting update is a quick way to add value and new style to any powder room, and a great way to help you get excited to get out of bed.
Bathroom Lights by the Numbers
Bathroom-lighting styles range from contemporary and classic to traditional and transitional, but many people like to choose based on the number of lights in the arrangement. Figurations that feature two-, three- or four-vanity lights are very popular, as are bath bars that contain several lights.
Single-vanity lights are also an option for lighting that flanks the mirror and vanity area rather than being mounted above it. Bathroom wall sconces may even be combined with matching overhead lighting to create a lighting ensemble that complements the space while giving you options for how much light you have and its angle of illumination - important options for when you're getting ready for work or an evening out.
Bathroom Ceiling Lighting
Bathroom ceiling lights are helpful to have when the task lighting provided by vanity fixtures won't fully provide light for the entire area. The overhead lighting may also complement the vanity lighting or strike out on its own in terms of style without throwing the overall bathroom design into disarray.
Flush mounts - lights that hug the ceiling - are very common when it comes to bathroom ceiling fixtures, but semi-flush mounts that offer a little extension can also make a dramatic and stylish statement in the bathroom.
Bathroom Lighting Plans
Bathroom lighting is far more than just decorative; it must provide you with ample light without glare so that you can prepare for your day or evening in comfort. That's why it's important to consider how your bathroom fixtures will distribute light, both in terms of angle and intensity.
One way to do that is by browsing according to installation position and how the light will shine. Many fixtures will mount in both upward and downward positions, while some are designed to only face one way.
Finish, Shade Color and Shade Material
Bathroom lighting comes in a near-infinite selection of designs that can either complement or contrast with the style of the space. Finish, shade color and shade material can be chosen to fit even the most specific design objectives.
Some people like to begin browsing by finishes like nickel, bronze or chrome and then narrow their selection by shade color or material, but there are nearly as many ways to search as there are options from which to choose.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many watts do I need to successfully light my bathroom?
Necessary wattage will vary depending on use and size, but a general rule of thumb for bathroom lighting is to use 300 watts of incandescent lighting for every 50 square feet of bathroom space.
When a light fixture is market 100 watts maximum, does that mean for each socket or for the entire light?
These markings only apply to each individual socket.
Where should I place the lights around my vanity?
For the best lighting, lights should be placed above and to either side of the mirror. One fixture should be placed above the mirror. Wall sconces should be between 60” and 66” from the floor and should be 36”-40” apart.
Why do I need ambient lighting in my bathroom? Isn’t some task lighting above the mirror good enough?
The use of ambient lighting will fill the bathroom with a warm glow and prevent shadows on your face that task lighting can create. Placing lights in different areas of the bathroom will provide the most even light for all tasks.
Can I use a dimmer in my bathroom?
Yes – dimmers are a great addition to most bathrooms. They allow you to use full light when getting ready first thing in the morning and can use less light during the day.
What are the best types of lights to use in the shower area?
Recessed down lights are best for above the shower or bath. These provide ample lighting for cleaning, shaving and reading toiletry bottles. Recessed and shielded lights will help protect the bather’s eyes from glare.
Do I need special outlets in my bathroom?
The Consumer Products Safety Commission recommends the use of “GFCI” outlets in bathrooms. These ground fault circuit interrupters can be easily installed in a household branch circuit and can prevent approximately 2/3 of the home electrocutions each year.
Electrocutions occur when a human becomes a part of the circuit for electricity. GFCI outlets constantly monitor electricity flowing in a circuit and sense any loss of current. If the current flowing does not match with the current returning, the GFCI recognizes a problem in the circuit and quickly switches off power to the circuit. A person may still feel a shock as the GFCI switches off, but it will be much less severe than the shock that would occur without a GFCI.
GFCIs can be installed by an electrician in place of a standard outlet, directly into a circuit breaker or used in portable form. GFCIs should be tested once a month and replaced if they do not work properly.