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A guide to bathroom lighting design

Interior lighting conditions of a bathroom are important both functionally and aesthetically. With bathroom designs gearing towards increased comfort, good lighting can create a desirable ambience enabling users to relax and enjoy this space. Good illumination prevents accidents on bathroom floors which are often prone to falling hazards. Read this guide to bathroom lighting design for information on types of lighting, design considerations and resources.

Types of lighting

Natural light or daylight is effective at freshening up the bathroom. Often, owners do not utilise this potential and trade it for privacy. If the bathroom has the opportunity to include windows, sunlight can be maximised by choosing window coverings which offer visual screening but which allow light. Artificial lighting is of three types: General lighting
It helps users find their way in the bathroom safely and is generally uniform. Recessed lights create shadows and can be combined with wall lighting or ceiling fixtures. A night-light installed at the toe space of vanities or cabinets can be a good safety feature as it softly illuminates the floor. Task lighting
Task lighting refers to specialised lighting designed to aid a specific task. It is common at vanities and bathroom sinks for activities like putting on make-up, shaving or flossing. Most vanity fixtures are linear and wall-mounted on the perimeter of the mirror. Some users enjoy reading lights near the water closet. Portable lamps, if used, should be placed with care to prevent accidents and electrical fires. Mood lighting Mood lighting has an aesthetic appeal and can create desired ambience in the bathroom interiors. Design of mood lighting can be highly creative and express personal style. Fibre optic lights are popular for the star ceiling effect while cove lighting creates decorative accents. Light fittings are available in a wide range and can be selected to suit the decor. Dimmer control is an excellent way to set the mood without adding fittings.

Design factors

A lighting design works best when it is responsive to the specific bathroom needs and when it addresses its configuration, activity pattern, decor and the users' lifestyle. Small-sized bathrooms should not be cluttered with too many light fittings. Lighting installations should highlight the positive features of the bathroom and not cause awkward clashes in style. Lighting should be responsive to the users. For instance, the elderly often need higher illumination levels which are free of glare.

Resources

You may consult an interior designer, architect or lighting consultant for professional expertise. In case you wish to undertake the project yourself, browse through decor magazines, lighting design stores, catalogs and manufacturers' websites for information on available alternatives. A final word You should balance creativity and practicality when designing the bathroom lighting.

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