Saturday, 26 March 2011

Bathroom Lighting Design

When it comes to interior lighting, bathrooms are probably given the least consideration of all the rooms in the house. The average people I meet doesn't think to invest there — save it for the living room or kitchen, they say. I see a lot of baths with inadequate lighting at the mirror. Often there's just a single ceiling fixture that's supposed to do it all.
But as the bathroom increasingly becomes a place to relax and recharge, complete with steam shower and spa tub, the lighting requires extra thought. And when it's done right, the payoff is great. After all, this is the room where you start and end your day.
A good lighting plan is a series of layers — placing ample light where it is needed for showers, shaving, or putting on makeup, for instance, while other light sources enhance the overall mood of the room.
"Good lighting is essential for people to see themselves in a complimentary light," says Todd Phillips, president of lighting manufacturer Quoizel. "Whether we are putting on makeup or combing our hair, we want a positive view of ourselves, which can only be accomplished by using the right light source."
Like the rest of the house, the bathroom reflects consumer's changing lifestyles. More spacious and multifunctional, these once utilitarian water closets have become glamour havens -- private retreats designed for relaxation, escape and self-indulgence.
The American Lighting Association (ALA) offers these tips to lighten up your next bathroom project:

    * Lighting in the shower should be bright enough for the tasks at hand. Choose light fixtures designed for use in wet areas.

    * Tubs and showers need good general light, which can be provided by a recessed fixture. To avoid glare, aim the light's beam at the outside edge of the tub.

    * Windows provide natural light and can supplement or replace artificial lighting, particularly during the day.

    * Create a night light by illuminating the floor in the toe-space area below vanities and cabinets with a linear lighting system.

    * Indirect or cove lighting can add a soft, warm glow to the bathroom.

    * Good mirror lighting, provided by warm fluorescent vertical wall sconces, provides even facial illumination.

    * A halogen light above the vanity provides cross illumination when used with wall sconces.

    * Table lamps add a soft touch to bathrooms. Place them away from water sources.

    * A decorative light fixture suspended from the ceiling provides an elegant touch while adding extra light.

    * Focused flood or halogen fixtures over the commode provide good light for water-closet reading.


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