Bathroom lighting, an underlit mirror detail
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Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom lighting is about delivering great lighting that can be, by turns, glamorous, relaxing, calming and functional.

This is an area where early planning and tight integration with the building or renovating work is an absolute must to get the best results.

The bathroom can often be a comparatively small room but the range of lighting requirements can be one of the widest in the house.  Usage and needs drive lighting design.  The bathroom is used for the early morning shower and the relaxing late night soak.  It needs great lighting for putting on make-up or shaving.  It needs to be as user-friendly for kiddies’ bathtime as for an adult spa-type bath so bathroom lighting needs to be flexible and functional

Linear LED fitting throwing light across tiling in a modern bathroom

Consider flexibility when designing bathroom lighting

You can achieve the flexibility needed in a bathroom scheme by using sufficient circuits.  The ability to alter the light intensity of each circuit individually makes lighting control an important consideration. This is a room where good colour rendering is more important than many other rooms.  This places the quality of light as a priority which in-turn drives careful selection of light sources.  Finally, the bathroom can be a space for everyday luxury or a bit of “me time”; there is often the opportunity to have fun with accent lighting alongside the important task and ambient light.

Colour temperature, colour rendering accuracy, output and dimming combine to all play a part in delivering beautiful flexible lighting for bathrooms.

MIrror lighting and ground recessed LED accent lights in a modern bathroom

Integrating bathroom lighting into hard surfaces requires forward planning

Designing fittings into different hard surfaces of the bathroom is a great opportunity for stunning looks.  However it needs early planning.  Integration requires detailed design and consistent communication between the different parties involved in designing and fitting the bathroom.

The uplighting for this striking modern bath was designed and templated early in the design phase of the build.  The cabling and installation points were installed ahead of the screed being laid.  Finally, 18 months later the bath was installed.  The look is striking but this sort of effect does require a joined up approach from the construction and design teams.

Don’t compromise with poor quality mirror lighting

The same bathroom shows an example of building bathroom lighting into the fabric of the room to give highly functional light and a stunning look.  Great make-up lighting requires shadow-free coverage and accurate colour rendering.  Downlighters alone are unlikely to offer the even light required.  Off the shelf cabinetry frequently uses low quality fluorescent or LED lighting with poor colour qualities. A more flexible alternative is to install good quality lighting around or onto the mirror itself.  This allows greater choice around fittings, still gives a beautifully integrated look and provides the high quality light needed.