Different lighting options for the bathroom
When it comes to bathroom lighting, all that glitters is gold, despite the cynical maxim. You can make your bathroom a golden real estate asset by installing lighting fixtures that will create an exponentially more functional and beautiful space.
A well-lit bathroom should have five types or sources of light—vanity lights, ambiance lights, night lights, spot lights, and general overhead lights.
Vanity lights are vital. A lovely set of sconces hung on either side of the vanity mirror provide the best lighting for grooming and makeup application. If you have a long mirror, consider adding an additional light source in the middle of the mirror. Hang these lights about five-and-a-half feet from the floor, level with the approximate middle of the mirror’s height. When choosing sconces, eliminate options that will be affected by age, such as plastic, to get the most for your money. Use LED lightbulbs in these fixtures as they will emit continuous light, eliminating flickering or strobing. A 150-watt or higher white lightbulb will create the best lighting for this feature.
Ambiance lights remove dark corners or highlight your desired focal point to create a cozier space. Under cabinet lights will spotlight the vanity, giving a clean, high-end feel to the space while lights hidden behind molding in the ceiling will make the bathroom feel bigger. Setting these lights on a dimmer switch allows you to be playful with the mood, from bright and energizing to dim and relaxing. Some companies even add speakers to their lights, allowing you to set the mood through light and music from your smartphone.
Night lights are not just for kids. If a quick trip to the toilet in the middle of the night means searching for a light switch, stubbing your toe on the door, and having your retina seared by the shockingly bright lights, chances are very good that you will not be able to get back to sleep very easily. Adding soft lights around your baseboards will provide you with a gentle guide to navigate you safely around the bathroom. Getting a light switch with a built-in nightlight is also wise; setting under-cabinet ambiance lights on this switch would give sufficient yet indirect light, which is important for keeping your brain sedate. Installing lights within cabinets will also help you find what you need in the night with little effort. When choosing night lights, avoid white light, or light bulbs that will be directly visible as these will wake your brain, making it harder for you to get back to sleep.
Spot lights are important for adding extra light to the dim-yet-functional spaces like above the toilet or shower. An earthy alternative like installing a skylight or windows near the ceiling in these places would be effective during daylight hours. Because these lights will be exposed to a lot of moisture and dust, it’s important to choose a fixture that will not hold water or trap allergens. Pod lights work very well for this reason. One smart company has even designed pod lights that double as an ionizing air-sterilizer to keep bacteria and mold from forming around these moisture-intensive areas.
General overhead lights
General overhead lights serve the purpose of simply lighting the “bigger picture” of the space. With general overhead lights, functionality is key—those lights are there to do everything that the more intentionally purposeful lights can’t do. If removing moisture or excessive heat from your bathroom is an issue, choose a fixture such as a ceiling fan for your general overhead light. If your bathroom is missing a “wow” factor, choose a fixture that will give your bathroom an iconic focal point, such as a chandelier or modern hanging lamp. If your bathroom is large and needs a better sense of flow, adding track lights or pod lights will do the trick.
By incorporating these five types of lighting in your bathroom, you will create a room that will equip you with the tools to help you groom and prep well, get a better night’s sleep, start and end the day in a better mood, and find everything you need without a struggle—all at the flip of a switch.