No question about it, lighting is absolutely crucial to the bathroom. Not only does this imperative space serve as a refuge within your home, it must accomplish several different functions too. Here is a simple breakdown of the key elements that can be layered together to make this space shine:
Task Help start and end your day with ease and comfort with Task lighting. Many aspects of grooming, from applying makeup to shaving to helping the kids brush their teeth, benefit from a pair of fixtures mounted on either side of the mirror, flanking the sink. This is called cross-illumination and provides shadow-free lighting for the face. Install sconces at eye-level, approximately 66" from the floor (standard guideline). Depending on the amount of light the sconces cast, position them so that the horizontal beams overlap (typically 28" to 40" apart) and produce even, shadow-free light. To illuminate a double vanity, provide each sink with its own individual light source. A minimum of 150 watts (approximately 2600 lumens) should be used to illuminate the vanity and it is always safest to select fixtures that provide the maximum amount of light. If you find there is too much light, either use lower wattage lamps or install a dimmer. It is easier to reduce the lamping than to try and increase the amount of light once the fixture is installed. When installing fixtures on either side of the mirror is not optimal due to size or installation constraints, mount a fixture directly above the vanity for horizontal illumination. Ideally fixtures will run the width of the mirror and should be installed approximately 75" to 80" above the floor. Another helpful tip: a light, bright vanity top will bounce light upward and further reduce shadows.
Ambient Functionality is something that Ambient lighting can also provide. It delivers an overall illumination by bouncing the light off the ceiling, creating needed brightness as well as a flattering effect to the overall space. Dimming these fixtures also allows you to adjust the intensity of the light depending on how you are using the space or to create a certain mood.
Accent For a sophisticated setting, choose accent lighting to illuminate the special details that relax and recharge you. Architectural elements, a cozy seating area or cherished artwork will appear even more luxurious and spa-like when lit properly.
Decorative For a dash of luxury, add in some decorative lighting by hanging an eye-catching fixture from the ceiling to dress up your bathroom.
Bathroom spaces do include the element of water, so it is best to check with local codes for guidelines on when wet location, damp location and GFIs (ground fault interrupters) are required.