Tips: Get the light right in your bathroom

The bathroom is one of the busiest spaces in your home and when it comes to lighting, there are some important things to keep in mind when planning your space.

Jason Arnold Interiors

Above: The Oxford Bath Sconce in Antique-Burnished Brass 

Task lighting in the bathroom is where it all begins. Some pretty important jobs are undertaken in the bathroom, including makeup application, shaving and other daily grooming routines. The best place to start with light is at eye level - mounting wall lights either side of a mirror provides you with shadowless illumination and the best results for your vanity area.

Think about how your vanity or bathroom space will work and light it up accordingly. If you have a single vanity, a light either side of the mirror is perfect. When you have a longer vanity with double basins and perhaps a makeup area in between, give this a little more thought. You may need to focus your lighting on the central area, or if budget allows, think about installing four lights across the vanity for maximum impact.

Caitlin Wilson Interiors

Above: The Drunmore Single Sconce Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass with Crystal and White Glass Shade

You can then begin layering the rest of the bathroom with other lighting elements depending on the zones. Add ambient ceiling lighting to assist with boosting the overall lighting in the bathroom – think about how you might use the shower area differently to the bath tub corner or the pamper zone.

And what about pendant lighting in the bathroom? It’s an increasingly popular choice as a pendant light positioned in the corner of the bathroom or beside a vanity mirror adds a touch of individuality. Just be mindful of its position and work with your electrician and lighting designer to ensure compliance. There are strict rules around voltage and minimum distances from water, so just be aware. 

Above: The Jacqueline Chandelier in Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass with White Acrylic 

Bathroom lighting has come a long way in recent years. There are some beautiful options available to you with many different design options to suit your home – from Hamptons or Art Deco, to Industrial and Modern Contemporary. And this certainly applies to bathrooms too - we're seeing a big trend towards decorative wall lights to really make a statement at the vanity.

Remember, it’s also important to ensure that lights you are choosing for your bathroom are damp-rated, that is, where fixtures may be exposed to steam or collect condensation. You'll also hear about UL ratings - again, these are related to being suitable for bathroom use.

And while it’s not specifically lighting-related, don’t forget to install an exhaust fan to help remove steam and prevent the build-up of mould and mildew. Even better if you install a heat lamp with exhaust fan combined for the cooler mornings and evenings.

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