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The Starter Guide to Bathroom Lighting Design

How to Illuminate Baths for Function and Aesthetics

The Starter Guide to Bathroom Lighting Design

If any room in the house needs proper lighting, it’s a bathroom. A bathroom is a place that hosts daily routines for showers, shaving, makeup, and more. But it can also be a space for relaxation with a good soak in the tub or enjoying a massaging set of shower jets. Bathrooms need highly functional lighting, yet they must also be inviting. 

Despite all that, bathrooms often get only the most basic utilitarian lighting. But that can be remedied by applying some of the best recommendations from professional lighting designers. Let’s explore some better ways to illuminate bathrooms for form and function in Rosemary Beach, FL. 

SEE ALSO: A Quick Lighting Design Guide to Living Areas

Layered Lighting

One of the core principles of lighting design is layered lighting. The three lighting layers are ambient, task, and accent. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, task lighting provides focused light for specific tasks, and accent lighting highlights architectural features or decor. Different lighting fixtures can serve multiple layers. For example, ambient lighting might be done by recessed ceiling lights or pendants, depending on the bathroom's design. Task lighting might be provided by vanity lights or wall sconces. Accent lighting can also be accomplished with wall sconces and types of recessed lighting. A good lighting design puts these all together cohesively for both utility and aesthetic purposes.

Some Examples

Task lighting helps you get things done in the bathroom, like applying makeup, shaving, and showering. The vanity tends to be the main focus for these, and you want functional lighting that does not create shadows or too much light. One mistake often made in bathrooms is only lighting from above a vanity mirror. Lighting that comes from the side (like sconces) or a combination of the two creates a more layered approach. A tub can often use a chandelier above it for all three light layers - enough to see, enough to bathe, and adding a decorative touch when softly lit. Ambient lighting is often accomplished in modern bathrooms with multiple recessed lights, and the best use dimmers and lighting control to adjust the light as necessary. 

Some More Tips

Most bathrooms have a window of some type. Those with small windows might need more artificial light by day. Regardless, don’t underestimate the power of natural light. For privacy and light control, consider motorized shading for the window (or windows). When paired with lighting control for dimming, you can harmoniously combine natural and artificial light to create the ideal atmosphere for daytime use. At night, you can automatically lower the shades for privacy. 

Bathrooms often get visited at night, but you may want less illumination during a middle-of-the-night bathroom break. Dimming ambient or accent lights can add just enough light to guide you to the right place. Another popular option is undercabinet linear lighting along the vanity toe kick, which can serve two purposes. One, it can be an excellent night light, and two, it's an aesthetic accent light that makes the cabinet appear to float. 

Want to learn more ways to use lighting design to elevate your living spaces? Contact us here or click the chat box below to quickly connect with one of our experts. We look forward to working with you!