You are remodeling your bathroom and you do not really know what lighting fixtures to select. Bathroom lighting comes in many styles, colors, designs and layouts. You can get vintage, contemporary, traditional or strikingly modern lighting fixtures. There are vertical fixtures or sconces to be mounted on either side of the mirror, straight bar fixtures for above the mirror, mini-chandeliers, reccessed lights, and surface-mounted ceiling lights.

Here are the things to consider when selecting your bathroom light fixtures …

1. Lighting Right

Vanity Lighting

  • Vertical fixtures or sconces mounted on either side of the mirror are best for casting an even light across the face
  • To eliminate shadows under the chin, eyes, and cheeks, fixtures should be mounted on either side of the vanity mirror, 36 to 40 inches apart
  • The center of each fixture should be roughly at eye level, or about 66 inches above the floor
  • Over a pedestal sink, you can have strips or sconces on either side of the mirror
  • They should be at least 28″ apart to give glare free, shadow free lighting
  • For large mirrors, the lighting should be attached onto a mirror, either bolted through holes in the mirror, or put on with mastic
  • Over a round or oval mirror, a powder bath style is a better choice
  • If sidelights are impractical due to the size and positioning of the vanity mirrors, select an over the mirror fixture
  • A straight bar looks fine over a square or rectangular mirror and it really should be at least 24 inches but not any wider than the mirror is
  • Over the mirror fixtures should be placed 75 to 80 inches above the floor and have at least 150 watts spread over the fixture
  • Avoid installing recessed ceiling fixtures directly over the mirror as they cast shadows on the face.

Area Lighting

  • The shower is another area which should get proper lighting
  • In smaller bathrooms, if the stall has a clear glass door, a dedicated fixture may not be necessary
  • Otherwise, it is recommend a recessed light with a glass lens
  • Similar recessed fixtures work well over a freestanding tub or the toilet.

2. Add Style

Accent Lighting

  • Accent lights bring style to a bathroom
  • Add a small recessed spotlight directed at a piece of decorative art or a beautiful powder room basin
  • Add an angled recessed shower fixture to highlight nice tilework or fixtures and make them sparkle.

Ambient Lighting

  • This light serves as a substitute for natural light
  • It is most often supplied by a central fixture, usually a surface-mounted ceiling light
  • It could also be provided by a chandelier or a cove lighting instead
  • Cove lighting add adds a soft glow around the perimeter of the room.

Add Dimmers

  • Dimmers grant absolute control over the lighting, and thus the mood, of the room
  • In a very small bathroom, dimming the vanity fixtures can provide ambient and accent lighting
  • Dimmers conserve energy and enhance the lifespan of the bulbs
  • Incandescent dimmers are compatible with any incandescent or halogen light bulbs
  • Low-voltage and fluorescent fixtures require their own compatible dimmers.

3. Technical Stuff

Choosing Bulbs

  • A crisp white light tends to render skin tones most accurately
  • Halogen bulbs are the best
  • Halogen bulbs compact, and smaller bulbs give a nice sparkling effect
  • Halogen bulbs cost a few dollars more than incandescent bulbs but will last longer
  • The newest compact fluorescent bulbs are up to 10 times more efficient than regular incandescent bulbs

Choose Wisely

  • Bathroom light fixtures must be able to withstand high humidity, moisture and, in some cases, even water
  • Light fixture in a shower stall or over a bathtub must be resilent to water
  • Typically their electrical components are sealed as opposed to being open
  • Do not take chances and install in your bathroom light fixtures not designed with these criteria in mind – electricity and water may lead to death

Ventilate your Bathroom

  • Regularly open your bathroom window – it really helps with moisture control
  • Use a good bathroom ventilator to control moisture in bathrooms without windows
  • Ventilating is more cost effective than removing milddew and/or replacing walls
  • Milddew is a well know trigger of asthma attacks

Here are my favorite Bathroom Lightings

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