Bath Reno 101: How to Choose Lighting

Your bathroom may need correct lighting more than any other room in your house. Sure, vanity comes into play (putting on makeup isn’t easy to begin with, let alone in a poorly lit room), but it’s also about safety. Slippery surfaces, plugs and plenty of water can make any bathroom a dangerous place. Making sure every nook and cranny is well lit will ensure your bathroom is safe, soothing and comfortable to spend time in.

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Read on to learn about the three main types of bathroom lighting and some tips for installation.

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-Often installed on the sides of a mirror.
-Help even out lighting on either side of your face when looking in the mirror.
-Great for shaving and putting on makeup.
-Should be mounted evenly on either side of your bathroom mirror, at least 60-inches off the floor.

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-Usually placed in the center of the room to provide ambient lighting.
-Sometimes installed in alcoves so that darker corners are bright, light and safe.
-Work best above the shower/bath and toilet.

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Bath and Vanity:

-Usually three or two bulb style fixtures installed right above bathroom mirrors and sinks.
-One of the most popular forms of bathroom lighting.
-Used along with sconces to cast light evenly on your face in the mirror.
-Can also be bath bars — more modern fixtures with a single bulb.
-Should be mounted above the mirror, at least 78-inches off the floor.

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Five Tips for Installing Bathroom Lights:

1. Layer your lighting to create an adequately lit space. This is for aesthetic and safety purposes. Don’t delegate a single fixture to light up a specific part of the room — let the light from all your fixtures overlap.

2. There is such a thing as too much light, especially when it comes across as harsh and jarring. If your bathroom has a lot of natural light, don’t go overboard with your fixtures. Dimmers can do wonders, too.

3. Experiment with different styles of fixtures before making a purchase. Go and see them in person! Make sure that they will cast the right amount of light without shadows.

4. Match your lighting finishes to your bathroom hardware finishes for a cohesive look.

5. Don’t forget about accent lighting! Toe kicks, mirror lighting and cabinet lighting can all make nighttime bathroom trips easier and safer.

See all of our bathroom lighting. 

Read the rest of our Bath Reno 101 Series:
How to Start Planning
Choosing a Console

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