Renovating Your Bathroom? Lighting is a Must!
Picking paint colors, shower tile and a vanity are three pretty big items on a bathroom remodel to-do list, but there’s another item that homeowners should put more thought into: lighting.
Lighting often gets overlooked because it’s the least “sexy” part of any remodel or renovation. In bathrooms, lighting is particularly important because it’s the place where you make sure you are ready to take on the day. While it may seem inconsequential, relegating lighting to an afterthought may result in spending extra money to fix a design choice that didn’t account for spacing of sconces or recessed lighting.
In a bathroom there are a few obvious, and not so obvious, places where you’ll want to carefully consider what type of lighting you install: over the vanity; in the shower and over the tub.
Lighting the vanity
If you think about lighting only once in your bathroom remodel, carefully consider vanity lighting, as it’s where you’ll be putting on makeup, grooming and making sure you don’t have any food in your teeth before heading out the door. The first order of business is determining whether there’s enough room to put single sconces on either side of your vanity mirror. The standard rule of thumb says they should be hung at eye level with your face and about 65 to 70 inches from the floor.
Generally, sconces are hung about 36-40 inches apart, but it depends on the width of the mirror and how much wall space you have. Pro Tip: Always account for how wide the base of the sconce is to make sure you have enough space between the mirror and the wall.
If you are hanging lighting above the vanity, make sure you measure from the top of the mirror to the ceiling before making any final purchases. While lighting on either side of a mirror is the best way to get even light, there are instances where the only option is to put them above the mirror. In this case, the sconces should be mounting 75-80 inches from the floor.
Brightening the shower
While you are considering whether to get a glass front shower or one piece, you also should be thinking about lighting options. Does the shower need recessed lighting or is a light in a fan adequate? Any lighting chosen for the shower must be enclosed and gasketed to keep water from getting near the electrical. Making sure the lighting is appropriate and rated for the shower is a must.
You may only need one recessed “can” depending on the size of the shower and how much natural light is in the bathroom. Poor lighting in the shower makes for a less than enjoyable experience – after checking for safety, make sure the wattage is appropriate for the size and location of your shower. Today’s LED’s have more wattage and are energy efficient.
Illuminating the tub
Similar to lighting in the shower, lighting around the tub can create a relaxing experience and a spa-like feel.
To achieve soft lighting around the tub, it’s best to place sconces on walls opposite or adjacent to the tub or select a mounted chandelier that will bounce light near it. Layering lighting in the bathroom is a great way to ensure there is not too much direct, harsh light.
Once you have decided on lighting and incorporated the style into your bathroom design, just sit back and watch it all come together!