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What to do with Bathroom Lighting

June 10th, 2010 · No Comments · Bathroom Lighting

When lighting a bathroom the first and most important focus should be on the vanity lighting.  Ideally a vertical fixture should be hung on either side of the mirror.  This allows for light to be evenly distributed across ones face.    The fixtures should be mounted approximately 5.5’ above the floor (eye level), and 36-40” apart.  This helps to eliminate shadows under the eyes and chin.

In situations where installing fixtures on either side of the mirror is not possible due to size and installation constraints the next best option is a light hung directly over the vanity.  It should be hung 75-80” above the floor.  In larger bathrooms the horizontal fixtures can be used in conjuncture with the vertical lights to give additional overall illumination to the space.  A bare minimum of 150 watts of light should be used in lighting the vanity it is always safer to error on the side of too much wattage.  In cases where the home owner finds that there is too much light either lower wattage bulbs can be used or a dimmer installed.  It is always easier to reduce the wattage of a fixture once it’s installed that to figure out how to increase the amount of light if the fixture installed is inadequate.

For additional bathroom lighting, lighting in the shower and over the bath tub, recessed is the ideal option.  For the shower and tub make sure a wet rated model is selected.  The only place recessed is not ideal is over the vanity, It has a tendency to cast shadows onto the face making personal grooming tasks such  as shaving an make up application to be more difficult.

Some clients prefer a little more glamour over the tub and may request a hanging fixture such as a crystal chandelier, or pendant light.  Make sure any hanging fixture you choose is UL approved for a wet rating otherwise for safety and code reasons should not be used in that application.

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