Bathroom lighting is essential. Usually this is the first room we enter in the morning, setting the mood for the rest of the day. It is also the room we enter when we are half asleep in the middle of the night.
Washing, putting on makeup, shaving, grooming, and taking medicine are just a few of the daily routines in the bathroom. There is no other room in the home where optimizing both natural lighting (outside natural light) and lighting (light bulbs) is more critical.
Daylight is important to our overall health and emotions as it sets our circadian rhythms (how natural light affects and resets our biological clock and consciousness). Lighting is essential for our safety (80% of all falls by older adults occur in the bathroom) and personal hygiene.
Nothing compares to the warmth, beauty, and emotional value of windows and skylights. These brighten your mood and help you feel more refreshed and energetic. They make a smaller bathroom seem so much bigger. They also have the added value of fresh air and help reduce humidity levels (high humidity levels can create harmful levels of mold and bacteria and destroy your walls and ceilings).
Windows provide free, energy-efficient and cost-effective lighting and ventilation. They are really good for you. It has been shown in several leading studies that daily exposure to natural light can improve mental and physical well-being, increase focus and energy levels, and offer a variety of other unexpected benefits.
Multiple windows allow balancing natural light, cross ventilation and “opening” the bathroom to the outside. Larger windows may have bottom-up / top-down curtains for privacy. Windows can also be opened in various combinations. Skylights, especially the tube type, offer tremendous opportunities for natural light in small spaces where a traditional window is impractical. A 10 “tube skylight lets in at least 5-10 times more light than a typical 2×3 sliding bathroom window.
Recessed lights, especially LEDs, are great for adding task lighting in the general space, including the toilet. For most bathrooms, dimmer recessed LED lighting is best. It is always better to “light too high” and use dimmers to adjust. Never use fluorescent lights, the bathroom is not a warehouse.
A light over the bathtub and shower is ideal for providing room and ambient lighting. Shaving your legs is much easier when you have overhead lighting.
For vanity areas, wall sconces mounted to the ceiling or to the sides of the mirror are best. This removes shadows on the face, which makes applying makeup easier and gives definition when applying lines. The combination of wall sconces and recessed lighting within the vanity area solves shadow and homework problems. Putting on makeup and hair is much easier when combining the two.
Always use multiple switches and dimmers for lighting. This allows a wide range of possibilities for everyone who uses the bathroom. Everyone has different needs and the value of doing this cannot be stressed enough.
An LED receptacle-type photocell night light is perfect on the toilet. It is ideal when using the installation at night without having to turn on the bedroom lights, blinding you and waking up your partner.
For LED lighting, color temperature and lumens are very important. Temperature does not refer to degrees. Rather, it refers to the color: reddish to sky blue. Lumens refer to the amount of visible light or brightness. Compared to incandescent bulbs, LED lighting uses 70-90% less energy, saves a huge amount of money over its lifetime, lasts up to 25 times longer (23 years or more), and helps protect the environment.