Bathrooms have become multi-purpose yet elegant spaces. They are a place where you shower, shave, apply makeup and fix your hair, and they are also retreats where you can sit back, soak and relax. With so many demands in one room, it’s important to create a lighting scheme that makes both you and your design shine.
The big picture
Task lighting must be bright enough to do its job, but must also work well with the soft, warm glow of indirect accent lighting, according to the American Lighting Association (ALA). When selecting lighting fixtures, look for finishes that complement rather than compete with plumbing accessories, tile, paint and wallpaper.
The majority of your daily tasks in the bathroom happen at the mirror or vanity area, so it’s key that you select the right lighting to get the job done. For optimal illumination, choose a fixture that shines from above and install accent lights on either side of the mirror to minimize shadows. An additional bright idea to consider is installing a small, lit concave mirror.
Scrub a dub, dub
When shopping for lighting to place over the shower or tub, select fixtures offering light that is bright enough for you to clean, shave and read labels. The ALA suggests recessed downlights that are designed for use in wet areas, also recommending that you install shields around the lights. The shields will protect relaxing bathers’ eyes from unwanted glare. If you want to add a dramatic touch, you can use an adjustable accent light.
When creating a lighting design, keep your pocketbook and the environment in mind by selecting ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures and bulbs. They provide the same bright, warm light, but use about 75 percent less energy than standard lighting, produce 75 percent less heat and last up to 10 times longer.
Here are a few of the brightest new looks for your bath.
The new Lumiere collection features the Tando showerhead, which is composed of a patterned, semi-transparent cover available in several designs and colors. The showerhead is constructed of stainless steel. JACLO, www.jaclo.com; $4,200
Illumi-Heat provides warm overhead lighting and takes the chill out of cold bathrooms. The semi-flush ceiling fixture, available in a variety of styles, has a built-in heater option that provides homeowners with on-demand warmth. Hunter Fan Co., www.hunterfan.com; $129
The Sophie wall sconce is a wall-mounted luminary for diffused lighting. The frame is available in chrome metal or satin nickel. The diffuser features crystal-clear Pyrex glass with a sanded inner tube. Studio Italia Design, www.studioitalia.com; $642
The Bath Fan Chandelier transforms the standard unsightly bath fan into an attractive ventilation system. The fan is concealed behind a decorative architectural medallion complemented by three to four suspended lights. Hunter Fan Co.,
The Dream Light Rain Canopy enables bathers to experience revitalizing color while showering. The futuristic design features LED lights, which illuminate the falling water. The lights can be programmed to turn on manually or start automatically. JACLO, www.jaclo.com; $8,500