Small Bathroom Lighting. Small bathrooms might be those added under a stairway or in a spare closet. They might be for children, adults, or both. A small bathroom might be a guest powder room off the foyer or living room. One thing they have in common is that they are – small. Another thing they have in common is that they call for special lighting.
Small bathroom lighting is dependent, in part, on the use of the bathroom. One type of bathroom light fixture might convey a warm, cozy feeling for dinner guests. Another type of bathroom light fixture might make the small bathroom seem spacious – or provide light for reading while relaxing in a deep soak tub.
Warm and Cozy Lighting
You can make a small bathroom feel warm and cozy rather than claustrophobic by adding the right light fixtures. Suppose this is a small half-bath meant primarily for guests to “freshen up” before dinner. You’ve used small-patterned deep red and gold wallpaper for warmth. What kind of light fixtures should this small bathroom have?
Try recessed, can ceiling light fixtures focused on work areas. Or use indirect lighting around the perimeter of the ceiling-wall junction. On either side of the mirror above the sink, add a wall sconce light fixture. Avoid large wall sconces, or those that protrude too far from the wall, as they will make the room look cluttered. Layering these two types of light fixture will give you warm, gracious lighting in a small bathroom for guests.
Bright Enough for Reading
If the small bathroom in your home has a soaking tub, or one used by children, you will want good lighting in the tub area. Most lighting above tubs and showers is diffuse lighting, which is fine for a quick shower or bath. Diffuse lighting is also good over-all lighting to soften the entire bathroom. However, if you want to read – or get paint off of a child – you may want brighter, more concentrated lighting. Use a focused flood or halogen light fixture on the wall above the tub.
Choose safe, moisture proof light fixtures for this area. “Make sure that your lamps are UL rated for damp locations insuring safety,” says Todd Phillips, president of lighting manufacturer Quoizel.
Space Enlarging Lighting
You can never have too much light in a small bathroom, as long as you use it properly. Perhaps the best idea for small bathrooms is to begin with indirect lighting around the ceiling for overall softness and warmness. Then consider these possibilities.
1. If your small bathroom has a window, use light-admitting, sheer curtains at the window. Add a shade that can be drawn for privacy.
2. Light shower or tub with separate wet area light fixtures, strong enough to permit easy personal grooming, but with dimmer switches for atmosphere.
3. On either side of the vanity mirror, use warm fluorescent vertical wall sconces to provide even facial illumination. Place a halogen light above the mirror for cross illumination. Place these mirror surrounding light fixtures on a separate switch.
4. Run a linear light fixture along the vanity toe-space to provide a soft night light.
5. For a family use small bathroom, place a halogen or flood light near the toilet, focused as a good reading light. Install a separate switch.
With all of these light fixtures layered in a small bathroom, you will always have exactly the amount of light you need for any given task. Yet you can make it cozy with dimmer switches, safe with night lights.
Adequate lighting is a must, and if you are remodeling your bathroom, get the most out of it by installing the best lighting for your needs and pleasure.
Bathroom lighting needs will depend on the size and function of your bathroom
The vanity is a standard fixture in bathrooms whether they are large or small. Bathroom lighting for the vanity is important, and unfortunately even some new homes have inadequate vanity lighting.
The vanity area is special because it is used on a daily basis for grooming. The trend over the last several years has been bar lighting above the vanity mirror or medicine chest. While many bar lighting fixtures are very attractive and often match or compliment the mirror or medicine chest, they are not the best bathroom lighting.
Since the vanity is used for grooming and applying makeup, good lighting is essential. The best vanity lighting in a bathroom is the installation of two fixtures on opposite sides of the vanity mirror at face level. This may call for some compromise depending on the heights of the members of your household.
Bathroom lighting in the vanity area installed in this way will give better light, and avoid shadowing, making the proper application of makeup much easier.
Bathroom lighting zones
If you are fortunate enough to have a large bathroom you may have several areas to consider for lighting.
General all purpose lighting may be needed for quick in and out trips to the bathroom. This should be good enough light so you can see adequately and be sure the medication you are taking is yours.
Another consideration is subdued lighting for the bath area. After a day at work a long soak in the tub can be very pleasurable. Just imagine lounging in the warm water, the lights down low, and a quiet time all your own.
Bathroom lighting in the bath area will need some special consideration. Check your local codes. Special lighting is required for a wet area such as the bath and safety should be your first concern.
There are scores of beautiful bathroom lighting fixtures available today in every style and many different finishes. Consider the size, and the different areas of your bathroom, and any special needs as well as your local codes before you begin shopping for bathroom lighting.
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