When homeowners think about remodeling a bathroom, they usually do not include new lighting as a top priority. However, effective lighting is very important to a bathroom project. Without it, the beauty of the new tile, cabinets, countertops, paint colors, etc. will be diminished. Additionally, light choices affect the size and placement of mirrors, sinks, and cabinets. Finally, proper lighting allows bathroom users to see more clearly for daily grooming and beauty functions. So, here are a few lighting tips that will make your bathroom and you look the best.
Understand the Different Forms of Lighting
In developing a lighting plan, you must first understand three primary forms of lighting – ambient, task, and accent. Ambient is the general lighting for the bathroom. It creates enough light for you to move around comfortably and safely. Task lighting is more concentrated and brighter so you can see better while performing a specific task, such as applying makeup. Accent lighting adds dimension by drawing attention to certain features in the bathroom and helps to define the style. So, when shopping for lights, make sure your intended use for a fixture matches that of the manufacturer.
Life is Brighter with Modern LED Lights
In the remodeling industry, modern LED (light emitting diode) lights largely have replaced the traditional incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen bulbs. LEDs use far less energy, last much longer, and generally produce a better-quality light. They are used in a wide variety of applications. Plus, LEDs are dimmable, so you can control just how bright you would like the bathroom to be. To do so, you just need a dimmer switch and a good installer.
A Few Technical Tips
Depending on just how much you care about different lighting options, you may consider a few technical factors when selecting your lights. A lumen is the unit that measures how much light a bulb produces, or its brightness. While watts measure how much energy a bulb consumes, lumens more appropriately inform the user of the amount of light produced. If you like it bright, go for a higher lumen rating (1,000 or greater).
The Color Rendition Index (CRI) is a scale from 1 to 100 that describes the effectiveness of a light source in reproducing accurately an object’s color, with 100 being the best. Most experts will tell you that 80 is the minimum but 90 and above should be the preferred standard.
Lastly, Kelvin is a measure of color temperature, which describes how the light itself appears when illuminated. A high Kelvin rating (3,600 to 5,500) means the light will appear more blue (think base of a flame). Lights with a neutral Kelvin (3,000 to 3,600) will appear white while lower Kelvin lights will appear more yellow. The “right” choice depends on personal preference, color scheme in the bathroom, and intended usage. Your safest choice is to stick with neutral.
Choose Fixtures and Placement Wisely
Your choice of light fixtures and the placement of those fixtures will have a big impact on the appearance of your bathroom. Recessed lights can typically provide the best starting point for ambient lighting, particularly if you have a lower ceiling. Make sure you have good lighting above the shower and tub areas. Please note hanging fixtures must have a certain clearance from the water source due to the potential for electrocution.
At the vanity area, you need effective light from above and light in front of you. Otherwise, you’ll encounter shadows and struggle to see the details as you get ready each day. You can choose from wall-mounted light fixtures above the mirror, sconce lights in or on the sides of a mirror, or hanging pendant lights. Given the available space, you must think carefully about the size and placement of lights in relation to the sink(s) and mirror(s). If not, your lights could appear awkwardly off-center or you may end up with very skinny mirrors or sinks too close to one another or the surrounding walls.
Ask Professionals for Assistance
Lighting may seem relatively simple compared to remodeling choices for cabinetry, countertops, and tile. However, without full knowledge, it can be complicated and mistakes can be very impactful and costly to correct. The experts at TriFection and our partners at the local Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery showrooms will be an extremely helpful resource in making smart choices to fit your design and budget. If you’re thinking about a bathroom remodel, call TriFection today at (281) 548-2436. We’ll “light your fire” with great ideas for the project and lead you through a smooth remodeling process and to a beautiful outcome!