4 Tips for Effectively Lighting a Bathroom

D. Palmacci

There are many reasons why proper lighting in the bathroom is essential. Chief among them is the fact that so many detail-oriented tasks are done in this room, from shaving, to putting on makeup, to cleaning the shower stall. You need to be able to see what you’re doing in the bathroom, and one overhead light just isn’t going to cut it. Here are four tips you should keep in mind when you’re reevaluating your bathroom’s illumination.

1. Make natural light your ambient light
Ambient lighting is the type of light that fills a room, and natural light is usually your best bet in this regard. If you have a window or two in your bathroom, be sure to use discount curtains and window treatments that let in light when you need them to and provide privacy when you don’t. Curtains with sheer panels are a good choice, as they can prevent those outside from seeing inside while allowing light to filter through.

2. Don’t add task lighting above the mirror
As Houzz pointed out, while you’ll need plenty of task lighting to light whatever it is you’re doing in the bathroom, you shouldn’t put a light fixture over the mirror. A light here can cast shadows underneath your eyes, nose and chin and brightly illuminate your forehead, which isn’t flattering. Give yourself a better look with lights on either side of the mirror, which will allow you to shave or apply makeup with ease.

3. Use a dimmer switch
You don’t always need lots of light in the bathroom, especially if you like to relax by taking baths. To avoid having harsh light shining in your eyes while you’re lying back in the tub, install a dimmer switch to your overhead light. That way, you can set the light to match your mood. It may also come in handy at night or in the morning when you don’t want bright lights in your eyes.

4. Opt for more reflective surfaces
Aside from the mirror above the sink, you should have more reflective surfaces in the bathroom to bounce the light around. High-shine metallic fixtures can help accomplish this goal, as well as polished stone countertops and shiny accessories. Try to place them strategically so they’ll capture the light from all of the different sources you’ve set up.

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