Bathroom Lighting With Purpose
Consider style and function when deciding on illumination.
Synopsis: Although bathroom styles differ, lighting a bathroom properly is a key element in its design. Lighting designer Peter Romaniello discusses the most important things to consider when lighting the different areas of a bathroom: vanity, shower, tub, and toilet. He also explains color temperature and color rendering, two features of lighting that are crucial to understand when choosing fixtures and bulbs.
Bathrooms differ in style, from a powder room to a mudroom bath to a master bath. Yet they all have the same basic functions, and properly lighting those functions is important for the success of the room. Lighting has to address basic needs, such as seeing your face without heavy shadow lines and being able to see the dirt you’re washing off.
Despite their common functions, different baths call for different lighting. For example, a powder room tends to be a very stylistic space because it’s the bathroom that guests use; good facial lighting is still important, however, since those guests may want to check their hair or makeup. On the other hand, a mudroom bath tends to be more of a utilitarian space, where brighter overall illumination is more important. Here, function takes precedence over style.
Kids’ bathrooms can have more gender-specific styles, and they have specific lighting needs depending on the age of the child. Younger children need good lighting over a tub. Teenagers might need vanity lighting similar to that of a master bathroom for putting on makeup or shaving.
Master baths are larger and much more of an expression of style. Higher ceilings, vaulted ceilings, and more-expansive room sizes are typical. While lighting must still address the basic needs, master baths also afford the opportunity to do something special. This can be as simple as installing more-prominent decorative fixtures or adding features…