The mood of your bathroom can be completely transformed by the lighting you use. With so many different lighting options on offer, it is possible to transform your room from a bright, practical area to a subtle relaxing atmosphere.
If you are entirely redecorating your room you will need to plan your lighting in advance so that the crucial electrical work can be done at the building phase. Walls may need chasing to allow wires to be hidden. However, if you decide to work with existing electrics you can still use them to your advantage by choosing lights to fit them.
Make lighting work for you
Different types of lighting can fulfil distinctive tasks; for all over illumination then choose amenity lighting. This can be provided by artificial lights or natural daylight. Task lighting is used to light up specific areas like the mirror for shaving or applying make-up. In general lights can be used to create specialized effects from highlighting designer detail to items on a shelf. Lighting can be used for dramatic effect or create certain moods. For instance candles or soft lighting can create a relaxing atmosphere.
Many lighting companies supply specific ranges appropriate for use in the bathroom. Shower lights are available that are water resistant which can be hidden in the ceiling in sealed units. Alternatively why not contemplate outdoor and marine light fittings.
Ways of creating light
Initially consider how much natural light is available, is it possible to achieve more natural light by adding another window or a skylight? You can use sheer fabric or subtle blinds to make good use of the natural light that you do have and to help soften and diffuse intense light. Mirrors can also be used to reflect light to create the appearance of more space. Opaque of frosted glass can be used to provide privacy.
White bathroom suites and metallic finishes all reflect the light and can be used to open up a room. Also glass tiles or bricks can maximize light. These are available in many colours, in a plain, textured or sandblasted finish. Check building regulations and use experts if replacing existing walls.
Another way to add mood to your bathroom is by varying the lighting to reflect the different times of the day, morning light should be bright and motivating, whereas evening light should be passive and relaxing. Candlelight is the most atmospheric and calming light, nevertheless candles are a fire risk and must never be left unattended. Never place candles directly onto an acrylic bath, always use a heat resistant holder.
Don't forget that the use of colour can create an illusion of space and light. For calming and airy rooms use cool blues, greens and greys, but limit their use in dark rooms as they can appear cold. For rooms with a limited light source choose warm colours such as red, yellow, orange and pink as they create warmth.
Types of light and light fittings
Different types of lighting will provide different effects. The closest to daylight is the white halogen bulb; it provides a confident light and is recommended for all over illumination. Tungsten is good for highlighting and gives off a warm glow, whilst fluorescent light is very cool and harsh but can be used behind a pelmet board to create an impressive effect.
Light fittings are available in many styles such as wall lights, recessed lights, spot lights, down lighters, and up lighters and can be used for several effects. Dimmer switches can enable you to create a bright all over light or a soft romantic glow at the touch of a button and should generally be fitted outside a bathroom to avoid getting wet.