Bathroom Remodeling | Improving Bathroom Lighting
Bathroom Remodeling | People don’t often think about lighting and efficiency when it comes to bathroom remodeling, it is as important as selecting the vanity or fixtures. Today’s master bathrooms and dressing areas are often as large as some second bedrooms and are more than just a place to shower, shave, etc.
Bathroom lighting in most older homes is typically just a globe light fixture on the ceiling or under the vent fan. For bathrooms with an exterior wall and a window, it probably does not have a vent fan. Either way, install a new Energy Star qualified vent fan with an efficient lighting system.
Use CFL (compact fluorescent) or LED (light emitting diode) bulbs in the fixture. LED bulbs are slightly more efficient than CFL’s and they come to full brightness immediately. You may decide to install a dimmer switch as your child get older, so purchase dimmable models of either type of bulb.
Developing a lighting plan for your master bathroom is more involved than for your child’s bathroom since it must be effective and efficient for more activities — showering, applying makeup, shaving, washing hair, etc.
Use a general lighting technique called layering in your bathroom. There are two basic lighting layers — task and ambient. Task lighting is most important in the bath/shower area and at the mirror and vanity.
The most common task lighting for the bath/shower area is recessed canister lighting. If the recessed lights are under the attic floor, make sure to install special fixtures which are sealed from the attic above.
Don’t just install cheap ones and try to stuff attic insulation around them. That can create a fire hazard and is not particularly effective. In order to also vent the bath enclosure, select recessed lights with built-in mini-exhaust fans. This is the most efficient method.
For the mirror and vanity area, three-direction lighting is most effective to eliminate shadows when shaving and applying makeup. This requires lighting from above near the mirror and lighting on each side at eye level.
A row of LED bulbs across the wall above the mirror works well and uses less than 20 watts of electricity. If the mirror is not too wide, vertical T2 or T5 fluorescent fixtures on the wall on both sides are good. For a wider mirror, special fixtures are available which attach to the mirror edges.
Fluorescent bulbs also offer more options for better color rendition, which is helpful when applying makeup. Full-spectrum bulbs with a high CRI (color rendition index) would be a good choice.
For general ambient lighting, a single overhead LED fixture or vent fan should be adequate. Even for adults, a model with a motion sensor that automatically dims it to a night light brightness level is a convenient feature. – Rapid City Journal