Home lighting means providing beauty as well as light, but unlike other rooms, your bathroom lighting should be first and foremost designed for function. But keep in mind that it can be beautiful as well.
The bathroom is where you and your family prepare yourselves to greet the world and so it needs the right kind of lighting. At the same time the modern bathroom is also a place to relax and where you go to read a book or simply to lie and wash away the cares of the day. Doing it right means achieving a balance between these two things – on the one hand a bright light for practical uses and on the other a softer light for more relaxing moments. In other words, combine task lighting for those practical moments, ambient lighting for general use and accent lighting for when you want to highlight certain areas..
We'll start with task lighting. It is not usual in bathrooms to have a vertical light with more direct lights over the vanity area. You might also want to have the shower area well lit since it is all too easy to slip on wet tiles. Many men also use the shower for shaving so this light will come in handy for that as well. The purpose is to provide brighter light in certain areas of the bathroom while daily cleaning and grooming tasks are carried out.
Most bathrooms will also include overhead or ambient light where some light is shed over the whole room. This type of lighting is necessary so that you can see where things are, and have sufficient light in which to clean the bathroom and shower area. Some people prefer a series of down lights, strategically placed, to one overhead light. In many bathrooms this is all the lighting there is but if you want to do it right you may want to consider more than one light.
Accent lighting is a way of highlighting certain areas of the room, perhaps a painting or an ornament that you want to display. It sometimes helps to have a dimmer control with your accent lighting as this can be turned up or down depending on your mood. Accent lighting, properly used can add character to your bathroom.
It's also not a bad idea to install a switch that has it's own small light, so you don't have to worry about running your hand up and down the wall should you need to get up in the middle of the night.
The right bathroom lighting requires a lot of careful thought. Not everyone for example will want a harsh over the mirror light for when they are shaving or applying make up – but they may want some form of extra light while they carry out these tasks. Having overhead lighting fitted with a dimmer switch is useful when you want to relax for a while and prefer subdued lighting. A combination of different lights will make your bathroom functional as it needs to be, but also make it fit your moods as well.