Design:

Bathroom Lights

Light your bathroom beautifully day and night with these fabulous ideas
Gone are the days when a single ceiling light was considered enough for any room – after all, gloomy corners just don’t do your interiors any favours. Bathrooms are no different, and a variety of light sources means you can take your room from morning preparation place to relaxing spa-style space at the end of a busy day.

Bathroom lighting rules
Electricity and water are not a happy mixture, so for a long and healthy life, it’s vital to follow the rules when it comes to choosing bathroom lighting.
You’ll need to employ a qualified electrician to do the work, but a little knowledge is handy so you don’t pick a light that can’t be used where you want to put it. When you’re browsing, you’ll find lighting is specified as suitable for particular bathroom zones. Zone 0 is inside the bath or shower, Zone 1 above the bath to a height of 2.25m, Zone 2 the area outside Zones 0 and 1, and up to 0.6m from the perimeter of the bath and to a height of 2.25m from the floor. Go for Zone 2 fittings in the area within a 0.6m radius of the sink tap, too. You may also see Zone 3 referred to, although this isn’t in the latest regulations. You’ll still need to avoid fittings not recommended for bathroom use here.
Bathroom lights have an IP – or ingress protection – rating. The higher the second digit of this rating, the better the protection from moisture, so each lighting zone has a minimum IP rating – and you might see these as well as zone information when you’re shopping.
Design a bathroom lighting scheme
Once you’re clear on what goes where safely, you can get on to the creative (yes, fun) parts of designing your lighting scheme. For the best effect, your bathroom will need good ambient lighting – the overall light for the room – task lighting for applying make-up, shaving and so on, and then accent lighting, which shows off its best features.
Which bathroom lights to choose?
A single ceiling fitting can be enough in a small bathroom, but in a larger space a series of them are a great alternative to create even light for the whole room and ensure none of the space is left in shadow.
Downlights provide fabulous illumination for your bathroom – and can make a spectacular feature of your shower area, where you can highlight the back wall.
Combined with ceiling fittings or downlights, wall lights can add a more decorative feel to the room. Perfect if you have interesting features such as alcoves, they can also be used in pairs to create attractive symmetry around a mirror or above a bath.
Illuminated mirrors add another layer of light to the room, and the focused illumination you need to ensure you leave the house looking exactly how you expected.
Add atmosphere to your lighting
Don’t think dimmers for living areas only. Being able to adjust the level of light in a bathroom – with a safely positioned switch, of course – means you can go from wake-up-and-get-ready-for-work brilliance in the morning to relaxing-in-the-bath low light levels in the evening.
Adding a little candlelight to your bathtime is the ultimate in creating a soothing atmosphere but starting a fire anything but. Without sounding like your mum, we do want to remind you to not leave candles burning when you’re not in the room, to put them securely onto suitable holders, out of draughts, and to make sure they’re completely out when you’ve had your fun.

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