This guide is inspired from the Astro Guide to Bathroom Lighting (read the PDF file from their website) and will be developed further in other articles. Today we are talking about the best way to plan our bathroom lights – plan in time, and consider how will you use the space! Also, you need to know the regulations for using the light fittings in the bathroom.
The status of bathrooms has changed over time and it is no longer “a small white space designed for a quick wash”. We are all spending more time in the bathroom and correspondingly more money on achieving a quality finish. So why scrimp on the lighting?
Most bathrooms are built to last ten to twenty years, so it is well-worth investing the same degree of planning and quality in the lighting particularly as it is by far the most emotionally influential element.
Remember: Never underestimate how depressing a poor lighting scheme can make you feel. Conversely, get it right and you bring the room to life and make it an enriching, positive space.
Planning Your Bathroom Lighting
Plan It In Time – Early!
After deciding where the basin, toilet, bath, and shower are to be positioned, lighting should be next on the list. That way you can run all the cabling and bury it in the walls before you start tiling and decorating.
Consider How Will You Use the Space in the Bathroom
This will determine how many lighting ‘scenes’ you need to create: A small cloakroom may need just one lighting scene, whereas a larger room with a bath enables you to have at least two: “bright” for speedy stops, and “soft and low” for slow, relaxing soaks.
To create the different scenes, you can plan on at least two wall switches. These can now be legally positioned inside the bathroom as long as they are an appropriate distance from wet areas, but the simplest and most popular solution is to position the switches outside adjacent to the door.
Understand the Regulations in the Bathroom
The IP44 rating (sometimes written as IPX4) simply means that the light fitting is “splash-proof” and therefore will withstand the typical level of moisture found in a domestic bathroom(read more about the bathroom IP rating explained and the IP rating in the bathrooms).
On our website you can find a large collection of bathroom lights – many of them from Astro Lighting – at the Bathroom Mirrors, the Bathroom Ceiling Lights, and the Bathroom Wall Lights section – so you’ll find plenty to choose from.
According to the recent bathroom wiring regulations, you can use IP44 rated lights anywhere in a bathroom, apart from inside the bath itself. Here you will need a higher level of protection – IP65, (“Jet-proof”, like the new FIN328 ceiling bulkhead) and this is the rating generally considered to be safer for lights fitted inside a shower cubicle.
Top Tip for Planning Your Bathroom Lighting: Even small rooms with one lighting scene will benefit from a dimmer switch. This inexpensive measure ensures night time trips to the loo or early morning starts are only as bright as you want them to be. Lights that can be dimmed include mains or low-voltage halogen, or any “standard” filament-type bulbs. LEDs, fluorescent or compact-fluorescent bulbs usually can’t (this includes most illuminated mirrors).
Keep an eye on our blog for the next section of this Bathroom lighting guide from Astro Lighting – the Types of Lighting You Can have in a Bathroom. If you are interested to purchase bathroom lights, check out the Bathroom Lights section on our website.