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Illuminate your bathroom: a quick and easy guide

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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We all know how harsh a horrible bathroom light is on the eyes and um, perhaps the morning reflection in the mirror. So why not consider a lighting scheme that's a little easier on the eyes and ego? After all, this is the room where you start and end your day.

A great bathroom will ideally be a place of refuge and comfort, and the lighting scheme chosen will play a central role in creating this ambience. Lighting fixtures and products have come a long way in recent years and it's far easier and cheaper to install interesting lighting than ever before.

So if you have a harsh overhead light-bulb, it might be a good idea to dump it and think about other ways to light your bathroom. It will pay off in spades. For ideas and inspiration, check out these 6 bathroom lighting ideas.

Light up the mirror

It seems natural to start with the vanity mirror! A strong overhead light or lamp above the mirror will create ugly shadows and is best avoided. To create a soft, yet adequate light, consider lamps on either side of the mirror or even recessed lighting strips on both the top and bottom of the mirror cabinet. See here how this kind of recessed lighting has been used on either site of these mirrors to give a diffuse and flattering light.

Install recessed overhead lighting

Once the single overhead light bulb has been banished, it's usually time to install some recessed LED lights. It's always good to choose lights that dim because of their flexibility. They will be easy on the eyes and will help you relax at night.

One common mistake people often make, is to install far too many down-lights. A few centrally located lights should be enough for general, even illumination. Later on, you can add task and ornamental lighting for specific areas.

Light the shelves or line the floors

As we saw earlier, strip lighting under bathroom shelves will make them appear as if they're floating and create a soft, dreamy ambience. But it's also possible to use strip lighting anywhere in the bathroom. If you have a bathtub, install some strip lighting underneath on the edge of the floor panelling to really amp up the effect. Here we can see how it been used to create an ambience that is both subtle and powerful. Having a bathroom like this would be like having your own day spa at home!

Choose the right bulbs

Blue lights are great for boosting energy levels, helping us focus and stay alert. But they are quite hard on the eye and definitely not the most unflattering light. It's also harder to relax under a cold coloured light. Although LED lights have a reputation for being quite cold, newer models are available in colours no different from the old incandescent globes.

So choose bulbs with a warmer spectrum and avoid having a bathroom that looks like an operating room!

Consider a chandelier

For a while there, bathroom lighting was treated with a purely functional approach and brutal, clinical light fittings became the norm. While the amount of moisture in a bathroom means that it's best to avoid fabric shades, there's no reason not to indulge in something more romantic. Here we can see how a chandelier has been placed directly over a bathtub for a lovely effect. The prospect of sinking into a steamy bathtub while a chandelier glimmers overhead is sure to appeal to most people. What fantastic decadence!

Add some decorative lights

 Kitchen by HeadSprung Ltd
HeadSprung Ltd

Cosmic Jar

HeadSprung Ltd

To finish up, it might be fun to add some beautiful decorative lights. In the spirit of layering your lighting, consider a decorative candle feature. Big wax candles can start to look messy fairly quickly, so a lighting feature with easily replaceable tea-lights may appeal. Cosmic jars are also a great little DIY project. The beautiful cosmic jars were made by HeadSprung. But if you want to make some yourself, all you need to do is get some mason jars and fill them with a string of battery-operated LED lights.

If you are interested in bathroom ideas, you might be interested in this Ideabook: Visit a spa from the comfort of your own home!

Are there ways you can integrate some of these ideas into your bathroom? We'd love to hear in the comments below!
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