Sally Storey, design director of John Cullen Lighting, shares her tips on creating the right mood in your bathroom with lighting.
The bathroom is the last place of escape in the home. These days, it’s often the only room that still has a lock on the door, providing a retreat from open-plan spaces and the constant whirl of modern living. No longer just for washing, it needs to double as a stylish sanctuary, oreferably with all the indulgences of a luxury spa. But it takes more than a freestanding tub or a boundary-free shower to create such a haven of R&R. Setting the scene with the right lighting is the secret to creating a serene aesthetic.
1 Think about how much natural daylight there is in your bathroom and how you use the room.
2 Ensure that bathroom lighting has an ingress protection (IP) rating that is appropriate for its location. For example, a light used in a shower will need a higher IP rating than one situated above a basin. There is a clear explanation here.
3 When choosing lighting, check the colour rendering ability of the light sources, it needs to be as close as possible to that of natural daylight. High-quality LED fittings now produce colour as accurately as traditional halogen lighting.
4 Any bathroom mirror should be lit evenly from either side to limit shadows, especially if it’s used for applying make-up or shaving. A pair of bathroom wall lamps works well for task lighting.
5 Consider using recessed lights, such as John Cullen’s ‘Lucca’ one-watt LED spots, to highlight alcoves or produce an ethereal-looking glow behind an opaque bath panel. Team with a floor washer that can be used as a nightlight or to emphasise a key area such as the basin.
6 Bathroom lighting should be controlled via at least two different circuits: one for downlights and the other for wall lights. Ideally, dimmers should be used on both circuits to create different moods. Alternatively, install a preset lighting system to change the atmosphere at the touch of a button.
7 For a simple nightlight, try using presence-detector lighting (PIR) to control low-level LED floor washers and uplights.