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 ablutions, it needs to double as a stylish sanctuary, preferably 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.
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.