Lighting is such an integral design element these days that it should be planned at the start of a project, and nowhere is this more important than in the bathroom. Here, fittings are generally built into the very fabric of the room, providing not only bright, general light to help with tasks such as shaving, but also ambient light for mood, which may involve a number of applications.
Oversized pendants, smart task lighting and elegant table or floor lamps are all ways to make a statement when it comes to lighting the home. Mixing styles and shapes will add interest and personality. Try building up layers to create an ideal fusion of style and purpose.
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A good set out provides the bare bones but it’s ease of control that matters to the user. Lutron systems are the industry standard but also look at new developments such as Taptile – a wireless touch sensitive system that uses sensor controls positioned behind a wall tile; touch the tile to turn your lighting on and off. It can control up to three different circuits from the one touch panel including extractor fans and sound systems, and is totally waterproof so it’s suitable for wet areas.
There are strict regulations regarding lighting in the bathroom and you must ensure any lighting products are certified for use in the bathroom, with an IP rating appropriate to the zone it’s located in – IP44 is for general use in bathrooms with IPXX for use in wet areas such as shower enclosures. British Standard regulations divide the bathroom into zones based on a perceived level of risk, so consult your electrician before choosing fittings.
As with any design problem, the best way to start is to analyse the space, its properties and how it’s going to be used. Most bathrooms can be easily split into zones: the vanity area, the bath, and the shower. Task lighting is generally concentrated around the vanity. Here, you need bright light but think about installing spots or LEDS in vertical rows down the side of mirrors as opposed to above, to give a more flattering light with less shadows. In compact areas, look at mirrored cabinets with integral lighting as a simple but effective solution.
Lighting can have a massive impact and should be planned early to ensure all key fittings are illuminated properly. Aim for sufficient task lighting in the shower and vanity areas, plus ambient lighting around the bath and in alcoves and niches. The latest smart lighting controls allow pre- programmed settings. Look out for wireless lighting controls, such as Crestron’s new Pyng system, which is installed without cables and can oversee thermostats, security and audio, if desired.
Statement lighting is having a moment. Outsized or crystal, all-out glamour is the way to go. This bespoke light fixture from Spark & Bell will take your scheme from zero to hero in an instant.
With the correct lighting, your room can take on different looks throughout the day, night and seasons. In most rooms, you’ll likely need several types of lighting, as one central light source won’t do every job. This is easily achieved through light layering, where you make use of different types of light sources in each room to suit your needs. Don’t overlook wall lights either – downlighters especially have become very popular, with an array of different styles, and are perfect for adding interest and ambience to a focal wall.
Bathroom lighting has to work on many levels. Think about how you will use the bathroom at different times of day. You want your bathroom to be bright and functional in the mornings, especially around the mirror area, but you also want to be able to wind down in the evenings with a nice relaxing bath. Fairly bright lights pointing in all directions make this a bathing space that is perfect for relaxing soaks with no danger of dazzling beams. Reccessed walls and ceilings are great for hiding spotlights and LEDs.
The latest innovations mean that you don’t have to completely overhaul a scheme in order to make a difference. This quintessential English style has been rejuvenated without losing its classic appeal thanks to this industrial light fixture.
‘Effective lighting can transform your home, defining space, highlighting design schemes and creating atmosphere and interest. Consider materials and function – bone china gives a gentle, ambient glow, prismatic glass exaggerates and intensifies light, while aluminium and other metals bring a more industrial flavour and greater visual impact,' says Peter Bowles, MD, Original BTC.
Gone are the days when lighting was seen as means of seeing in the dark. Like the best art or furniture, it can totally transform a home and is a good starting point for a design scheme.
Don’t be afraid to go big. It takes a little bravery, but you can afford to use larger lights than you might at first think sensible. Big chandeliers, drum pendants and giant floor lamps are all very much in vogue for those who like their lighting to make a statement.