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Lighting Guide | Bathroom


Light plays a crucial role in the bathroom at all hours of the day and night. Whether waking up, washing, dressing, applying makeup, shaving, enjoying a relaxing bath, preparing for sleep, changing a baby, or using the restroom in the middle of the night—appropriate lighting is key.

There's a need for invigorating light that is crisp and intense, consistent illumination on the face without shadows that brings out the true skin tone and the correct colors of clothing, and sometimes, softer and muted lighting to create a cozy ambiance.

Thus, it's essential to plan for multiple lighting circuits and, if possible, incorporate dimming features.

Additionally, introducing as much natural light as possible, whether through large windows or skylights, provides the best lighting for many of these tasks. Here are some tips for well-suited lighting.

Blend invigorating lighting for daily energy with ambient lighting for moments of relaxation.


Ambient and functional lighting

Vary the color temperatures (either through multiple types of fixtures or "white variation"):

  • For general lighting, opt for a cooler range between 3000K and 4000K.
  • By the mirror, choose a warmer light to enhance skin tone while remaining true to daylight; 3000K is a good balance.
  • For a cozy ambiance, go for warmer light, 2700K to 2200K or dimmed.
  • Optionally, incorporate colors for "chromotherapy" around the bath or shower area.

Use a good color rendering index (CRI) of at least 90: Given that the bathroom is a place for dressing, makeup, etc., color accuracy is essential.

Adhere to safety standards concerning electrocution protection in wet areas when selecting and positioning light fixtures.


Positioning of fixtures

  • Opt for diffused, uniform, and intense general lighting, ideally through a "skylight" effect or using subtle downlights.

  • Steer clear of any installations that might cause glare, such as spotlights directly above the bathtub or changing table.

  • For mirror lighting, choose a diffused light source positioned at the front to eliminate unflattering facial shadows. Consider integrating the light within the mirror, but be sure to review technical specifications, or position it above or on the sides.

  • Augment with indirect lighting to establish a soft ambiance, perfect for nighttime. This can be integrated into furniture, niches, baseboards, ceilings, and more.
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The toilet

Whether separate from the bathroom or not, toilets can have a distinct ambiance:

  • Incorporate luminous grooves around the casings for wall-hung toilets.

  • Enhance with a subtle spotlight or a decorative wall sconce, as needed.

Get inspired - Light your bathroom

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Copyright LampTwist | Guide to residential lighting - Written and illustrated by Aurore Renard -