Today's bathroom lights are easier than ever to install, energy-efficient, and available in endless designs and sizes. Whether you're shopping for bathroom ceiling lighting, a vanity mirror with lights, wall sconces, or bath strips (also called bath bars), the choices are endless which is both the beauty and the battle of shopping for bath light fixtures.
Where to Start Shopping for Bath Lighting
Since bathrooms tend to be one of the smaller rooms in your home, you should start by doing a realistic assessment of the space. Vanity lighting is the most common approach to bath lights, but the opportunities for placement go far beyond that. Consider hanging sconces near the door, by the shower stall or near a freestanding whirlpool or bathtub. When choosing a bath light fixture to hang over a mirror, consider where the light will land when it passes through the shade. If bathroom brightness is your main priority, shop for styles that cast light in a downward direction.
Speaking of lighting direction, a shade that opens up toward the ceiling or towards the end of your vanity might be more suitable for powder rooms that add dramatic visual interest for visitors and party guests. Some modern lights are entirely encased inside the shade, bathing the area with a luminous glow.
Whatever your pick, make sure to properly measure the space where the bath lighting will be installed, accounting for edges and corners that might interfere with your plan. It’s helpful to divide your mirror into equal sections with masking tape in order to determine the number of lamps to include in your fixture. For sconces, ceiling lights, or decorative lights, try cutting a piece of thin cardboard into the exact dimensions of the light you plan to use. Hold the template to the wall or ceiling to get a sense of how the fixture will fit into the area.
Professional Advice on Bathroom Lighting
According to professional designers, you should consider the shapes already at work in the bathroom's décor and architecture. If your bathroom floor is covered in square tile and the mirror is also square, continue the pattern with a set of square-shaped bathroom vanity lights. More fluid shapes such as a curvy bathtub or pair of oval sinks might be complemented by a shell-shaped wall sconce or vintage light bar. Alternatively, a long, curved rectangular wall light lends classic sophistication to a modern bathroom's sleek styling.
Consistent use of the same material, whether it be metal, glass, ceramic or wood, is another professional technique, but that doesn't mean you should be afraid to create contrast. For example, if your vanity is built from dark oak and has a ceramic sink, industrial bath lighting is a surprising contrast that looks beautiful.
Another example of shopping by lighting material is shopping for chrome bathroom lighting. Using chrome in the bathroom is no new thing, but few things make a bathroom look more pulled together than the shine of chrome in lighting fixtures. Also called silvertone or nickel, chrome is the classic choice for vanity light fixtures above a mirror. If you want to make a statement, the chrome plating should stand out against the wall, providing contrast that reveals the structural lines and details.
Shopping for bathroom light fixtures provides an opportunity to create a new look without the stress and expense of a major remodel. With so many styles and options for vanity lights, ceiling lights, and wall lights, your toughest task is making those final decisions. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to read the product descriptions carefully, taking time to obtain proper measurements. Also consider important factors like wattage, bulb style, shade color, light direction, and installation methods. When hanging your fixtures, use precaution and consider hiring a professional if you need help. With your new lights shining, you can look in the mirror and congratulate yourself on a job done well.
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