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- Lighting 101
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- Light Bulb Types
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- Recessed Lighting Tips
- Landscape Lighting Tips
- Lighting For Older Adults
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Lighting 101 The Bathroom
Bathroom’s requires two types of lighting, task lighting and ambient lighting.
Task lighting is important because it is lighting that is focused on a specific area making the completion of visual tasks easier. This enables us to perform tasks that require attention to detail, such as, shaving, applying makeup, styling our hair and doing our nails.
Ambient lighting or general lighting is important since it provides lighting throughout the whole bathroom. It is most often supplied by a central fixture, usually a surface-mounted ceiling light.
The lavatory and vanity area requires the right amount of illumination. It is important that this lighting be bright and flattering, but not glaring. A common mistake is putting recessed ceiling fixtures directly over the mirror, which casts shadows on the face. For even lighting, consider mirror lighting, pendant lighting, or sconces mounted on either side of the mirror. Lighting the Vanity Right To eliminate shadows under the chin, eyes, and cheeks, fixtures should be mounted on either side of the vanity mirror (or on the mirror's surface, if it's large), 36 to 40 inches apart. The center of each fixture should be roughly at eye level, or about 66 inches above the floor. This will ensure even illumination across the face for grooming. A functional and decorative choice for vanity lighting is the “Bath Bar” or Cosmetic Strip fixture mounted above the mirror. It is important to specify bulbs that have a lower wattage or frosted glass to minimize glare. Wall lights or Sconces should be mounted at eye level. When standing and looking at the sconce, you don’t want to be able to the see the light bulb itself.
Another layer of lighting bathroom lighting is the bath/shower area. Recessed fixtures work well over a shower, bathtub, or in the toilet area. For the shower, it is very important to use a recessed fixture that is intended for the shower and rated to work under conditions of humidity and possible contact with water
Incandescent bulbs produce warm light and are commonly used in bathrooms. A standard incandescent bulb can last anywhere from 700-1000 hours, and it can be used with a dimmer.
Halogen bulbs are available in various shapes, sizes, and are more energy efficient than regular incandescent A variation of the incandescent bulb technology, halogen bulbs work by passing electricity through a tungsten filament, which is encased in a tube containing halogen gas. Halogen bulbs have longer life spans than most incandescent bulbs and are compatible with a dimmer switch.
Fluorescent bulbs and CFL’s are considered energy efficient. Generally lasting about ten times longer than incandescent bulbs and with a bulb life anywhere between 10,000 to 20,000 hours. Fluorescent light sources offer a good color rendering ability and are excellent for lighting large areas where minor detailed tasks will be undertaken. Unfortunately, most fluorescent bulbs cannot be used with dimmers.
A dimmer enables control over lighting and in creating the mood of the room. In a small space, such as the powder room, dimming the light provides enchanting accent lighting. In addition, dimmers help conserve energy since and lamp life is extended. When a bulb is dimmed 10 percent will it will last as much as twice as long as a bulb at full brightness. A 120-volt incandescent or halogen light source will require an incandescent dimmer, while low-voltage and fluorescent fixtures require their own compatible dimmers.