Lighting For Your Home Or Cottage : Bathroom Lighting

As with any other room in a cottage or home in Muskoka / Lake Of Bays, it’s best to first determine where you need light, and how much light you will need in each area. Before changing or adding light fixtures, always determine where and what type of light is needed. Then look for fixtures that give you the amount of light you need while still meeting your decorating needs.

Vanity Lighting
Depending on the size of your bathroom and your lighting needs, mulitple levels of lighting may suit your needs, ranging from single light to a multiple light. A variety of styles are available to suit your décor. Not only do you need to address the vanity lighting, but the general lighting of the bathroom so there is always enough light.

Pointing up.
Most vanity lighting is placed above the sink and counter. Usually mirrors are directly below the fixture, or placed between two fixtures on the wall. The fixtures shown here point up to reduce the glare on the sink and mirror. This is especially good for those who have stainless steel or highly reflective sinks and counter tops.

This sort of style doesn’t work well with bathrooms that have high ceilings, as the light directed upwards is lost by the time it hits the ceiling and bounces down. If you do prefer this style in a high-ceiling bathroom, it would be wise to also install pot-lights or other general lighting to ensure you have enough light.

Simple vanity.
These fixtures give off a great amount of light, and work well in small bathrooms to light up the entire bathroom, where there isn’t room to install other types of lighting. Most apartments and rental units come with this sort of strip lighting. Large vanity bulbs are used, and although the pictures show clear bulbs, it’s best to use a frosted bulb to reduce glare.

Pointing down.
These fixtures direct the light down, onto the counter and sink area. This allows for more light, and works best for those who have their sinks/counters tucked into the corner of their bathroom. For fixtures such as these, it’s best to get a frosted bulb. That way the light is slightly diffused and doesn’t give off as much glare.

General Lighting
For those with large bathrooms, recessed lighting (pot lights) are a good idea. They allow for lights to be hidden in the ceiling, and can be controlled by a dimmer. If you have a large bathtub, or a larger area in the bathroom where general lighting is needed, but you don’t want a large fixture, recessed lighting is the best option.

For those with very small bathrooms, it’s best to find a fixture that gives you the maximum amount of light without having to install more lighting fixtures. If your bathroom has low ceilings, consider lighting that points up, or recessed lighting to allow for more space. Recessed lighting allows you to use energy efficient bulbs that don’t drive up the heat in the room.

Blinded by the light?
Tired of being blinded at night by your fully lit bathroom fixtures? It’s a good idea to install a dimmer switch on the main fixture (if in a small bathroom) or on the general lighting (for a larger bathroom). This allows you to dim down your fixtures to a needed level of light, without wasting energy or blinding you (and your family) at night. For those who enjoy relaxing baths, slightly dimmed light is also ideal. Dimmer switches reduce light output and energy use. Having groups of lights on separate controls will help you reduce your energy use, as you can then turn off any fixtures you do not require.

Safety first.
No matter the type of lighting you want for your bathroom, always ensure that the fixture can indeed be used in a wet/damp location. While some more decorative lighting may look better in your bathroom, if it’s not designed to withstand the damp conditions of a bathroom, then it isn’t suitable.