There can be few things nicer than relaxing with a warm bath or shower at the end of a long day, especially when the weather is cold, dark and damp. Making your bathroom into an oasis of calm will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, which is exactly what we all need at this time of year.
The right bathroom lighting will be hugely beneficial in helping you to create this soothing atmosphere.
An overhead light is a common option in bathrooms and this will provide much of the key illumination for the room; however, the glare of an exposed bulb can be too bright if you would like to create a relaxing ambience. Opt instead for a frosted glass fitting, which are available in a range of styles to suit all types of decor and provide a softer, more diffuse glow.
If you have a suitable-sized bathroom and you want to add a luxurious touch, you might decide to fit a chandelier. These glamorous light fittings are the last word in decadent bathing; however, remember that bathroom lighting must conform to strict safety standards. Only use lights specifically designed for bathrooms and make sure you follow the guidelines regarding the safe zones and the relevant IP ratings. Exposed bulbs near a bath or shower are definitely not a good idea; instead, an enclosed fitting should be used.
You will need some task lighting in the bathroom to help with jobs such as shaving, styling your hair or putting on makeup; however, placing your lighting overhead is not the best way to achieve this, as it will cast shadows in the wrong places. A better option is to install a mirror or mirrored bathroom cabinet with integral lighting. Bulbs placed along either side will give you the best amount of light without casting shadows that obscure your reflection, while using these near a mirrored surface will help to reflect more ambient light around the room. You can also use spotlights in the bathroom to great effect, with tracks or clusters of directional spots angled to give you illumination exactly where you need it.
You can also use lighting in different ways to create atmosphere. The bathroom is the perfect place to experiment with coloured bulbs, such as cool blues for a soothing ambience. Another option is to fit a dimmer switch to your lights; in this way, you can have bright illumination when you need it but can also turn them right down if you want to simply relax in low-level lighting as you bathe for total bathroom bliss.