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25 Oct - Guest Blog

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Bathroom Lighting Tips by Sian Parsons, Senior Designer at John Cullen Lighting

Sian Parsons, Senior Lighting Designer at John Cullen Lighting, shares with us great tips about bathroom lighting.


Lighting is essential to all rooms in your home. With the exception of the kitchen, none is more important that your bathroom. The key to good lighting is to include layers of light, and by ‘layers’ I mean light from different source creating different effects in the same room. Uplights always add a touch of quality to a space, particularly in rooms where it is more usual to see downlights, and for a bathing experience they create just the right touch of drama as well as softness.

Below the main light in the room comes from the ceiling recessed downlights. They’ve been placed to wash down the beautiful tiles in the shower and highlight the basins and taps for that extra sparkle, whilst reflecting light back from these surfaces into the room. The second layer of light has been created from the wall lights, either wall or mirror mounted, which give a soft infill of light to the room, whilst also creating a task light to the face.

Task light to your face is essential. Wall mounted or hanging decorative lanterns, mounted to sit either side of your face is key for those more mundane bathroom tasks. Choose between a softer 2500 kelvin light source, or a slightly fresher 2700 kelvin, dependant on the other lighting in your room. If everything else in the room has a very soft warm glow, you may not get the crispness necessary from a cooler light source when the daylight is missing. Alternatively use the wall lights for a warmer evening glow when the downlights in the room are dimmed down, and you transform the space into a more intimate and relaxing one. It can also be great to use the latest LED technology with linear strip lights to back light your mirror, which makes the most of clean lines and simplicity.

Low level lighting is not essential, but it does add softness and luxury to your bath time rituals. Its worth considering 1w LED floor washers to lead you into the bathroom, whilst also highlighting and softly washing the floor. For more of a modern look, linear LED strip lights can be set under wall units, to float vanities or in niches, bathing those spaces with a soft wash. It’s definitely worth ensuring that these light sources aren’t too ‘cool’ in tone, as this would jar with their low level mood lighting effect. They also work perfectly from movement sensors, helping with that middle of the night task requirement.

When all of these layers of light are carefully considered, and worked with in sympathy with the bathroom design, truly beautiful spaces can be created!