Choosing the right Bathroom Light Fixtures

Bathroom Ideas

Selecting a new set of bathroom light fixtures for your bathroom can be a daunting task let alone your entire home. However, it doesn’t have to be. Many people are unaware that minor improvements to their bathroom lighting could add major benefits to their lifestyle as well as to the enjoyment of their homes. Proven experiments have shown that better lighting suited to specific settings can be the difference between a positive and a negative outlook suggesting that we would all be a lot better off if we paid closer attention to these taken-for-granted details. An area of the home we all spend a lot of time in is the bathroom – grooming, brushing our teeth and performing a whole range of daily tasks – where lighting is also important. An improvement in our bathroom lighting could well help us see an improvement in our quality of life.

Your choice of bathroom light fixtures will largely depend upon the size, layout and design of your bathroom. Larger bathrooms usually require more lighting than smaller bathrooms meaning you may need to acquire more lights than you initially thought. Smaller bathrooms on the other hand tend not to need as much lighting so an appropriate bathroom light fixture placed on the ceiling should be adequate enough to light all elements of the room. Large bathrooms with a shower unit would benefit from a flushed (recessed) shower light fixture placed in the enclosure. This will ensure sufficient lighting is received when using the shower unit.

Another area of the bathroom that requires highlighting is the basin and mirror. To get proper lighting when using your basin and mirror you should consider bathroom vanity light fixtures. These type of fixtures work best with (and usually come in the form of) low voltage halogen lights. They can be controlled independently using a dimmer switch (if and when installed) and help illuminate (or dim) specific areas of your bathroom. They come in very handy when switching between activities such as putting on your make-up and unwinding in the bath. Placing wall sconces (wall lights) beside and above the mirror will also provide you with detailed lighting for the more necessary tasks.

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It would be good to have some sort of idea of the type of lighting you would like for your bathroom before actually beginning your search as bathroom light fixtures are of a rather large variety. Planning ahead will give you a head start and better your chances of finding the right light fixture for you and your bathroom. A good tip to help you on your way is to be confident concerning the decorating style of your bathroom. A modern or contemporary styled bathroom should include fixtures that mirror the same style. Victorian or older light fixture designs for example would look out of place in a more up to date bathroom. To get an idea of what kind of light fixture may be suitable to the layout of your bathroom, Progress lighting has a wide variety of modern and traditional fixtures that may help in your design decisions. It is also a good idea to note the room and wall sizes of your bathroom decorating project. For instance you would want to make sure that a bar style light is not wider than the rectangular mirror it hangs over. In order to get the correct results it is important to take careful measurements beforehand as well as to keep the overall room scale in mind while renovating.

Installation Tips

Bathroom VanitiesOne straightforward way to brighten up a bathroom is to install appropriate new lighting. Replacing a vanity light also enables you to upgrade a key part of the bathroom interior decor. A bathroom vanity light fixture, as mentioned earlier, can be acquired in a variety of different shapes, sizes and designs. The majority are easy to install over an existing electrical box, usually requiring less than an hour to fix. Some electrical boxes are positioned directly above a mirror or medicine cabinet, while others can be found at each side of the glass feature.

Before you purchase a fixture you should first make sure that it will fit into the space available without causing obstruction to an adjacent wall or interfering with a mirror or trim. Instructions provided by the manufacturer of the light fixture should also be followed precisely as they are presented.

To create a strong but soft light that does not cast shadows, bathroom light fixtures that utilize halogen bulbs as well as frosted diffusers should primarily be selected. However, before you begin any work the power to the existing fixture at the electrical service panel must be switched off. The globe (or diffuser) and the bulbs can then be removed. The retaining nut that holds the decorative cover plate onto the electrical box should be unscrewed next. If the old fixture is proving difficult to remove the blade of a utility or putty knife can be run around the edges of the plate. This will free it from caulk or paint. The wiring can then be disconnected and the fixture can be put to one side.

Incandescent light fixtures are often directly mounted to an electrical box in older homes. Some electrical codes now require that the fixture is mounted to a flat metal bar, which is known as a mounting strap. The mounting strap is secured to the box and is also included in most new fixtures along with the necessary screws. Before installing the fixture all the wires coming out of the box should be inspected. If the ends are nicked or tarnished you should cut them and strip off a half inch of the insulation with a wire stripper. Following instructions provided by the manufacturer the wires of the fixture can then be attached to the circuit wires using the nuts provided. Importantly, all installed lighting should be properly grounded. This is particularly important in a bathroom where there is a higher presence of water than in any other room.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely when setting up the ground wire. Many modern bathroom light fixtures will require the ground wire to be hooked up to the mounting strap. After grounding has been safely done the fixture can then be mounted to the box as directed by the manufacturer. The final step involves screwing in the appropriate bulbs and making sure that their wattage does not exceed the maximum capacity allowed for the fixture. To finish off attach the diffuser, which is typically held in place with a decorative cap or retaining nut, and then tighten the fixture to the point of friction to stop the diffuser from cracking.

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