Layering Light in a Bathroom
Layering light in a bathroom is the best way to provide task lighting as well as ambient lighting, striking just the right balance of function and mood.
In days gone by, bathrooms were often rooms that had only one central overhead light shining down from the ceiling. Because bathrooms are typically not overly large (compared to other rooms in the home), they sometimes get short-changed in the number of lights allotted them.
These days there are many options to compliment or supplement your overhead, central lighting source. Chandeliers are being introduced in the bath, adding a touch of glamour.
Flush ceiling mounts are still an ideal choice, especially if installed with a dimming option.
Decorative Sconces & Bath Bars
Above the sink, decorative sconce lighting fixtures are popular and are available in a variety of sizes (2-light, 3-light, etc.). Single-light sconces on either side of the mirror help to even out task lighting in this area, as well as to accent other areas of the bathroom.
Mini-pendants are even gaining popularity as an alternate option of side-mirror lighting, and can be used above the bathtub for a dramatic effect.
- Some fixtures have larger back plates and will require a larger mounting block than the standard size.
- Make sure the fixture is not wider than the wall it is mounted on.
- DON'T UNDERSIZE YOUR LANTERNS: As a rule of thumb, your lantern should appear to be about half the size of your door from
- 50' away.
- When in doubt, always go larger.
- If you choose a fixture with a long tail or top scroll, pay attention to the overall bulk of the fixture.
The height of an outdoor lantern should be based on the height of the door:
FOR 1 LANTERN:
If you place a lantern on only one side of the door, it should measure one-third the height of the door. The center of the bulb should rest 66" above the threshold of the door.
FOR 2 LANTERNS:
When two lanterns are used, they should each measure approximately one-fourth the height of the door. The center of the bulb should rest 66" above the threshold of the door.
To size a chandelier for your dining room, or to be the focal point of your space, measure the length and width of the room and add those figures together. The sum, converted to inches, will equal the diameter of the correct-sized chandelier.
- If the resulting measurement (room length+width, converted to inches) seems inappropriate due to the size of your table, size your chandelier three quarters the width of your table.
- In most cases, the bottom of your chandelier should sit approximately 30"-32" above the table top.
- When determining whether to hang a flush, semi-flush, or multi-tiered chandelier in your foyer, be advised that the bottom of the fixture should be at least 7' from the floor.
- For two-story foyers, if there is a window above the front door, center the chandelier so it can be seen from outside.
- If your foyer is extra-large, you may also want to add sconces. Sconces should be installed 60" from the floor and 6'-8' apart.