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Wall-fixed or recessed lights?

When it comes to choosing light fittings for your space, there are many things to consider. As with every aspect of redesigning your bathroom, the key thing to think about is how you actually use the space, as this determines the lighting you need in order to provide the right illumination for different areas of the room.

Since practicality is as equally important as style, whether you’ve got a large bathroom with a vintage aesthetic or a practical family bathroom, the lighting you choose needs to be functional as well as stylish.

Wall-fixed lighting

Wall-fixed lighting is an ideal solution for small bathrooms or in spaces where personal grooming takes priority. To get the most flattering light for applying make-up, styling your hair, cleansing or shaving, wall lights at either side of the mirror provide flattering light.

For small bathrooms, wall-fixed lights are an excellent solution, as these can be fitted either side of the mirror, providing adequate task lighting, with a further wall-mounted fixture on the opposite wall (offset from the mirror). Overhead lighting in small bathrooms can cause shadows, creating unflattering light for grooming and styling in the mirror, whereas wall-mounted fittings can illuminate walls and reflect light off vertical surfaces and the bathroom mirror.

In larger bathrooms, wall-fixed light fittings are likely to be used in conjunction with other light fittings to avoid shadows and provide adequate task lighting. Layered lighting is the best approach to take in rooms such as the bathroom, where the right lighting is required for different tasks.

You can find out more about layered lighting in our article here.

Wall-fixed lights come in a range of designs and can add a touch of extra style to your space. A traditional style wall light is perfect for bathrooms with a period or vintage aesthetic. A modern hotel light complements more contemporary or feature bathrooms, adding a touch of panache to any modern design. Additionally, the soft, warm light emitted from a wall-fixed lamp suits the more romantic aesthetic of the space.

Recessed lighting

Recessed ceiling lights in the form of down lights have proved to be very popular in bathrooms and kitchens, as the bright pure white light emitted can provide ample illumination for the space. While a single ceiling-mounted light fitting can be problematic in that it can cause shadows and leave some areas of the bathroom insufficiently lit, numerous recessed lights can make a room seem a little stark and sterile.

It’s a common misconception to include as many down lights as possible in a room to get the best illumination throughout. However, as recessed ceiling lights focus the light directly downwards, walls and vertical surfaces won’t be sufficiently lit as they are unable to reflect the light.

Awkwardly shaped rooms, such as those with sloping ceilings and alcoves, can be particularly difficult to illuminate, especially with down lights, as the light won’t reach into the corners. Lighting a room in this way typically uses a lot of energy, but may still result in a room with dull walls and dark corners. Many lighting schemes tend to incorporate a few recessed ceiling lights along with wall-fixed lights to give ample overhead lighting, but with the right amount of light washing over the walls.

Recessed ceiling lights are ideal for providing ample illumination in tricky areas, such as over the bath and shower, as they’re IP Zone 1 rated. All our ceiling lights are dimmable, meaning you can have bright lights for a refreshing morning shower and soothing, atmospheric light for those long, relaxing soaks in the tub.

You might also consider installing recessed ceiling lights in combination with other light fixtures to achieve the very best lighting scheme for the room. Recessed ceiling lights installed closely above the mirror can provide ample task lighting when used in combination with wall fixed or hotel lights installed either side of the mirror, as this reduces shadows and creates a flattering light in the mirror.

Interior designers typically recommend layered lighting in bathrooms to create the right balance of focused task lighting around the mirror, accent lighting to highlight features and focal points, and ambient lighting for general illumination. As with everything in your bathroom, consider how you use the space and what type of lighting you’ll need for everything you do in this room.

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