Make it work for you
CATHERINE’S CHOICE: mood LIGHTING Harness the power of multi-layered mood lighting and set the scene for relaxation in your bathroom
“Installing low-watt LED uplights around the bath is a bit like having instant candles – relaxing and romantic” SALLY STOREY, JOHN cullen LIGHTING.
Forget the lone ceiling light and over-mirror combo that’s been illuminating British bathrooms, badly, for decades. Strategically placed mood lighting is the secret to creating a soothing bathroom that’s as indulgent as your favourite spa.
QWhere do I begin?
Start by working out how you use the bathroom. If you’re a bath person, focus on atmospheric lighting to create ambience near the bath – floor lights around the perimeter of the bath will cast a restful glow. Waterproof light fittings can be added inside the bath and shower, creating a luxurious spa effect as they shimmer through the water.
QDo I need a lighting plan?
Yes – lighting should be planned at the same time as the plumbing to ensure adequate illumination. Getting organised early, before the tiles are on, also means you can make the most of niches, window reveals and uplights in the floor.
QWhat fittings do I need?
Mood lighting is often recessed within cabinetry and niches, so you can’t see the source. These lights must be designed for bathroom use and IP rated according to proximity to water – your plumber will advise. LED lights, which are 50-90% more energy efficient than halogen, are best,and available in multiple guises, including uplighters, downlighters and LED ropes.
QHow can I max the mood?
Colour-changing lights, aka chromotherapy, vary lighting shades according to your mood. Lighting can also enhance textured tiles or interesting types of stone. Install directional uplights or downlights to wash vertical surfaces in soft, low-level light.
QHow do I control them?
Dimmer controls achieve layers of light that can be dialled up or down. Go for at least two circuits – one for main task lights, and one for the mood lighting. If budget allows, fit programmable controls that save favourite light settings – try Crestron or Rako.
CATHERINE ADDED LIGHTS TO CREATE A SOFT GLOW BENEATH THE FLOATING VANITY