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

Ideal Home (UK) - - Kitchen Project -

“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.


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