Design for Bathroom Task Lighting
The question I asked earlier (in the post meta description) is sort of a trick question. Of course what’s most important about task lighting is that it be adequate to the task.
One can brush their teeth in dim light, but shaving and applying make up require sufficient light to see clearly what you’re doing.
This post is part of a series about bathroom remodeling as well as part of a sub-series on lighting. To access either of the lead posts please select one of the links below.
So the important characteristic of task lighting is that it be sufficiently focused to see everything you need to see while not being too bring as to create glare.
Because mirrors are generally involved with grooming tasks, task lighting is generally above or adjacent to a mirror. You want it to illuminate you as much as if not more than the mirror and this is another area where I’m a huge fan of dimmers. Sometimes you just need to turn it up.
LED bulbs are getting much better and some produce a bright white light (the older ones were blueish and not good for task lighting) but unfortunately they don’t yet dim well, so I often recommend low to medium lumen halogen bulbs as halogen bulbs produce a bright light. However halogen bulbs get really hot so you want them installed where they do not get too near to your face.
Halogen spot lights in the ceiling or a halogen fixture above the mirror does the trick nicely.
You do want flexibility in your bathroom because lighting products will improve before you remodel again, so during this bathroom remodel stick to a form factor (recessed spot lights, wall mount fixture) for which bulbs of different types are already available, as what will improve over time is primarily the bulbs, not the fixtures.
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