Home renovations are becoming more and more popular in Australia and a new bathroom can make a huge difference to your lifestyle. There’s nothing better than designing your own luxury spa at home and being able to chose the perfect tiles, bath tub, vanity and fittings.

However, when it comes to lighting in your bathroom, this doesn’t tend to get as much attention as everything else. Many people just install a ceiling light and heater combination and leave it as that. However, there’s much more to lighting your bathroom than just a ceiling light and with a little fore thought, you can create a wonderful ambiance in your newly renovated bathroom.

elsternwick bathroom 10

So let’s take a look at some of the lighting features you should consider in your new bathroom.

IP rating

Otherwise known as Ingress Protection Rating this lets you know that your lighting is safe to use in your bathroom. The IP rating consists of two numbers, the first relating to how well it’s protected from dust and dirt and the second, how well it’s protected against moisture. For your bathroom you need an IP44 if the fixture is above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m. Different areas of your bathroom will require fittings with higher or lower IP ratings, so it’s best to consult your electrician.

Lighting direction

The direction of your bathroom lighting is usually determined by the light shade and is either upwards or downwards. An upward direction provides ambient light which is a general illumination of the bathroom, whilst a downward direction provides more task orientated lighting. A well-lit bathroom has a combination of both upward and downward directed lighting.
The most important lights in your bathroom are the vanity lights that provide a downward light that’s essential for avoiding shadows, providing the perfect illumination for your face. On the other hand, accent lights often face upwards or in both directions to highlight architectural features, favourite ornaments or other aspect of your bathroom.

Types of bulbs

Most people opt for LED bulbs in the bathroom (select bulbs between 9 to 13 watts for the best illumination), but vintage bulbs are also becoming very popular, because they have the spiral filaments exposed. These Edison bulbs are more expensive, but in the right fittings look absolutely fabulous in a bathroom. Although they aren’t suitable as vanity lighting, they do look spectacular!

led light bulb

Types of fittings

Lighting around the vanity is also necessary, but it needs to be placed so that it doesn’t cast shadows on your face. The best place for vanity lighting is on either side of the mirror, because installing a light on just one side doesn’t illuminate your face correctly and creates the shadows you are trying to avoid. Downlights are also popular in bathrooms, but not at the expense of vanity lighting.

In small bathrooms you can get away with vanity lighting and a few downlights (even under-bench lighting), but in larger bathrooms you can include more layered lighting for additional interest and texture. You can also consider adding hanging pendants for an extra feeling of luxury and uplights to highlight a standalone tub.

Bathroom lighting is essential to creating the right type of ambiance in your renovation. So it’s worth contacting bathroom renovation experts who can help you design the bathroom of your dreams with the best selection of lighting along with everything else!