American Lighting Association

Issue No. 7, March 2010

Schonbek-bath-quaint-main-croppedmore
Photo courtesy of  Schonbek Worldwide Lighting Inc.

Learn more about:



COMFORT ZONE
Create Your Own Luxurious, Spa-like Space




NEW LOOK

How do You Know When it's Time for an Upgrade?





BRIGHT TIPS
The Best Light for Your Best Look



Make a Splash in the Bath
Transform an ordinary bathroom into your personal sanctuary.

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COMFORT ZONE: Create a Luxurious, Spa-like Space 

In an era when going away on vacation may not be in the budget, many homeowners are finding it makes fiscal sense to turn the master bath into a spa environment with high-end amenities such as soaking tubs, saunas, whirlpools, bidets, granite countertops, double sinks, marble and tile flooring, and his and hers dressing areas. If you don't have the resources or desire to take on a major remodeling project, you can still create your special space.

Even simple changes like adding a vase of flowers, plush towels and scented candles can help make you feel like you're being pampered. Try changing the wall color, hanging a dramatic mirror, adding draperies or using a decorative rug. For a greater impact, without too much more effort, you can install a pedestal sink or replace a light fixture. And nothing says luxuriousness like a chandelier over the tub.

When selecting bathroom lighting, be sure to consider an ambient light source as well as task lighting. It's one thing for a decorative fixture to be attractive. Just be sure it provides good light as well. These days, soft contemporary styles are leading the pack.

For expertise about the types of light fixtures you need to create a beautiful bathroom, click here to find your local American Lighting Association member showroom.

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Cooper-bathroom-cropped
Photo courtesy of Cooper Lighting

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Photo courtesy of Hinkley Lighting

NEW LOOK: How do You Know When it's Time for an Upgrade?

Here are a few things to consider to determine if it's time for a bathroom lighting upgrade:

Are you frustrated by uneven shadows or glare when looking into the mirror?
Replace old light fixtures with new ones that provide cross illumination for shadow-free lighting. If you have a singe ceiling-mounted fixture over the vanity, or a light bar over the mirror, and don't want to cut new holes for electrical connections, you can mount a track over the existing electrical outlet and hang one fixture over the sink that includes pendants hanging from either side.

Do you knick yourself while shaving in the shower or tub?
Lighting in the shower stall and over the tub should be bright enough for cleaning, shaving and reading shampoo labels. If you have an older home, built before UL-rated bulbs were available, add some recessed downlights designed for use in wet areas, and put shields around them.  Shielded fixtures will protect reclining bathers' eyes from glare. An adjustable accent light aiming from outside the tub is dramatic, glare-free and great for those bringing books to the bath.

Is the unit housing on your bathroom's overhead exhaust fan yellowed and cracked?
Decorative exhaust fans and fan/light combinations are available that look good and help dress up the room. You can coordinate the unit with your faucet and other fixtures, even the tile on the floor.

Is the bright light a problem when you go into the bathroom in the middle of the night?
Install a dimmer. This is easy and inexpensive, and makes a huge difference, not only for the comfort of your eyes, but provides a beautiful decorative element. Another idea is to install a low-voltage linear lighting system in the toe spaces beneath the vanities and cabinets. This creates an elegant glow while providing enough light to find your way.

To find the latest, most energy efficient and stylish lighting fixtures to complement your bathroom, or any room, visit an American Lighting Association member showroom.

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Photo courtesy of Kichler

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Photo courtesy of Tech Lighting

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Photo courtesy of  Quoizel

BRIGHT TIPS: The Best Light for the Best Look 

Having trouble figuring out how much light you need in the bathroom?

Experts recommend a minimum of 150 watts of incandescent lighting or 40 watts of fluorescent per sink. Decorative sconces that either match or complement the over-the-sink light will evenly illuminate both sides of the face. The most critical area for proper lighting is at the mirror, where the majority of grooming tasks - from make-up application to shaving - takes place. Although many builders and interior decorators install one recessed light over the sink, this is not ideal for putting your best face forward.

American Lighting Association showrooms have professionally trained lighting specialists to help you create your perfect space. For more bathroom lighting ideas, click here to find your closest ALA-member lighting retailer.

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Progress-bath-1
Photo courtesy of Progress Lighting

Send us your design questions >

For more great lighting ideas view our Lighting Videos >