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Lighting Basics for Bathroom Furnishing

When planning any reform we always ponder around the same issues when it comes to lighting fixtures, where to place them? how many focal points? what tones of lighting? which lights will perform better?

This article will describe a basic framework and approach to help make these decisions easier.

Types of Lighting

The first thing you need to ask yourself is what's the purpose of the space we are planning for, is it personal, family use or a room for guests? the types of lighting fixtures and their position will be strictly related to the use of the space.

So far there are four indoor lighting types that you will be using:

Natural Lighting

Natural Lighting comes with the type of design in your home, some rooms may have better access to natural lighting while others may have less.

Natural Lighting saves electricity and you'll always look to have this as a main source for lighting during the day. It can also help people to be more productive, healthier, calmer and feel rejuvenated.

Your sources for Natural Lighting may be windows, ceilings and reflecting surfaces such as Mirrors. In rooms where Natural lighting source is shallow, you may want to place mirrors opposite to the source of Natural light, in this way allowing the light to bounce in the room, resulting in a better lighted space with a minimum use of artificial light.

Ambient Indoor Lighting

Ambient light is intended to illuminate the complete room, by creating a soft glow that recreates the "natural light" effect through out the room ,independent of other light sources.

Common sources for Ambient Lighting are :

  • Chandeliers

  • Ceiling mounted fixture

  • Wall-mounted fixture

  • Traditional recessed fixtures or LED downlight

Task Lighting

This may be the most important lighting in the room, for this type of fixture a brighter source with a narrow focal point is needed.

When using light for tasks such as makeup, or to use together with mirrors, you want to avoid extremely bright lights that can produce glare.

At the same time you want to have enough flexibility and an accurate color reproduction.

Some examples of Task Lighting sources are:

Accent Lighting

This type of lighting creates a very sophisticated environment, its main purpose is to create focal points into certain areas of the room you want to display, such as artwork, bookshelf, vanities or other furniture.

Also they look to create an impression of a bigger room.

Backlit Mirrors and recessed lights are good examples of fixtures that help create focal points by using the accent lighting concept, in the case of Backlit Mirrors, the focal point gets created around the mirror, and at the same time combined with the mirror reflection effect, give an illusion of a much wider room.

Lighting Technologies

Since Led Lighting has become mainstream among households, a complete set of technologies and features keep arising that not only improve the performance of our lighting fixtures but also bring new uses that we never imagined before.

IP Certification

IP rating tells us how well protected the lighting fixtures are from splashes, moisture, and water particles.

For general purposes, normal IP22 is enough in lighting fixtures around the house, but in special cases such as Lighting in wet rooms, especially bathrooms and showers, you may have to need a higher rating such as IP44, IP65, or IP67.

In the case of lighting outside Zone 1, IP44 is more than enough, although IP65 could ensure an even larger lifespan of your light fixtures due to the higher resistance to moisture.

For lighting fixtures within Zone 1, IP67 is mandatory for safety and a longer lifespan.


A common misconception is that bulb watts account for their brightness, in reality, Lumens is the brightness parameter for lighting.

When we plan our rooms at least we should have a rough idea of the minimum amount of lumens to properly light our environment, you can have an idea from the average requirements of lumens per room:

  • Workspace or garage: 8,000 to 10,000 lumens

  • Kitchen work areas: 7,000 to 8,000 lumens

  • Bathroom: 7,000 to 8,000 lumens

  • Home office: 6,000 to 8,000 lumens

  • Dining room: 3,000 to 4,000 lumens

  • Kitchen: 3,000 to 4,000 lumens

  • Dining room: 3,000 to 4,000 lumens

  • Living room: 1,000 to 2,000 lumens

  • Bedroom: 1,000 to 2,000 lumens

  • Hallway: 500 to 1,000 lumens

Additionally that, in cases of Tasks Lighting, for uses such as makeup mirrors or shaving mirrors, for example, you may wanna go for at least 1300 lumens with a CRI90+ rated mirror for better color accuracy and fewer shadows.


CRI stands for Color Rendering Index, which measures the capability of a light source to replicate colors compared to a natural light source.

This index goes from 0 to 100, being 100 the highest as the colors reproduced from Daylight.

Common light fixtures range from CRI60 to CRI75, for a more specialized use anything above CRI80 will be better.

In the case of Professionals or more demanding customers, for the use in Hollywood mirrors, Bathroom Mirrors, Artwork, filming studios, and others, CRI90+ is mandatory, with the highest artificial lighting reaching CRI95 today´s market.


In simple words Dimming is the capability of Led Chips to change their level of brightness. It is quite useful for task lighting when sometimes we feel the light is too strong and for accent lighting, giving us the chance of creating more relaxing and cozy environments by reducing the brightness of our lights.

Most lamps include a control for the brightness while mirrors and cabinets may include sensors to reduce or increase brightness, some of them compatible with dimming wall switches also.

You may want to include dimming in all your fixtures when your budget allows to, have that extra flexibility is always worth it.

Lighting temperatures and tones

Led chips can deliver a wide output of light tones and temperatures depending on your needs.

The light tone can be measured in two ways,

  • Temperature

  • Tone

RGB lighting gives the complete range of colors for lighting, used in accent lighting sources.

IoT, connectivity, and Automation

The Internet of Things has erupted into modern houses, making our life much easier, with features like voice control or automatically turn on/off our lights in a room or lamps without even moving.

With IoT you can control individual lights or a group of bulbs based on things like occupancy, external light levels, and times of day; you can also control dimming and color-changing.

Also, room lights can be controlled within our smartphones or we can schedule the light tones, brightness, and others to turn on/off at specific times.

With IoT-powered bulbs becoming more and more common and accessible, Smart Lighting can really change how you interact and even think about your house lighting.

Bathroom Lighting

Bathrooms have a very well defined purpose. It is the place where you start and end your days, therefore it should be well lit and comfortable, especially when it's also used by other family members or even guests.

Areas of the bathroom to be lighted

You may want to apply different types of lighting for the different areas in your bathroom, depending on their use, as we mentioned before inside the bathroom you'll have:

  • Vanity Area: Use Task Lighting, the vanity area is where light takes more importance, having a properly lit vanity can make a huge difference when you illuminate the head and face for grooming.

  • Shower Area: Use Recessed Lighting, the shower is a place to cheer up and relax, to create a proper ambient, the ideal is to combine recessed lighting with dimming functionality to have that extra flexibility on setting up the mood for a good shower.

  • Tub Area: Similarly to the Shower, Recessed Lighting fixtures are more suitable, if you are planning to spend a considerable amount of time on your tub, you may want to consider lighting fixtures that go above the tub, they look amazing, luxurious and with warm tones of light can bring an extra relaxing feeling to your bathroom.

Tips to have the perfect lighting in your bathroom

  • Vanity Lighting is crucial: the vanity area may probably be the most used area in your bathroom, so may as well light it properly.

  • Go for Led Lighted Mirrors: Led Lighted Mirrors reduce the amount of shadows in your reflection, this is done by properly placing the lighting coming out of the mirror, most Led Lighted Mirror designs are especially made for this purposes, having sandblasted areas that can properly lit eyes, cheeks and the area under the chin, which is usually were most shadows are seen.

  • If you can afford it, choose CRI90+ lighting for your vanity: When it comes to reflection, especially for shaving and grooming, we want the best color accuracy as possible, now a days CRI 90+ lights are becoming more accessible. Yoway Mirrors come with CRI 90+ lighting and are especially worth considering their lifespan of 50,000 effective hours of use!

  • You can now combine Accent and Tasks Lighting in your Lighted Mirrors: Led Mirrors can be also customized to give both backlit glow on the bathroom wall and focused task lighting, giving the vanity both aesthetic and task features.

  • Create a Cozy environment: excluding the vanity area, try to setup warmer light tones with dimming light.

  • Chrome and Brass Chandeliers are easier to combine: this two tones give more versatility, especially in the bathroom since they can be easily combined with most accessories.

  • Don't underestimate IP certification: for wet rooms, you may want to look into at least IP44 certified fixtures for all your components, with LED technology most fixtures have a very long lifespan, but when not properly protected against water particles, they can easily malfunction in a short period of time.

  • Select Lighted Cabinets to combine with your basin: There is an increasing offer of Cabinetry including led lighting to lit the surroundings of your furniture, giving an additional luxurious feeling that will definitely astonish your guests.

Lastly remember that any refurnish project is going to stick with you for at least a couple of years, don't get greedy in saving on every detail, or you may find yourself having to make a refurnish once more after a couple of months.

Yoway Electric Technology Co. Ltd is a Professional Mirror manufacturing company based in Tengzhou city, Shandong province.

We have been manufacturing and supplying Mirrors with LED Technology for the past 10 years to top distributors and importers worldwide.

For more information on what we do visit our website or drop an email at

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