After the kitchen, the bathroom is the most important room of the house. It's one every single inhabitant of a home will use, as well as many of their guests. It's where people clean themselves, get ready for the day, and is often the last room they visit before going to bed.
As such, it's critical that bathroom designs and renovations are done well. One of the most critical aspects of a bathroom is the lighting. Poor lighting can make tasks like measuring medications, applying makeup and shaving much harder and, in some cases, more dangerous.
An analysis conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a significant number of nonfatal and unintentional falls happen in a bathroom. This is especially common among senior residents, giving contractors all the more reason to improve the lighting in any of their bathroom remodeling projects.
Here are three common mistakes in bathroom lighting, and how to avoid them:
How much light you need largely depends on who the client is and what they're doing. For an early-morning shower, about 10 footcandles is probably enough, but for something like shaving, light levels should be closer to 100 footcandles, Pro Remodeler explained.
Also take into consideration the person's age. Phil Richards, of Chicago-based Juno Lighting Group, recommends using this simple formula to get a general idea: "It's whatever your client's age is, plus 20."
It's nearly always better to over-light and add a dimmer switch than to under-light. That way, clients will have greater control over lighting levels.
Natural light offers much greater benefits than artificial light generated by a light bulb. Sunlight helps keep people's circadian rhythms - that internal clock that tells them when to go to sleep or wake up - in sync.
If the bathroom has one or more exterior wall, or has a ceiling that can accommodate a skylight, there's no reason to not take advantage of these built-in benefits. Make windows big, or add in a few extra if they fit and look nice. Adding a skylight above a big bathtub can give impressive results; your clients may love taking a bubble bath and looking up at the stars.
If privacy is a concern, devise strategies to prevent people from peering in, like installing bottom-up shades or a sheer curtain. Or, use a unique window design, like frosted panes or textured glass, Houzz recommended.
While you want to ensure there's enough light for your clients to go about their daily routines safely and comfortably, the wrong kind of light, or a bad angle, can cause problems, too. Uncovered bulbs or fixtures that face directly down can cast harsh shadows that create an obstacle when trying to, for example, apply mascara.
If you have down-lights, enclose them in a recess to ensure they're not too strongly pointed toward the mirror. When you can, consider using up-lights instead. Or, try lenses to mask the intensity of the light. Again, dimmers are always a good option to give your client a bit more control over the lighting of their own bathroom.
When exploring a bathroom remodel, some clients may shy away at the price. Offering financing plans can help take the edge off a much-needed bathroom upgrade. At Aqua Finance, we can help you get started offering these programs to your customers.