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stencil 08-08-2013 04:12 PM

Bathroom lighting
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Hello, I'm remodeling my bathroom and need some help/advice on lighting. It's not a terribly large bathroom (see sketch attached, it's about 5' x 10'). It has a sloped roof, with the low part at about 9 feet over the entrance and vanity, and the high part at about 13 feet over the shower. I installed a skylight in the center of the room (which takes away from where I can mount recessed lights). There will be lights/sconces on either side of, or above the mirror for the vanity (haven't decided on that yet...).

What I'm wondering is how many recessed light fixtures should I install, and where? My thinking right now is to put one at the centerline of the room between the door and the skylight (to provide extra lighting when using the sink) and then one or two over the shower. I'm guessing that I might not need the one over the sink area...

Any thoughts/experience would be much appreciated. Thanks!

oh'mike 08-08-2013 07:18 PM

One or two over the shower----and the sconce light will give you good lighting---

Possibly one over the toilet-

alexjoe 08-15-2013 03:53 PM

One should be at the centerline of the room and one should be over the shower.

user1007 08-16-2013 12:42 AM

I need to step in and ask something. What are you really trying to light? I hope you do not need to many extra lumens to remind you which body parts you need to dry off?

Are you trying to provide overall illumination for the bath or are you trying to provide some task lighting.

There are some rather nice LED track light sort of things out there now that would not force this decision like in ceiling can lights would. They come in both line and low voltage and in what basic color temp you want and with super nice color rendering indexes between 95-100 CRI. You might have to move a track fixture before you change a bulb in your lifetime.

homestoreonline 09-19-2013 06:38 AM


Originally Posted by alexjoe (Post 1229684)
One should be at the centerline of the room and one should be over the shower.

Yes One light should be at the center line of the bathroom.
but one light should not be over the shower because only one light is sufficient for the bathroom.

usbp.josh 12-05-2013 03:44 PM

I agree, one light should be positioned at the center line of the room at the entry end of the bathroom.
Is there an exhaust fan located somewhere in the shower end the room?
One light over the shower should be sufficient in most cases although a 13' ceiling may benefit from 2.

Arkitexas 12-05-2013 05:09 PM

Will a woman be using this sink and mirror? If so, you will need at least one light fixture lower on the wall (78" to 84" above the floor) and centered on the sink or mirror. One fixture at 13' isn't going to cut it for application of makeup.

In regards to the general room lighting at 13' high, I recommend two lights, one at 1/4 points from each end wall. The science behind this is that light decreases inversely with the square of the distance from the source. A light at 13' above the floor illuminating a face at 5' above the floor travels 8' distance. A light 8' above the floor illuminating a face 5' above the floor travels 3' distance. The math works out that a light 8' from an object illuminates 85% less than the same light only 3' from the object. The real world result is that 13' high ceilings put the hurt on light levels. To increase the illumination level at the working plane (face height) the options are a) lower the fixtures, b) increase the number of fixtures, or c) increase the lumen output of the fixtures. The least expensive solution is "a". A benefit of multiple light fixtures is that multiple sources generally provide better illumination and ambiance.

IslandGuy 02-25-2014 06:56 AM

Sorry, but when I'm showering, I'M in the middle of the tub, the light overhead would do little. 2 recessed cans with drop down globes rated for wet locations is what I use and I'd never use anything less. Add 2 sconces on either side of the mirror as low and as close to the face as possible and you got it goin' on!

DIYRemodeler 02-25-2014 08:10 AM

Definitely 1 or 2 over the shower. Remember, you'll need special wet area trim for the shower location. The skylight I would think will provide lots of ambient light---unless it's covered with snow. Is there an exhaust fan on the ceiling? I might keep the fixture over the vanity and add one to illuminate the center area of the room.

DIYRemodeler 02-25-2014 08:24 AM

Just thought of something else. If you have to use cans designed to come in direct contact with insulation along with the "wet area" trim, you may be limited in terms of the wattage of bulb you can use. You'll probably have to use bulbs that crank out less (lower amount) of heat. In my shower situation, I am limited to a 40-watt A-lamp.

Lizzy21 02-26-2014 07:09 AM

Our bathroom is a similar design and I struggled with what to do about the lighting. I was able to find the advice and the modern lighting fixtures I needed at Now I really love the bathroom, even though it is still a small bathroom.

mayagreen 03-11-2014 09:16 PM

i think one is enough

Edward.L 03-25-2014 12:06 PM

I agree, I think one in the center will be enough. The atmosphere in the bathroom must be relaxing, it is better not to install to much lights.

Mike_Watts 03-29-2014 12:20 AM

True. One is good.

SeniorSitizen 03-29-2014 01:13 AM


Originally Posted by oh'mike (Post 1226971)
One or two over the shower----and the sconce light will give you good lighting---

Possibly one over the toilet-

One over the shower and 2 over the toilet. One for the maid to clean and 1 for old men. :laughing:

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