From clever layering tricks and high-tech systems to beautifully-lit cabinets and accessories, Lisa Hibberd sheds some light on the wealth of options available to designers.
With many consumers looking to create a bathroom with an atmosphere that allows them to relax and retreat from the stresses of daily life, it comes as no surprise that lighting is a key consideration. This space needs to double up; a practical room for day-to-day grooming as well as a luxury spa at home, and manufacturers are keen to maximise on the transformative effect that lighting has to offer. “The past two years have seen us all spend more time at home and so it’s only to be expected that we want to make our personal interior spaces as comfortable and versatile as possible,” says Jacob Muijnck, managing director of Gira UK. “This is where the ‘connected home’ has come to the fore, equipping the modern interior with smart functions and devices that are specifically designed to improve daily life and contribute to a more efficient household. This has seen lighting used to support modern day lifestyles with the latest wired and wireless smart home solutions, which are able to react to individual needs without having to touch a button. The latest smart lighting controls enable end users to create, save, recall and even automate mood lighting settings.
Having the freedom to customise mood lighting scenes now means the homeowner can make sure their bathroom lighting will always complement their lifestyle: whether they want a relaxing soak in the bath, refreshing shower or to carry out essential grooming. It’s simple to create and trigger lighting scenes with a wireless system, by using an app on your smart device or manual control via the top unit. You can also use a console unit and voice control too. So, instead of reaching for your smartphone to turn on the light, you can simply say, ‘Alexa, good morning’ to activate the pre-set ‘morning’ lighting scene in the bathroom.”
Ash Chilver, HiB sales director, agrees that good lighting is crucial to making the most out of a bathroom design. “Having a combination of decorative lighting to highlight focal points in the room and practical task lighting is essential to the space being fit for purpose. These days there are a number of options for both practical and decorative lighting. From pendants to ceiling lights, wall lights and underlights, there are plenty of options to choose from, plus products such as illuminated mirrors and cabinets that also feature their own in-built lighting.”
Marketa Rypacek, managing director of Industville, suggests that designers should consider installing lighting in layers. “By embracing the whole range of lighting options available including pendant lights, wall lights and recessed lighting, little pockets and pools of light can be created to achieve a well-lit yet inviting space. This may require rewiring to a different part of the room, therefore it’s essential to think about the lighting and its position right at the beginning of the project.”
Colour temperature ultimately sets the tone and ambience within a room, and Daniel Hughes, sales director at TLW, comments that, although getting it right will create a stunning space, getting it wrong can ruin a design. “When it comes to style, certain colour temperatures lend themselves more to certain styles of room. For example, cool white lights are often more suited to modern rooms as the slight blue tinge can bring a coldness that would not look right in a traditional space. Warm white lights look fantastic in rooms with a soft and warm colour palette and perhaps are less suitable for use in ultra-contemporary environments. Multi-zone remotes enable different lighting areas in a room to be controlled independently. This will allow clients to dim or turn off specific areas and leave others on in order to create the perfect ambience. CCT lighting (correlated colour temperature) provides the ultimate control on ambience, giving clients the ability to choose between cool white, natural white and warm white.”