Monday, January 28, 2013

Shower Lights Bathe Bathrooms in Brightness

by John Whipple
Lighting in colors as dazzling or soothing as you choose can bring a whole new dimension to your shower routine
Shower lighting generally gets little attention compared with lighting in the rest of the house. But don't make this mistake — even the simplest lights can add such enjoyment and sparkle to your daily routine. The right light can make or break a bathroom, and all too often the subject is given no more thought than an extra downlight and weatherproof trim.

Lighting should be worked out from the very start, since the right lighting systems need to be designed ahead so they can be installed, waterproofed and serviced whenever necessary. Take a look at a few of my favorite shower lighting photos and learn some of the key points you should consider for your shower's lighting.
Here is a great example of an intense colored light and its effect on the water spray; steam and water come to life with the incorporation of colored lighting. Four LED pool lights installed on the ceiling of this steam shower create this look.

Tip: Red, green and blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can be installed to create any combination of colorful or white lights. It's important to make sure the lights are all installed in the same direction so that the pattern and reflection of red, green and blue is consistent.
There are so many shower fixtures available, and many feature built-in lights. The look is impressive. Consider fixtures that are controllable — many are a fixed color or show blue, green and red.

Tip: Take care in the framing and construction of these shower ceilings. Some of these lights can weigh more than 20 pounds.
A backlit art piece like this one is a great way to add something special to a new shower. The lighting is remote controlled and can cycle through all the colors of the rainbow.

With the right installer, anything is possible!
This shower is a work of art. The backlit slab on the back wall casts all sorts of great lighting around and serves as only one source of light for this shower. Something like this needs special planning with an electrician and a tile setter.

The underbench light would make a perfect nightlight for this bathroom.

Tip: Keep light features on separate switches so you can layer the lights as you like.
Any shower light should be on a dimmer. Taking a long steam shower at the day's end will be more enjoyable in low light.

This shower features a center rain head, so two shower lights were installed to give a lot of light, even when they're dimmed.

Tip: There are many different types of shower lighting, and the proper dimmer needs to be purchased for each. For example, low-voltage LED lighting often requires a special electronic dimmer. These can cost a pretty penny to install, so be sure to consult a professional before choosing this option.
 If you love sparkle, then consider choosing tile with a little shimmer. Many types of mosaic tile have iridescent properties, which really take light well. The small mosaic on the back wall here will glimmer and sparkle with the right lighting levels.

Tip: If you or your spouse suffers from migraine headaches, consider a colored lighting system. A soothing bath and a long steam with just the right color might make things a little better when those pounding migraines kick in.
This shower drain has its own LED battery pack, which activates when the shower turns on. When water enters the drain, the LED light comes on. The designer incorporated the light so the clients would have more illumination and a way to orient themselves in the shower.

This can be a handy feature if you find you have trouble seeing when things steam up in the shower.
This shower uses the light to accent the back wall. The down lighting showcases the rough texture of the natural slate tile. Be careful with this type of setup on a regular tiled wall, since lighting can showcase tile lip page and make a great installation look sloppy.

Tip: Try to keep lights as far from walls as possible to reduce highlighting on tile lip page.
This custom MTI air tub (or "bubbler") has wonderful built-in lighting. If you have the option, choose four LED lights in a tub over two. The grid lighting on the back wall is made of individual fiber optic strands set into an installation of stacked slate ledge stone.

Tip: Source your LED lights from a reliable store. Place the LED color driver (the driver is what changes the color of the lights — many are remote controlled) somewhere out of the way. Many can generate a little noise and a little heat, so a proper electrical box is key to a safe installation.
At Cabinet-S-Top, our designers can help you create a dazzling bathroom that will bring enjoyment for years to come.   Located at 1977  Medina Road, Medina, OH - 330.239.3630


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