By Robert Gryczke
The worst thing that could happen: In the morning, you sleepily stumble through your own four walls towards the bathroom and fumble around for the light switch – and boom, you’re blinded by the light. We now know that light does much more than simply show us the way. Light controls our inner body clock, and even the release of hormones, and as a result it impacts our mood, well-being and (inner) activity.
Basics of light theory: Colour and temperature
Photographers, videographers and other trades have often dealt with the topic of the theory of colour. It’s a process that never ends. There is always something new to be learned. Therefore, it would be presumptuous to want to impart more information at this point than simply a rough overview. Licht.de offers an interesting series of publications.
The most important information first: First of all, the light colour has nothing to do with red, green, blue etc. In fact, light colour refers to the light intensity of the respective illuminant and differs in several aspects from white light-variants, among other things, warm whiteand daylight white.
Light colour is determined by the colour temperature. This is measured in Kelvin. Since the rise of the LED lights, this value has also gained importance among private users. The next time you are in search of “this light that is like an old bulb”, you are without doubt yearning for light with a colour temperature of 2700 to 3000 Kelvin. The higher the Kelvin figure, the cooler the light.
Therefore, we are interested in three areas for our purposes:
- 2700 to 3300 Kelvin: warm white, comfortable light, has a calming effect
- 3300 to 5300 Kelvin: neutral white, ideal for working
- 5300 Kelvin onwards: daylight white, has a positive impact on the biological rhythm
Bright candles or dull, dim light: The perfect lighting concept for your bathroom
Some people think pragmatically when it comes to bathroom lighting. Lights on the ceiling – lights on, lights off. However, several light sources are beneficial to be able to create different light scenarios. This is divided into four areas:
Main light / background lighting: This can include ceiling light fixtures or even spotlights. In any case, the main light should be continuously dimmable in order to be able illustrate all light situations in an optimum manner. Depending on your preferences for your main lighting we recommend using either neutral white or daylight white.
Indirect lighting: Wall spotlights for example. This can make the room appear to be softer because it does not cast any shadows. In the bathroom, these lights also work well behind plants and decorations. In order to generate a relaxing bathroom atmosphere, we recommend using warm white light.
Highlights / accentuated lighting: Special accessories, images, special decorations can be turned into a real eye-catcher with the use of spot illumination. Important: Hard light creates hard shadows. If light shines down directly on an otherwise unilluminated object, this can create contrast edges – hard light. On the contrary: If light shines up along the wall from below, the object is given shape and it is softer.
Styling lighting: In most of the other rooms, we tend to speak of “work lighting”. In the bathroom it has more to do with styling, including a make-over. Therefore, vanity mirrors are recommended. There are no shadows due to the extensive, ideally daylight white, lighting and the result in the bathroom equals that of the exterior.
Photo: © Emco Bad
Important: Apart from styling or work light, shadows are highly desirable. A room without, or too few shadow aspects can quickly appear to be clinical and sterile. This can trigger discomfort. This does not just apply to ideal bathroom lighting.
Smart light in the bathroom: Saving energy and feeling good with a click
In our article on smart bathrooms, we have already showed you how intelligent bathrooms can be nowadays. This fact is particularly interesting with regard to perfect lighting because you can activate your own light scenes at the push of a button in an optimal manner. Thanks to motion sensors it’s not impossible to forget to switch off your lights and in turn, you no longer have to fumble around in the dark to find the light switches.
Lighting specialists such as Loxone – and there are many – work with the customer and tailor light solutions according to dimension and with a clever concept. Thus, the night mode ensures that the dim light accompanies you from room to room – and even in the bathroom so that no one wakes up and it also saves energy. This is because once you leave the room, the light switches off.
The “fade in” function gently switches on the light. So gentle that even those who are not morning people no longer need to cantankerously their hands in front of their faces. Building technology manufacturers such as Gira give you the opportunity to programme different light scenes and it can be accessed with the touch of a button or via a control app.
Soon, pressing the “Good Morning” button will be enough and the dimmed light and the vanity mirror will switch on. A mood light is created by pressing “Wellness Spa”.
Photos: © Loxone
Conclusion: The path to your dream bathroom is not rocky, it’s illuminated
We have come to the conclusion that there is no one true ideal lighting concept. In fact, the key lies within the flexibility of the concept. Several light sources (main light, accents, etc.) will help you create different light scenes. Pay attention to the correct colour temperature.
Please note that the bathroom is a moisture-prone area and therefore, it is important to observe certain safety conditions.
Smart home technology with motion sensors and networked technology is not just very practical but it also helps save electricity costs. Ideally you would get together with an expert as early as during the planning stage and before the set-up. Smart home technology can also be expanded with radio components.
Now there is nothing in the way of your perfect bathroom lighting. Smart technology will help you save wherever possible. Now, all you need to do is feel good and relax.
What does your ideal bathroom lighting look like? Do you have ideas, tips or suggestions for other readers? Let us know!