This Lighting Is Guaranteed To Date Your Bathroom

You can ensure the grout is clean, the tile is new, the paint is fresh, and the lighting fixture is trendy, But your bathroom will still look dated if you use fluorescent light bulbs. Denver Remodeling Group states that fluorescent lighting was common in homes in the 1970s and 1980s. And according to Regency Lighting, fluorescent lighting remains the most popular choice for commercial use due to its affordability and long life span. In the past, these bulbs were tube-shaped and had several bothersome characteristics — flickering, slow warm-up, and buzzing. This economical option found its way into kitchens, garages, bathrooms, and eventually living rooms when, in the mid-1980s, technology advanced and coiled fluorescent bulbs known as compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) became available.

National Geographic writes that consumers tried to embrace CFL bulbs, but a fondness was never established. While they didn't flicker or hum, they were slow to brighten and contained mercury. CFLs are now being phased out and replaced with LED technology. Regardless of the type of bulb you use, Kohler recommends choosing those that emit soft or warm white light, explaining that higher lumens and lower watts are ideal. Lumens pertain to the brightness of the light, whereas watts refer to the amount of energy the bulb requires. The US Department of Energy notes that lighting products must contain a label naming the lumen rating and additional information such as an estimated annual energy cost, lifespan, and color description.

Disadvantages beyond dating

The fragility of light bulbs means that breaks happen all the time. With most bulbs, cleaning up the sharp shards of glass is just a minor inconvenience, but a broken fluorescent bulb requires particular concern and care. According to Scientific American and Energy Performance Lighting (EFL), CFLs and fluorescent tube lights contain phosphorus and about 5 milligrams of mercury. Mercury poses a health hazard to anyone in the house but is particularly toxic to developing fetuses, infants, and young children, says the World Health Organization.

According to EFL, spending too much time under fluorescent lighting can expose you to ultraviolet light, affecting the skin and eye health. It may also damage fine artwork and tapestries over time. EFL also reports that people prone to experiencing photophobia-related issues, like those who are autistic, suffer from migraine headaches, or have epilepsy, may experience increased discomfort and symptoms. Fluorescent lighting is also known to impact mood and sleep disorders. There are safer alternatives available to fluorescent bulbs. If you want to modernize the look of your bathroom, ditch the CFLs or tube lights and opt for LEDs.

Modern lighting options

There's more to bathroom lighting than just illuminating around the mirror. Think of your bathroom in zones, recommends Sunrise Specialty. Often in Europe, there are regulations on the type of bulb used in specific bathroom areas. But this concept can be helpful to anyone planning on updating their bathroom lighting. To do this, consider where you perform tasks in the bathroom that require light and determine the brightness and warmth necessary for each spot.

LED lighting tends to be the bulb type of choice because it's efficient and performs well. When shopping for bulbs, look for ratings that describe the warmth (tone or color temperature using the Kelvin scale) of the illumination and the Color Rendering Index (CRI), which Lumens says measures how well your eyes perceive color under different lighting conditions.

Overhead lighting can be achieved with fixtures hanging or cupping the ceiling. Recessed lights are also another option for general bathroom lighting. The brightness necessary will depend on the size of the room. Also, under-counter strip lighting is fashionable and functional. When it comes to vanity lighting, Lumens recommends lighting each side of the mirror for a total of 1,600 lumens or more rather than just above it. Side lighting helps illuminate the area more evenly and reduces shadows. Install a dimmer switch to change the ambiance of the room quickly.