Of all the rooms in your home, the bathroom in particular should be a well-lit area. Many people seem to overlook this detail when designing their homes; after all, you don't spend much of your day inside the bathroom.
If the design of your bathroom lets in a lot of natural light, you need only consider lighting arrangements for after-dark hours. In other cases, you may have to use a combination of natural and artificial light sources, or, even wholly artificial sources to light up your bathroom. You can find a wide range in halogen and standard incandescent lights in the market. Go for the ones that are nice and bright and as close as possible to natural sunlight.
Using mirrors is also a good idea, as they reflect light and can give an impression of a much larger space. You can use a wall-mounted mirror as a focal point in your bathroom. You can choose from a variety of mirrors to suit the décor of your bathroom and your personality. You may also want to get a defogger, as it is usually inexpensive and generally does not consume too much power.
Before installing the light fixtures, think about the kind of ambiance you want to create in your bathroom. Wrongly placed lighting can create rather unfortunate and even scary effect that will probably - if you're the sensitive sort - have you scurrying out as soon as possible. It's better if you give the lighting arrangements some thought and, with the help of strategically placed light fixtures, create a pleasant, quiet, and well-lit atmosphere that offers much incentive to linger in the bath. By using light with dimmer controls, you can change the intensity to get just the right relaxing feel. Dimmers are also energy-savers and your bulbs will last longer.
This type of lighting covers the overall bathroom space. You can have a centrally fitted light - a chandelier, for example, if you want to go for an extravagant and creative effect - or several bright lights fitted all along the walls. If you are planning on installing recessed lights, be sure to install several fixtures or use them in combination with other types of lights. Just one or two recessed lights won't do the trick. Be sure to use a glass lens over the recessed lights; plastic turns yellow with time.
Accent lighting, as the name suggests, draws attention to a specific area or feature of the bathroom. You can use it to highlight things like an ornate mirror, artwork, or a decorative wash-basin.
Task lighting should enable you to groom yourself effectively, not create shadows and special effects. For task lighting around the mirror, position the lighting on either side of it. The lights should illuminate the person before the mirror rather than focus on the mirror. On the whole, the lighting should light up your face fully and minimize shadows under your eyes and chin. You may also want to install lights inside the bathroom cabinets so it is easier to look for things placed inside. Also install light fixtures over the bath area and toilet.
Keep safety factors in mind when installing your bathroom light fixtures. Hire a qualified electrician to do the actual installing and always use fixtures and lights specifically intended for use in wet areas. Place light fixtures at least 6 feet away from the bathtub or shower.