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Brighten Up Your Bathroom: Lighting Ideas for Small Spaces

Need some small bathroom lighting ideas? If your home or condo bathroom is too small and dark to enjoy, switch out the lighting fixtures with your next bathroom renovation project.

A bathroom is more than just a necessity for personal hygiene. It is a space to escape from the physical and emotional stress life can create. It can be your sanctuary, your hiding spot, or a refuge from daily struggles (or from other home occupants).

Whatever the reason for wanting to spend time in your bathroom, why not create an inviting zone behind closed doors? Transform your bathroom into a well-lit, functional, and energizing space with these lighting ideas for small spaces.

condo bathroom lighting

Understanding the Basics of Bathroom Lighting

There are various types of bathroom lighting, including vanity or mirror lights, task lighting, ambient lighting, or accent lighting.

While each type of light will produce different results, the general rule is to have one watt of light for every square foot of space and two watts of light if recessed lighting is used. The Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of a bulb also plays a role in providing adequate bathroom light. The CRI refers to how natural colours appear under an artificial light source compared to direct sunlight. Most bathroom lights should register with an 80 or above CRI rating.

For Canadian homes, the light source should be resilient to humid conditions found in a bathroom. In addition to the geographical location of the home, the sun path also needs to be taken into consideration when shopping for bathroom light fixtures. A small bathroom will need extra light sources if little to no natural light is available throughout the day.

Top Lighting Ideas for Small Canadian Bathrooms

Mirror Magic

One of the best not-so-secret small powder room lighting ideas is using the reflective light mirrors to open up the space. Using larger mirror cabinets with overhead lights gives the illusion of a much bigger bathroom while doubling as a storage feature to save space.

Consider dimmer-controlled recessed LED strips around the perimeter of a mirror to offer both task lighting and an ambient glow when the mood strikes. Lighting manufacturers offer panel lights that can be installed beneath mirrored glass shelving units to cast a slight glow in a modern bathroom.

Multifunctional Fixtures

A bathroom serves many purposes and the lighting should be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Small spaces can especially benefit from multifunction lights. Consider installing pendant lighting over the soaking fixtures such as the tub or shower doorway or mount sconces to light up the vanity space.

Brighter lighting may be required when getting ready, applying makeup, or styling the hair. Softer lighting may be required for those more intimate moments when soaking in a tub or during a bathroom run at night. Installing sconces designed with adjustable light beams can provide the best of both worlds.

Ceiling Solutions

The ceiling of a bathroom offers ample opportunity to install recessed or pot lights for a more subtle look. These lights require little space and can be concealed in the ceiling while providing task lighting as needed.

Another ceiling option is the use of skylights where permitted. These allow the natural light to stream in, which can be a mood booster. Plus, it saves homeowners money on their energy bills. Skylights can improve ventilation, reduce condensation buildup, and help prevent the growth of mould and mildew.

How to Create the Right Ambiance

Bathrooms tend to be a busy spot in a home, despite being a taboo subject in many cultures. It is a room we use to prepare for a work or school day and transforms into a relaxing spa-like retreat after a long and stressful day.

To create the right ambiance in a bathroom, use warm-toned lighting to provide a cozy atmosphere compared to the stark bright lights used in the kitchen. With the proper lighting and the help of dimmers, the bathroom can be a welcoming place to unwind and a calming environment.

Consider using energy-efficient lighting such as light emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which are available in various colours and shades to accommodate the mood and design of the desired atmosphere.

Canadian-Specific Considerations

Living in Canada, particularly southern Ontario, we have become accustomed to surviving the dark cold winter season with little natural light. Natural light has been linked to Vitamin D production, balancing our mood, and regulating our natural circadian rhythm.

For most people, it is important to use alternative light sources for their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Installing the appropriate artificial lighting throughout the home can help reduce symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and promote better sleep quality.

On the other hand, our Canadian summers can be hot and humid, which can cause moisture build-up in bathrooms. The National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) suggests installing a mechanical ventilation system in the home, particularly in the bathroom, to help control the amount of moisture in the air and improve the quality of the air we breathe.

Lampert Renovations Specializes in Bathroom Transformations with Lighting Ideas

Whether you are looking to revamp a small condo bathroom or a large master ensuite, the team at Lampert Renovations can transform your home and add value to your life. We offer free consultations in home or at our massive showroom with product samples such as tiles and fixtures to complement any style or design.

Talk to our bathroom specialist about how our custom-made vanities can simplify your life! We also offer a limited two-year warranty on all renovations, repairs, or replacement. Call (416) 787-4925 or email us at [email protected] to schedule your no-obligation quote.

About Lawrence Lampert

Lawrence Lampert is the third generation running Lampert Renovations with over 45 years’ experience in the family business. He first started working for his father at the age of 15.  In 1980, Lawrence began running the retail end of the business, gaining experience in selling products and designing showrooms. Lawrence began running Lampert Renovations in 1995 and started up Lampert Bath Liners Plus in 2004, providing customers with acrylic bath liner systems as a grout-free and budget-friendly solution.

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