Backlighting for the mirror in the bathroom, what is it, tips for positioning

bathroom lighting

Often in the bathroom lighting is insufficient. Therefore, it is inconvenient to carry out cosmetic and hygienic procedures. To solve this problem will help illuminate the bathroom mirror, greatly facilitating women apply makeup and hair styling, and men – shaving. In addition to the practical, it often performs an aesthetic function.

Lighting requirements

The main requirement for lighting devices used in the bathroom is a moisture-proof coating (or a special design that excludes the ingress of droplets). Most often there are additional rubber seals on the lamps. Wires must have “plugs” of sealant.

Each lamp has an IP index. The first number is the level of protection against ingress of dust and other small particles, and the second – water. Its minimum allowable value for a device in the bathroom is 44 (it is not afraid of water splashes), the optimal – 55 (it will survive even powerful jets).

It is also necessary to take into account other important nuances:

  • The light must not be too sharp, blinding, otherwise the eyes quickly get tired, perception is distorted, the reflection turns out blurred. The recommended degree of light scattering is up to 400 lux.
  • There are three types of lamps – they give a warm yellowish, cool pale blue or neutral white light. The last option provides the most realistic color rendering. The average color temperature of the lamp is 4000-4200 K.
  • Backlighting should be bright but not glaring. The beam should not be directed directly at the mirror. It is better to place the devices on the sides or along the whole frame.
  • Mounting mirror illumination in the bathroom, it is recommended to leave at least 60 cm between the lamps and the water source. 12 and 24 watt bulbs minimize the risk of a short circuit.

An ordinary bathroom mirror won’t work either. It will quickly become cloudy and will cease to give a quality reflection in spite of the competent lighting. It is necessary to choose models with a silver-coated surface, which does not suffer from temperature and humidity fluctuations, corrosion.

Lighting options and types of fixtures

Backlighting at the mirror in the bathroom, depending on the installation features are divided into the following varieties:

  • Outdoor. Illuminators and the frame are not structurally connected. Most often they are located on the sides of the mirror.
  • Internal. Point light sources are built into the back surface of the frame (or on the top, sides or perimeter), providing a uniform, diffused lighting. Most often their position can be adjusted manually.

Another option is a colored decorative LED backlighting of mirrors in the bathroom. It performs only an aesthetic function. This design method helps to create an unusual atmosphere, to focus attention on a particular detail of the interior.

To illuminate the bathroom most often use:

  • Outdoor lamps with plafonds. Should be completely closed, almost flat, reliably fit the wall. They will need a minimum of two – placed on the sides of the frame. Mount the lamp over a mirror can not – it will lead to darkening is just where you need a bright light. Coloring and shape of the plafonds varies widely – from classic matte-white hemispheres, cylinders to futuristic and avant-garde designs.
  • Sconces. Significantly protruding compared to the mirror, providing a large circle of light. Their design is also characterized by a great variety.
  • Spot devices (spotlights). They are advantageously small in size, have a special frame, which allows you to mount them anywhere, and a waterproof case. Most often, they are already built into the mirror.

You should also know what bulbs to choose for mirror lighting:

  • Neon lights. Provide uniform illumination, they can be mounted even in hard-to-reach places. They work quietly, do not dazzle the eyes, are heated to a maximum of 40 ° C, vary in light temperature. Disadvantages – fragility, the risk of getting water inside. If one lamp fails, the two neighboring lamps also go out.
  • Fluorescent. They give light that is as close to natural light as possible, are durable and economical. Disadvantages – when turned on, begin to flicker, while working, slightly hum, contain mercury (special disposal is needed).
  • Halogen. Waterproof, durable, provide maximum light output. But in the process of work they are strongly heated, can’t stand dirt, dust (go out at once), and even more so, mechanical action.
  • LED. Mounted on any surface. Differ almost record durability (in the process do not lose brightness), a variety of colors, efficiency. However, they are not cheap. Good light one LED lamp will not give, for the bathroom use a whole strip.
  • Incandescent lamps. This option for the bathroom is not strongly recommended. They are strongly heated, afraid of water, consume a lot of electricity, short-lived.

Internal illumination – this is most often LEDs, external – neon lamps. Fluorescent ones, due to the design features, are built into the frame above the mirror in the bathroom, covered with frosted glass from above, which provides light diffusion. Halogen are installed in pendant wall fixtures.

Location of light sources

Incorrect lighting of the mirror simply will not allow you to consider your own face. To avoid this, you need to take into account the recommendations of the designers:

  • The light source above the mirror in the bathroom creates a “subway tunnel” effect. The face in this reflection will be almost not visible, it is significantly distorted. Emphasis is placed on the existing flaws, imaginary ones appear. The only plus is that almost certainly water will not get on it.
  • The light bulb under the mirror casts sharp deep shadows on the face. A similar effect is given by a light fixture installed only on one side – the other half of the reflection seems to “blur”.
  • Universal variant is two lamps placed symmetrically near the mirror at a height of 1,5-2 m from the floor (depending on the height). The minimum interval between them is 0,6-0,7 m. The light will fall both from above and from the sides, providing the most realistic reflection and absence of shadows.
  • For small mirrors it is better to choose two side lights. Above a wide one, it is recommended to add a pendant one as well. If it has a round, oval, irregular shape, it is convenient to place LEDs along the contour. Cabinet mirrors, as a rule, are equipped with several directional spotlights and do not need additional lighting.
  • Soft, diffused light will provide white plastic, frosted glass or metal ceiling lamps.

In large areas it is recommended to use large fixtures for the bathroom mirror, eye-catching design, fancy shapes are acceptable. In small, on the contrary, laconicism and simplicity of design are welcome.

bathroom lighting

Tips for installation and connection

If you have reasonable doubts about your own skills as an electrician, it is better not to take the risk and resort to the help of professionals to install lighting in the bathroom. Although, in principle, the process is not difficult:

  • Spot lights are installed through the connection of the cable to their terminals. Then you need to press the metal “ears”, so that the device was more convenient to place in the hole prepared for him. When it takes the right position, it is fixed, screw the bulb.
  • Fixtures with halogen lamps are installed similarly. But they have spring mounts that simplify fixation in the holes. And the lamp is fastened with a special mounting clip. It is necessary to work with it only with gloves.
  • LED strip is connected to the mains adapter, observing polarity, securely fastening the wiring. Then it is simply glued to the right places, pre-cleaned and degreased surfaces. It is strongly not recommended to install the tape, the length of which exceeds 15 m.
  • Before installing the sconces and lamps with dome lamps, mark the right places on the wall, drill holes. Connect them also with the help of cables and terminals. For overhead lighting fixtures must first be using self-tapping screws to attach to the wall bar, on which they will be fixed.

Independent connection and installation of any lighting fixtures requires compliance with safety measures:

  • Before starting work, be sure to turn off the electricity.
  • The junction box is located only outside the bathroom. If this is not possible, use moisture-proof terminals, securely isolating all twists.
  • It is necessary to ground the devices. This applies even to LED strips.
  • It is mandatory to have a ground fault interrupter (RCD). It will de-energize the system in the event of a short circuit.
  • If the total bathroom lighting system is divided into several autonomous parts, each needs its own switch.
  • All existing wires are safely masked.

For bathroom lighting, a low current (12 V) power supply system is quite sufficient. This voltage is safe for humans even in conditions of high humidity.

Backlighting for mirrors in the bathroom has a great variety of options and performs not only a practical but also a decorative function. When choosing specific models of fixtures, types of lamps, it is necessary to take into account their safety and the correct placement of devices. Of course, this element of the furnishings must fit into the overall concept of the interior.