How to choose bathroom fixtures: which is better and why? Comparative review

Amir Gumarov
Checked by a specialist: Amir Gumarov
Author: Oksana Chubukina
Last update: April 2019

Most bathrooms lack access to sunlight. We have to rely solely on artificial lighting. To ensure optimal luminous flux, it is necessary to correctly select fixtures for the bathroom, right?

We will help you find the perfect device for you and plan its location. We’ll show you which option will work flawlessly in difficult operating conditions. We will tell you how to determine the power of the installed lamps and which way to organize lighting to give preference.

The tips given in the article are backed up with video guides and photo materials with valuable tips and original ideas for decorating the bathroom.

Technical requirements for fixtures

Bathroom - an area with extreme operating conditions. In places with constant temperature changes and high humidity, installation of ordinary outlets and lamps is prohibited for safety reasons.

The main parameter for choosing a lighting device is the degree of security. Corresponding marking is displayed on the body of electrical products.

Some manufacturers use three-digit markings. The third figure is the degree of susceptibility to mechanical damage, shock. The range of values ​​is 0-10. The highest level of protection indicates that if the enclosure is damaged, the performance of the appliance is maintained.

The degree of protection of the appliance
The IP value system complies with GOST 14254-96, IEC60529 standard. The first digit of the abbreviation indicates the level of protection of the lamp from dust, the second marker - protection against moisture

The higher the numerical marking indicator, the more reliable the lamp.

Moisture-proof devices are equipped with additional elements that reduce the risk of water and dust penetrating the conductive sections of the device:

  • rubber seals on the ceiling;
  • sealing plugs on the lead wire.

The minimum IP value for fixtures in wet rooms is IP442, and the maximum is IP674. It is permissible to use products with protection above the maximum - increased safety, in any case, is welcome.

Security zones
The choice of the lamp security indicator depends on its location in the bathroom. According to the level of proximity to direct sources of moisture, the room is divided into three zones

IP index values ​​for each zone:

  1. First zone. Humidity around the bowl of the bathtub, shower and washbasin reaches 100%. Here, it is permissible to install low-voltage devices with at least IP67 protection, designed for temporary immersion in water.
  2. Second zone. Within a radius of 30-60 cm from the “wet” zone, there is a high probability of splashes and jets getting onto the appliance. It is not advisable to use high-voltage electrical appliances on the site, the lamp protection rating is not lower than IP45, the power is 12-24 V.
  3. The third zone. Relatively safe - 60 cm from the borders of the second zone. There is virtually no risk of direct jets. Circular splash protection models are installed - IP24 and higher.

A space at a distance of 3 m or more relative to the water source is considered safe. Installation of luminaires with IP01 is possible here.

Fixtures in the bathroom
It is important to consider the features of the wall and the effectiveness of ventilation. If condensation constantly forms on the remote walls after taking a hot shower, then they cannot be considered safe. Luminaires are selected, as for the first or second zone

The variety of fixtures of the "marine elite"

The artificial lighting of the bathroom is conditionally divided into three levels: ceiling, wall and floor. The combination of methods will provide an interesting decorative effect. It is not necessary to use the entire spectrum at the same time. The main thing is to get a full luminous flux for a comfortable stay in the room.

No. 1 - options for ceiling lighting

Ceiling lights provide basic bathroom lighting. The choice of device depends on the size of the room, the design of the ceiling and the availability of secondary light sources.

Popular highlighter solutions:

  • mounted or suspended ceiling;
  • LED Strip Light;
  • light panel;
  • spots;
  • spot lights for suspended or suspended ceilings.

Traditional chandelier. This option is more suitable for spacious bathrooms with a high ceiling. The main advantages of the solution: a diverse range and ease of installation. The determining criterion for choosing a chandelier is whether the appliance matches the interior of the bathroom.

Chandelier in the bathroom
Volumetric crystal chandelier looks good in a classic or minimalist style with a limited number of decorative details. Original performance - candlestick chandelier

An alternative to crystal is glass and metal models. Pros: affordable cost and various styles of fixtures for the bathroom. Less - the appearance of spots and drips from the water.

Marine style lamp
For a bathroom in a marine style, lighting fixtures with a decor of natural materials: wood and fabric ropes are suitable

LED Strip Light. LED backlighting is presented in the form of LEDs and resistors fixed to a cool ribbon-based. Moisture-proof tapes with the IP65-68 index are developed for "wet" zones of the room.

The luminous strip with IP65 is sealed on one side - the insulation covers the outside of the circuit board, including LEDs and contacts.

Backlight Benefits:

  • ease of installation - the tape is placed under the ceiling;
  • the ability to adjust the intensity of lighting;
  • variety of glow colors - you can make a smooth transition in a given spectrum.

To create a "tape" ceiling area lights Suitable LED strip with IP65 and IP67.

LED ceiling light
The use of LED strips is an excellent solution for ceilings of complex configuration.The backlight emphasizes the versatility of the planes and changes the visual perception of space

Light panel. This is not just a separate lamp, but a special ceiling structure consisting of individual elements:

  • lamps mounted directly on the ceiling;
  • decorative plastic or glass panel that covers the lights;
  • frame with guides for fixing the panel.

The main advantage is an unlimited choice of design. Using photo printing, you can recreate any picture: the starry sky, the underwater world, a picturesque landscape, etc.

Light panel
The lack of light canvas - to replace a burned out lamp, you will need to dismantle part of the panel. If handled improperly, a fragile part may break.

Spots. Laid on "flashlight", where more than one lamp is installed on one holder. Despite an interesting idea, spots are rarely used for ceiling lighting.

Firstly, the product looks bulky in a bathroom with low ceilings, and secondly, it is problematic to adjust the light flux vector.

Ceiling spots
The main task of spots is to create a directional light "beam", local lighting of a specific area, for example, a mirror. Such a "flashlight" is used as additional illumination

Spotlights. This type of electrical appliances indispensable for the installation of suspended or "French" ceiling. The arrangement of fixtures is thought out in advance, taking into account the zoning of the room and the power of the lamps.

Having distributed “points of light” over the entire area of ​​the ceiling, several switching modes can be set: at the same time, all devices or a group of lamps to illuminate a separate area, for example, a shower or washbasin

Depending on the design features, the following types of spotlights are distinguished:

  • built-in;
  • half-cut;
  • waybills;
  • sectional.

Tips for choosing bulbs for installation in spotlights given hereWe recommend that you familiarize yourself with useful information.

Embedded. Devices are used for hidden installation - only the ceiling is visible. When choosing, it is necessary to take into account the "depth" and the width of the ceiling space. The minimum length of the “legs” of the mortise lamp is 40 mm.

Some models require a significant reduction in the suspension design, which is undesirable to do with low ceilings and limited room dimensions.

Recessed fixtures
The light from the mortise lamps is directed vertically downward and does not scatter along the ceiling surface. It is undesirable to insert high-power lamps in point sconces of a mortise type - overheating of a suspended design is possible

Half-cut. The technical “body” of the luminaire is located behind the ceiling, and the bulb is outside. Ceiling space is used for installation, however, due to an external ceiling, the installation of more powerful lamps is permissible.

Overhead. Outdoor installation is applicable for most types of ceilings. Overhead lamps are more expensive than mortise models, but have a number of significant advantages:

  • there is no need to lower the ceiling level;
  • universality;
  • decorative effect of light scattering through the prism of textured glass.

Impressive design of the base of the lamp. On the ceiling surface mirrored, shiny materials and metals encrusted with stones look spectacular.

Overhead lights
Outdoor lamps illuminate the surrounding space - the room itself and the ceiling surface. Especially advantageous fixtures complement glossy stretch sheets

Sectional. This is a kind of hybrid of spots and spotlights. A single decorative plate contains several lamps. As a rule, for each micro-luminaire, a lighting vector can be set.

Section lights
Section models, unlike overhead spots on a single holder, do not visually “hide” the space, but are demanding on the placement

No. 2 - working lighting with wall models

The purpose of wall lights is the zoning of the room and local lighting.The use of wall "lights" is appropriate in spacious rooms with an area of ​​6 sq.m. In a compact room you can limit yourself to ceiling lighting.

Popular options for wall "water" lamps:

  • sconce;
  • illuminators for surface mounting;
  • spots.

Sconce. The traditional design is one or more shades mounted on one bracket.

Wall sconces
Wall sconces are presented in any style - from classic to modern. Optimal installation location - pair placement on the sides of the mirror

Overhead lights. The compact ceiling does not take up much space and is fixed to the wall. It is better to choose models made of moisture-resistant materials: stainless steel in tandem with glass and transparent plastic.

Overhead lights
Overhead lights are universal - they are suitable for vertical and horizontal placement. When choosing, they are repelled from the shape of the mirror. The neutral design of the ceiling harmoniously complements modern interiors.

Spots. Wall installation allows you to maximize the purpose of spots - local lighting.

Wall spots
When choosing a luminaire, you must evaluate the size of the lampshade - after installation, it should not be reflected in the mirror. Option No. 1 - correct placement, No. 2 - incorrect

In the second case, the light from the spot will blind your eyes - using a mirror will become uncomfortable. For this zone, you should not choose lamps with colored shades - the backlight "will give" an unnatural complexion and hair color. Optimum - frosted or white glass.

It is worth paying attention to the type of light beam of the wall "lantern". There are two varieties:

  1. Directional Reflectors. Light is supplied at a certain angle. Perhaps one or two sided (up / down) light flux vector. The shape of the case allows you to concentrate the backlight in a specific area.
  2. Diffused light shades. Such models belong to general lighting fixtures, their area of ​​"action" is 360 °. Light is scattered in the room evenly.

If the goal is to create not only practical, but also spectacular lighting, you can interestingly beat the walls with the help of spotlights, a bright light panel, linear led bulbs or LED strip.

Design options
Point "lights" are placed in niches, and glass shelves are illuminated. LED strip is placed behind the wall ledges, emphasizing the bulkiness of the surface

No. 3 - decorative floor lighting

Floor lighting embodies a special atmosphere in the bathroom. This background, decorative light.

To implement the design idea using different methods:

  • installation of LED backlight;
  • installation of spotlights;
  • creating a glass floor;
  • the use of luminous tiles;
  • arrangement of the bulk base.

Neon lights. There are many options for decorating LED strip. The strip is mounted along the skirting line - the perimeter of the room, and also used to highlight plumbing - a sealed tape "passes" along the contour of the bathtub or washbasin.

The main plus of the method is the ability to install after the repair. In contrast to the dark floor, glowing specks look spectacular.

LED floor lighting
LEDs are placed randomly on the cable, and then the wire is installed in the inter-tile seam. The joints are covered with black silicone, while the LEDs remain open. It is important that the "points of light" do not protrude above the tile

Spotlights. The use of floor spot lights has its own characteristics.

The advantages of lamps include:

  • resistance to mechanical damage - shades are made of durable plastic;
  • the possibility of any location - the distance between the lamps is chosen arbitrarily;
  • creating beautiful highlights on surrounding objects.

The disadvantages of “points of light”: the complexity of installation and summing of hidden wiring, the need for periodic replacement of bulbs.

An example of successful combination in a single tandem of wall LED-backlighting with spotlights of ceiling, wall and local mirror lighting

Glass floor. Exquisite design technique dramatically changes the look of the familiar bathroom. To equip a glass niche, you will have to raise the floor by 10 cm.

An unusual “lamp” is made of tempered laminated glass or triplex; LED strip or linear lamps are suitable for lighting.

Glass floor
Niche filling: decorative stones, shells, pebbles, dried flowers, spangles or beads. A bold decision - a luminous aquarium in the floor

Luminescent materials. An alternative to traditional methods of illumination is finishing materials with a luminous effect. The plus of the method is independence from electricity. Cons: the high cost and the inability to turn off such a "lamp."

Fluorescent finish
For lining the base, a luminescent bulk floor or tile is used. In the first case, a light canvas is obtained over the entire floor area, in the second - you can limit the amount of "light" by combining ordinary tiles with fluorescent

Choosing a lamp for a "water" lamp

Pondering which lamp is better to choose for the bathroom and how ideal organize lighting, It is important to determine the type of lamp, brightness and optimal lighting tone.

Criterion # 1 - optimal product performance

In everyday life, the most popular are traditional incandescent lamps, fluorescent products and LEDs.

Incandescent lamps. Depending on the gas composition inside the container, they are vacuum, krypton and halogen. Inert gas lamps (krypton) are resistant to power surges, halogen ones have good light output and last longer.

Characteristics of incandescent lamps
Characteristics of incandescent lamps: 1 - krypton, 2 - halogen. Lamps with halogen lamps are suitable for installation in a drywall niche

Fluorescent lamps. The so-called fluorescent lamps have varying degrees of color rendering, which determines the naturalness of the glow.

The main advantages of fluorescent lamps:

  • low heating temperature;
  • duration of work;
  • soft light.

Modern modifications are suitable for connection to a standard lamp holder. Types and marking of socles for lamps installed in currently used lighting devices, are listed here. This information is useful to a potential buyer.

Characteristics of fluorescent lamps
Disadvantages: the work is accompanied by a slight hum, toxicity, the duration of reaching the maximum glow. When operating in a continuous “on / off” mode, the lamps quickly burn out

LED products. The high cost of the lamp is justified by low power consumption, good light output and long life. Additional advantages include: compactness, low bulb heating, resistance to mechanical stress and power outages.

LED lamp specifications
LEDs are the best choice for the bathroom. Preference should be given to the product with an aluminum radiator, plastic indicates a low quality lamp

Criterion # 2 - calculation of the luminous power

The international standard ISO8995 regulates the level of illumination of bathrooms. The recommended rate is 200 suites (Lx). To characterize the light output of the lamps, lumens (Lm) are used, 1 Lx = 1 Lm / sq.m.

For example, the normal illumination of a room of 7 square meters is 1400 Lux, 10 square meters - 2000 Lux, respectively. Based on the calculated data, the power and the number of lamps are selected.

The degree of light output directly depends on the type and power of the lighting device. For example, at the same power, a luminescent product produces 7 times more light than an incandescent lamp. WITH LED lamp specifications Introduces the article, which we recommend that you read.

Light output
It can be seen from the table that to obtain 1200 Lm necessary for lighting a bathroom of 6 square meters, an 11 W LED lamp, equivalent to a 100 W incandescent lamp, is suitable

Criterion # 3 - color rendering index and lighting tone

The comfort of light perception depends on how natural the surrounding objects look under artificial lighting. The parameter is expressed by the color rendering coefficient and is indicated on the packaging of the lighting device - Ra or CRI.

Light source CRI = 100 provides a real display of objects. The maximum color rendering index has natural sunlight. The lower the indicator Ra, the more distorted the perception.

Color rendering index
The color rendering index of LEDs is in the range of 80-89. Choosing a lamp with a lower indicator is not worth it, especially for mirror illumination

The hue of the illuminated object is determined color temperatureThe unit of measurement is Kelvin (K). White plumbing may appear yellowish or radiant blue.

When choosing a color, one should proceed from the prevailing tones in the interior and personal preferences.

Colour temperature
A room with a predominance of blue and blue finishes looks good in neutral lighting (4000-5000 K). A bathtub in pink, chocolate and sand tones will become even more comfortable with a “warm” backlight with a run-up of color temperature - 2700-3800 K

Glow of different temperatures affects a person differently. A warm white tone helps to relax, a neutral one helps to concentrate, a cold tone energizes and invigorates.

Introduces the overview and selection criteria for energy-saving lamps next articlefully dedicated to this interesting subject.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

The video describes the main factors for choosing an electrical appliance, the requirements for fixtures for rooms with a high level of humidity, and also gives recommendations on zoning the space using lighting:

The competent choice of the lamp and the successful arrangement of light accents can visually increase the enclosed space of the bathroom. Equally important in arranging a comfortable and practical room will play a selection of brightness, color reproduction and shade of the lamp.

Please leave comments in the box below. Share important for you personally guidelines for choosing a waterproof lamp and information that will be useful to visitors to the site. Ask questions, describe your experience in installation, publish photos on the topic of the article.

Was the article helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!
No (13)
Thanks for your feedback!
Yes (75)
Visitors Comments
  1. Vyacheslav

    Lighting and bathroom design is limited only by your imagination. A variety of lighting devices allows you to turn your bathroom into a fabulous corner. The only thing is that in stores it is quite difficult to find a lighting device with an appropriate degree of protection, which you need to pay attention to first of all. Therefore, always consult with service personnel and see product documents.

  2. It is clear that a lot depends on the design, but still we must not forget that the lamps, if they do not have special protection, should not be in the zone of possible water ingress. I also consider it very important not only to chase the appearance, but also not to forget about the functionality.After all, it is often in the bathroom that one has to shave and bring his appearance back to normal.

  3. Alyona

    A traditional chandelier is of course the most aesthetic and practical option, but our ceilings are not suitable for its installation. We have a usual suspended ceiling, and it is mounted on the wall, and not on the ceiling. When we drove into a new apartment, we got it from the builders. I plan to change to something more attractive and modern. Tape lights look very cool, spotlights also like.

    • Semen

      Maybe a traditional chandelier and an aesthetic option, but definitely not the most practical, especially for a bathroom. Even if you are not going to pour water onto your ceiling, your neighbors can always do this from above. And in any case, the humidity in the bathroom will be high.

  4. Art House Studio

    Thank you for the article. The information is detailed and very valuable. The choice of solutions is huge, limited only by the imagination of the designer.