Once upon a time bathroom lighting was a simple affair; a lack of choice meant fewer issues with deciding which style or placement was the best option for your bathroom. But times change and thanks partly due to the developments in lighting in recent years and the introduction of specialist light fittings and more designer choices, consumers are given a mind-boggling selection when it comes to bathroom lighting.
Many homeowners find the massive selection on offer today rather confusing and are put off attempting to install their own light fittings at the first hurdle of choosing something to suit their needs and taste; if you’d like to tackle your own light fittings at home then there are some guidelines to bear in mind which should make the job much simpler!
Before you continue, make sure to read our guide on bathroom lighting safety if you need a refresher on what type of lighting can be installed in each area of the bathroom.
Replacing bathroom light fittings
The first and most important thing to remember when removing the old fitting in your bathroom is to turn off the power supply; find the circuit breaker on the switchboard which corresponds with the bathroom. You can do this by putting the light on in the room you’d like to disconnect and then trying the various switches; or use a voltage tester to see that the electricity is off in the correct room.
Once you are certain the power is off, remove the light fitting; the only tool you should need for this is a flathead screwdriver. You may now install your new light fitting taking care to place the wiring in the correct terminals. If you are unsure, take a photograph before you remove the old fitting.
If the wiring has not been replaced for many years or appears to be different in some way to the rest of the house, be sure to seek professional advice before
Downlights are a popular choice for bathrooms; they’re recessed and subtle and provide a good lighting source in an unobtrusive way which suits contemporary bathrooms perfectly. They may be installed in neat rows over the areas most in need of clear lighting, such as the sink and bath.
Before fitting downlights you will need to decide which voltage to go for; 12v versus 230v is a personal choice, but many electricians would recommend the 12v due to a brighter and cleaner light in addition to a generally improved performance. 23v may be cheaper to install and not require the extra addition of a transformer, but they’re not generally as robust.
Halogen or LED?
Choosing halogen or LED is a sticking point for many people; LED is a much cheaper option when it comes to power usage and in recent years there have been many improvements in the technology of LED lighting and as a result, the quality of the lighting is much better than in the past; there was a common belief that LED lighting was cold or poor quality when compared to Halogen lighting, but this argument is weakening in the face of new developments in LED lighting as well as falling prices.
If you are looking to install LED lighting and want to ensure a warm ambience in the room, look out for LEDs with a colour temperature of 2700k as these will provide a warmer yellow tone rather than the cold blue toned light which is common with older style LED lighting.
Halogen lighting is cheaper to install, but many people would rather have an initially larger outlay on good quality LED lights as they will save pounds over the years to come and this is enough of a draw when the rising costs of power are taken into consideration.
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