DIY How To

How to Choose Bathroom Downlights

Lighting in your bathroom is likely to be quite different to the rest of the rooms in your house, and a little thought can go a long way to getting it right. Because of the way bathrooms are wired, you'll almost certainly be using downlights, as they are generally recessed into the wall, making them easy to clean and keeping the electrics well away from any water. Here's how you go about picking your lights:

Choosing the correct downlights

Design
Many downlights will come with some kind of casing, which is generally a ring around the bulb itself. You should choose a set that matches your décor; black, white and chrome are often the most popular. You can also sometimes change the ring without replacing the whole fixture if you're just looking for a quick change.

Placement
You may be limited by the number of downlights you can install, unless you're prepared to start creating new holes for them. You can however alter the direction in which the light points, and decide on the width of the beam. It's important to make sure that you've got good coverage throughout the room; you don't want patchy lighting, especially in the bathroom. Most bulbs will say how wide the beam angle is on the packaging.

Colour
LED bulbs come in a variety of different tones, which can have an impact on the feel of your bathroom. At one end of the scale, there are warmer, more yellow hues, and at the other are crisper, whiter lights that are as natural as possible. The choice is up to you, though most people will choose lights that show colours most accurately, or are the most flattering. Nobody wants to get ready in front of a mirror with light that makes them looked washed out.

Safety
One thing that is often not considered, but which is extremely important, is the safety of having downlights fitted. Because holes are created in the ceiling to accommodate the bulbs, fire could easily travel through them. For this reason, it's essential to choose fire-rated downlights – these are fixtures that will resist a fire for a certain period of time.

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