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10/24/2014
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Lighting your public bathroom

Posted on September 5, 2013 Category: Hospitality Design Articles

If you are enjoying dinner or drinks in a sophisticated, well-designed restaurant or bar, there are few things as off-putting as excusing yourself to the bathroom only to be greeted by harsh fluorescent lighting. In the ladies' room, in particular, women rely on flattering, accurate light to reapply lipstick and touch-up hair and makeup. Harsh, unflattering light in a bathroom can destroy the mood and ambiance you have worked so hard to create in your restaurant.

When designing the lighting scheme in the bathroom of your restaurant, bar or retail facility, there are several things to keep in mind.

Light color and temperature
When choosing your light, you'll have to consider what color temperature and rendering you want to have. For example, skin tones look the most flattering in medium to warm colors, up to about 3,500 Kelvin, though some prefer slight cooler colors. Fortunately, LED lighting fixtures come in a variety of different colors so you can find exactly the color temperature you are looking for.  

You may also want to consider using an LED light dimmer, which will allow you to adjust how bright your lighting is throughout the day.

Placement
When it comes to placing the lights in the most effective and flattering place, it's always advisable to set up lighting at eye-level when possible. This can be accomplished by either installing sconces on either side of an individual mirror, on a mirror that takes up most of a wall or adding LED strip lighting for a "Hollywood" style effect.

The eye-level lighting will be the most flattering, because it minimizes shadows under the chin, eyes, cheeks and forehead. 

Energy costs
While you certainly want your customers to enjoy every aspect of your restaurant or shop, you always have to keep overhead costs in mind. 

Fortunately, LED lighting is extremely energy efficient. They only require a fraction of the electricity to produce the same lighting effect as an incandescent light bulb, and they last for years. This will not only help to lower your monthly electricity expenses, but save you maintenance costs as well, as the bulbs won't need to be changed every couple months. Plus, because LEDs are so energy efficient, you may qualify for a rebate or tax break.

Overall, LED lights can give your facility the look you want at a practical cost.