What Is the Future of Bathroom Lighting and Design?

To answer this question we need to look at where we are in the evolution of bathroom design. How were bathrooms designed during the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and why were they designed that way? How have bathrooms evolved into what they are today? And what is on the horizon for them in the future.

First of all how was a bathroom designed during the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, and why was it designed that way? It seems that during the 60’s and into the 70’s bathroom design was mainly focused around function and purpose. Meaning it had a place for bathing or showering, a sink and a toilet. Bathroom lighting was very basic as well. There was a main light in the center of the bathroom and one over the mirror. Not much flair but very basic and functional and down to earth. Unless you were wealthy and could afford extra amenities they weren’t there.

During the 70’s and into the 80’s people started to see their old function-only-style-bathroom as outdated. At this time there seems to have started a revolution in bathroom design ideas that transformed the bathroom from a place of chore and duty to a place of relaxation and sophistication, where a person can unwind and escape from the labors of the day. People wanted more, and because of demand design took off in new directions.

The price of materials came down and large department stores started to realize there is big money in the bathroom remodeling and design business. About this time big box stores began to come into general existence and replace a lot of your smaller home improvement stores. The race was on for your money. Who could offer the best price for the product and help you do the job yourself? Every store developed a design center where you can design the bathroom of your dreams, then walk down the aisles and pick out exactly what you want in your bathroom. If you don’t want to install it all yourself, they have multiple contractors lined up to give you competitive bids on your project. If you decide to do your remodeling yourself, there are in-store classes to teach you every step of the way. Anything to keep you coming back for more in their store.

There is a great side effect to all this competition and that is the price comes down and selection of products goes up. That means we have more design products to choose from for our bathroom than we ever have had, and new ideas are appearing all the time.

Bathroom design has become an art in its self. People go to great lengths to hire the right designer, pick the right colors, make sure their lighting is perfect for every occasion, pick the right tiles, fixtures, and trim to create that wonderful place that will not only serve as a place of utility and function, but become a place of style, elegance, comfort, and romance.

The ultimate bathroom is probably different for everyone, but I am sure it would probably include a bathtub Jacuzzi with massaging jets that has at least enough room for two. I’m sure it would also have a spacious walk-in shower that takes the experience of just washing with soap to get clean to an experience of relaxing sounds of music, scented essential oils that fill the room with relaxing aromas, and massaging jets of water kneading you from every angle possible helping to create the perfect ambiance as they wash away the day and take you to your happy place. The colors lighting and whole atmosphere of your bathroom from the tile and paint, to the lighting, is designed to make you feel as if you are in your favorite private spa getting pampered just the way you want. There are sinks and vanities for you and your significant other everything is centered around making your state of mind more relaxed and calm, while you take care of those personal functions of daily life

No longer is the bathroom a place of lowliness and disdain, but it has become equal to one of the most highly prized places in our homes. Just look at how much we spend on remodeling our bathrooms. The only room that is remodeled more and costs more per square foot to remodel is the kitchen. The kitchen brings the family together and is the focal point of the home, but the bathroom is a place of seclusion, privacy, comfort, and intimacy. Two opposites that we spend a lot of money on to get just right.

The evolution of bathroom design has come a long way since the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Bathrooms are like a creature of evolution that are always evolving and changing to become the environment we want to make them into. So what is the future of bathroom remodeling and design? I guess the future depends on where we want our imaginations to take us. It might be a blast from the past, something totally futuristic, or a mixture of both. Only time will tell.

Home Theater Room Design

You may have always dreamed of building your own home theater, enjoying the movies all to yourself without any distractions. You now come to the deciding point, to build a home theater or not to build one? There are certain things which need to be considered in home theater room design. There are basic components which include the room design, acoustics, lighting and the equipment.

First you have to choose where you are going to put your home theater. If you have a spare room, it is a good choice. If you are going to convert another room for your home theater, then planning that must be considered too. Having selected the place, you need to consider the design that you will use. You may want to choose a room where the screen is the centerpiece of the room. You may choose to place all the chairs on the other side of the room. You may also consider a simple theater room where sofas and the equipment are only there. You may even want to put in a refrigerator or a microwave so you can get food easily while watching.

Chairs are an important element too in the design you might want to have a sofa stuck on the wall or a reclining chair. You can also choose to have theater seats built into your home theater. This depends on you and what you think is comfortable.

Second is that you need to fix the acoustics. Sound is very important in a home theater room design. A movie is useless without the sound. You may opt for a surround sound system when choosing your theater room design. Within the room, you may do some tricks in order to keep sound from bouncing off this is to preserve the sound in the room.

Light is an important element of home theaters. In movie theaters, lights are dimmed. Especially when watching a movie, light are switched off. This enhances the colors that you see when you watch a movie. Every detail will be seen properly when the lights are turned off. With the room, as much as possible, do not put too much windows since light can penetrate into the room and disrupt a movie. It is okay if small ventilation is put, but a room can do without this since you may have the room with an aircon.

Lastly, when choosing a home theater room design, the system and equipment is important. You have to choose them really well. These must just fit into your room. It is not about having the biggest screen of speakers. What is important that when choosing the equipment such as the screen and speakers, they fit well into the room. No matter what equipment you choose to put in your home theater, make sure that all the wiring are hidden to prevent accidents or unplugging them while in the middle of a movie.

You may want to look at different tips and designs on home theater room designs. You can start by looking at possible equipment and fixtures that you may use. It is recommended to seek professional help when building a home theater in your home.

Home Lighting Design For Aging Eyes – Part 2 – The Math

PROLOGUE

Please note that this is the second part of a two-part series on Home Lighting Design For Aging Eyes – this is about The Math, the earlier submission is about The Basics. [Hang on mathphobes, this stuff boils down to one number times another number equals a third number – like 2×6=12, like – like that you can take to a lighting professional who can deliver the illuminance goods.]

RECAP

In Part 1, we were presented with a unique set of rules and restrictions for home lighting design for aging eyes to two purposes. First, to achieve home lighting design standards more suitable to aging eyes (which the literature allows begin to need extra light in their 40s). Second, to translate these new home lighting design standards into numerical targets of common metrics readily identifiable in the retail lighting marketplace.

Common home lighting metrics include lpW (lumens/Watt) which illuminance efficiency data have been around quite a while and CRI and CCT lighting quality data which were hard come-by up until the last few years, as fluorescent makers “warmed up” their bulbs, and, particularly, their compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs.

EXAMPLE

Comment: OK, let’s try on an example.

A bedroom has an ambient fc target value of 40, i.e., 40 lm/ft squared. That’s a given. The bedroom we’re targeting in this example is, say, 200 ft squared in floor surface area. 40 lm/ft squared multiplied by 200 ft squared = 800 l, our lumen target.

This house designer is not immediately, if at all, interested in that with which the space gets lighted (noting that method will be specified in the plan set, but rarely materials), except that it be lighted evenly and, by specific instruction, avoid lighting flutter from ceiling fan blades interrupting cast light. He’s not interested in specific luminaires (handled broadly in notes attendant to a lighting design schedule) by type, size, or, usually, specific site. Immediately, home lighting designer interest is in determining lumens for given spaces.

Eventually, choosing among materials and methods is for the knowledge of lighting pros and interior decorators and the personal sense of clients, etc.

Comment: Again, it’s the lumen number for a space coming from the Rules in Part 1-The Basics that bridges the gap between your lighting interests and intentions and the folks who know a lot about lighting but not a lot about you. At its easiest, bring your lighting professional The Basics and The Math – and the plan set.

NIGHTLIGHTING SCHEDULE

These calculations end up in a home lighting design Nightlighting Schedule defining by-level and by-space fc target, actual square feet, lm target, and distinction of task or ambient. Some spaces are necessarily scheduled in more than one line when, for example, task illuminance target varies from, say, shower to vanity – both for different target levels and square footage. Comment: It’s labeled “Nightlighting” to oppose it to a “Daylighting” Schedule of natural illumination to interior spaces – separate subject. Nightlighting and Daylighting can interrelate – yet, another subject in residential lighting design.

NIGHTLIGHTING NOTES

A home lighting design Nightlighting Schedule can be presented with extensive notes, including:
1. selected types of luminaires indicated, in order to keep perspective broad;
2. certain materials preferred, e.g., brilliant reflectors to get the maximum illuminance out of CFL downlighting;
3. rules of artificial, or mechanical, illuminance design repeated as a fall-back reference;
4. methods emphasized, e.g., layering, dimmers, under-cabinet skirting, etc.;
5. materials array is recapped, e.g., pendant, sconce, cove, etc.;
6. lighting quality hurdles indicated; site-specific concerns identified, e.g., about lighting potentially high-hazard spaces, possibly troublesome glare, cold-weather fluorescent materials and methods, safety-switching, continuous service rating, etc.

ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING PLAN

The home lighting design Nightlighting Schedule and related notes get translated in the Electrical & Lighting Plan in plan view.

This is not about beating a dead horse with texted table, extensive notes, and now a floor plan expression of wiring including lighting. This is about taking the wiggle-room out of residential lighting design and installation in application.

First, let the home designer define the lighting plan overall. Let the interior designing be done by designers guiding clients, based on the lighting plan. Then let the installation, the construction begin based on the interior designing and lighting pro’s instructions.

This custom home designer writes on the electrical plan space-by-space. He prescribes: foot candles by site, e.g., vanity, overall bath; distinction of foot candles by site by, i.e., task and ambient; switching and circuitry; and notes that, aside from specified heights and spreads of sconce luminaire, all aspects of luminaire materials and methods are done by others.

Before The Architect’s Ralph and Jean Pressel have worked together since the ‘60s on home designing, home plan drafting and repairing, home design and building consulting and on home building as contractors and subcontractors in every major trade. Electrical and Lighting Plans from their custom home designs shop are regarded as superior by clients, suppliers, and contractors.