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During the 70’s and into the 80’s people started to see their old function-only-style-bathroom as outdated.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.

Modern Home Lighting Options Shed New Light on Interior Design

The way you approach home lighting can make the difference between a cozy home and a stark living space. Home lighting is so much more than just a few lamps. It’s a whole house design that unifies your space and makes it warm and inviting.

Sure, you’ll want to start with some lamps. The lamps you choose will say a lot about your particular style. Go with bold designs or traditional, but either way choose shades that disperse the light well. The shade is what will make your home lighting look inviting and not overexposed.

Another factor of home lighting is task lighting. You’ll need to see what you are doing when you are cooking or performing other kitchen tasks. Having under-counter lighting works wonders. Usually, shadows are cast from overhead lights when they hit your cabinets. With under-cabinet lights you can see what you’re chopping or writing. There are no more dark pockets in the kitchen. Kids can see their homework and you can read your recipes.

Consider adding track lighting to your home as well. These are rows of lights that accent certain areas of a room. Gone are the days of cheap looking exposed bulbs in a row. Today’s track lights are elegant and housed in pretty casings so they look finished. You can turn them in just about any direction so they accent a piece of furniture or art. They can really add to the ambiance in a space and create little rooms where you have just a big open expanse of space.

Whole house lighting is something you should plan out when you are planning the design of your house. But if you’re living in a rental or an older house, you may need to rethink the existing configurations. You can take down any garish chandeliers the last tenants left and replace them with choices that work better with your lifestyle.

One visit to a home store’s lighting section will have you marveling at all the options available. You don’t have to settle for less than perfect lighting for your home. Create a reading nook, illuminate the dining table, accent a stairwell or a loft. It can all be done with the right lighting and you can do it yourself with a little forethought.

No two homes and no two homeowners are exactly alike. That’s why there are so many choices on the market for lamps, overhead lights, desk lamps and track lights. Choose from among your favorites and then light up your night.

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.