Bath Bar

Mirror, mirror on the wall don't let the light cast a pall

In most rooms, the goal is to find lighting that makes the space look good. In the bathroom, the lighting needs to make us look good.

Whether for shaving, putting on makeup or dressing in front of a bathroom mirror, the ideal lighting will let you see what you're doing without making you wince.

When we look in that mirror, we want reality - but we don't want harsh reality.

The answer is balancing multiple sources of light what will illuminate your face from more that one direction. Ideally, that means a combination of task lighting, such as a fixture mounted above a mirror, and softer, ambient lighting, such as wall sconces on either side. If space allows, a table lamp can amplify the glow.

The least - flattering light fixtures are bulbs recessed in the ceiling directly over the sink. Try to avoid recessed lighting, especially if it's your only source.

Recessed lights cast a direct beam, the light hits the edge of your eyebrows, your nose and your chin and creates shadows under them - it's like having a shelf in each location.

If the room already has recessed lighting, install a dimmer switch to tone down the glare and adding another source of light, like sconces or an overhead fixture.

Standard fluorescent lighting has a coating inside the tube that emphasizes cooler, bluish tones, not the colours in people's skin tones. Fluorescent fixtures can provide excellent light if they are fitted with wide - spectrum colour - balanced tubes, which cast a warmer light.