Uplight or downlight in small powder room?

msbrandywinevalleyMarch 7, 2013

I just redid a smaller-than-small (4.5' x 5') powder room. New floor, pedestal sink, toilet, mirror and light fixture. And finally the wallpaper is gone and the walls are a nice shade of sage green. Previously there was a ceiling vent fan that also had a light fixture. Now I've got a 2-bulb fixture over the mirror. It's a beautiful fixture but I HATE the lighting! The room is windowless and the light casts shadows everywhere, spotlighting every imperfection in the walls.

So now I have a few questions: The fixture can be hung so that the light shines either up or down. It looks like it should be down-facing, but if it helps the shadows, I'd be happy to have it reversed.

Also, this is the only source of light in the room. I'm presently using two 60-watt incandescent soft white bulbs. Should I be using some other type of bulb for more natural lighting? And should I use 75-watts or even 100 watts (which the fixture can accomodate) instead of 60s?

Thanks for your input!

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poobaloo

Hi,
The bathroom fixtures are generally installed pointing down, but nothing prevents you from trying it the other way. I think if you flip it around you'll have two spotlights on your ceiling and that'll be awkward looking and not a great use of light.

60W incandescents are fine, I don't think switching there will improve things. Altho I would certainly suggest LED or CFL to save power. LED preferred of course.

I would lean toward more bulbs of lower wattage. 100W bulbs are power-suckers and should be avoided. Can you exchange the fixture or are you sold on keeping that? Maybe a fixture w 3 sockets, or even better, two and two down the sides of the mirror instead of on top?

Or switch out the vent fixture to include a light again... that would definitely add some general light to the room and cut out some shadows.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:59AM
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SnidelyWhiplash

I think this is impossible to answer without seeing the room in person.

A room that's used 15 minutes a day can have incandescent bulbs without much cost. Spending big money for leds or CFLs would be a waste because you'd never see much savings. Use patterns matter for CFLs anyway, they're really ill suited for frequent on/off and short run times. That also will shorten their lives.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 11:27AM
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msbrandywinevalley

Over the past few days I've been reading up on light bulbs. Now I'm wondering if I ought to trade the incandescents for 60W equivalent CFLs with a K value of around 4100. A higher K value will be too glaringly blue; much lower than 4100 and I'm back in the yellow range. Am I on the right track, or am I overthinking it? Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 10:03AM
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helou

I don't think you're overthinking it, but I think what you really need to do is to test out various bulbs. The 4100 might be too blue or just right, depending on the exact color of the sage green.
I have found that what's right in one room can be completely different in another because of some small additional variable.
I think almost everything needs to be tried out (as much as possible) before making it permanent.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 11:59AM
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msbrandywinevalley

Over the past few days I've been reading up on light bulbs. Now I'm wondering if I ought to trade the incandescents for 60W equivalent CFLs with a K value of around 4100. A higher K value will be too glaringly blue; much lower than 4100 and I'm back in the yellow range. Am I on the right track, or am I overthinking it? Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 1:50PM
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