I always loved the notion of a space being larger inside than it is outside, as in Dr Who’s spacial mind bending Tardis. Wouldn’t it be amazing that such a small space could be so big?
I first began to consider the power of 2 dimensional illusion as a student painting theatrical backdrops to look three dimensional to the seated viewer. Theatre is the home of optical trickery and a powerful media to use is lighting. Our brains are just waiting to be fooled with misguided optical information.
So lets use some cunning lighting techniques in the bathroom to open up that small space.
Tip1 :Light receeds, dark advances.
Push the walls back by washing them with light. We’re usually helped in bathrooms as they have shiny surfaces that love to reflect light. Hide a light source and let it pour up or down the wall. A tried and tested technique is to recess or box in a fluorescent lamp above a mirror but with IP44 rated LED strip lighting we can easily mount a light channel anywhere. Try a strip above and below a mirror mounted on a cabinet, washing light up the wall onto the ceiling and down onto the sink.
Tip 2: Niche Lighting
Create a niche by either building out a wall slightly leaving enough room for a recessed boxed section to be made or take up some space in a stud wall or build into the brickwork. Lets put in a row of small LED IP56 rated 1W lights along the top, lighting up the niche. A wall with a niche fools us into thinking the space is wider than it is and when it’s highlighted and lighter than the wall, it falls back even further.
Tip 3: IP44 Illuminated Mirrors
Mirrors are great as they make a space look twice the size anyway and all bathrooms and cloakrooms have a mirror. A shadowless reflection of a face is best lit from either side of the mirror, usually with wall lights. If there is no space for wall lights a space saving solution is to find an IP44 protected illuminated mirror that has integral lighting within each side. We supply one that has just that and integral uplighting!
Tip 4: Hidden lighting
Not much rooms for fittings? Incorporate them into other fittings. Glass shelves can be backlit where the shelf itself acts as a light. We have a product that does exactly that. Glass shelves can be top lit from a downlight, where the glass catches the light. Recessed kick plinth LED lights linked to a presence detector can turn themselves on when you stumble into the loo in the night, illuminating the floor and guide you on your way back to bed!
Tip 5: Lift off the roof!
LED’s are changing the way we use light as they are so small and last so long. A technique not usually found in a bathroom is to create a ‘coffer’. Seems strange to actually lower the ceiling alittle, but do the same as described with the niche but this time in the ceiling. Hide a strip of LED’s around the perimeter which uplight the raised section of the ceiling, visually lifting the ceiling sky high!
Tip 6: The future
Lets look to the future and not too distant either. With OLED’s, (Organic LED’s) the actual surfaces of a built space will emit light! Osram, a leading lamp manufacturer, is investing millions into this very real opportunity to have wafer thin laminated OLED’s into any surface. Our bathroom walls will be the very lights themselves…
… now even the Tardis doesn’t have that!