Downlight placement in bathroom

7 Jan 2010
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United Kingdom
Hi guys, I understand a lot of you don't like downlights so if you are one of these please stop reading now :D

I would really appreciate your feedback on the positioning of downlight's shown on the following plan:

The light fittings are hooded as there is a loft bedroom above and the bulbs are Megaman 240V 6W LED (50w equivalent) GU10 fitting, 450 lumens 35 degree beam. I actually purchased 10 fittings 6 months ago when they were on offer, but think I probably only need to use 8.

The current pull cord will be replaced with a Hartington Heath LumoS Dimmer Touch Sensor Switch (1 gang 2 way model). I mention this because it has dimmer memory, so in theory if I put too many lights in, I can always dim then down! If there isn't enough light, I'm stuffed!
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The current positioning is based on general advice given by the electrician that will be wiring up and also some "Googling" (so I'm obviously an expert now). Suggestions were to position approximately 60 to 90 cm from walls and 90 to 120cm from each other. I calculate the spot size would be 147cm for a 35 degree angle and ceiling height of 235cm.

I'm aware that positioning a downlight above the bath isn't ideal as you tend to look up at it, however, we very rarely take baths and we can always dim the lights. There will also be a large rectangular, back lit mirror above the basin and toilet so this could be used in isolation for subdued lighting. One of the spots is positioned in the walk in shower, leaving room for the ceiling shower head, size to be decided, but possibly around 30cm diameter.

Constructive comments on improving the layout would be appreciated as I'm sure there are many things I haven't considered.
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I would go with something similar to your drawing, except would centre over the bath, centre over window, and mirror, just from an aesthetic view personally as well as practical

With downlights, it’s always a toss up between how does it look on the ceiling vs how does it light the room and finding a balance can be a challenge
Too many. Equivalent of 400 watts. Who has this much light in a bathroom?
I only have a 60W incandescent (9W LED?) shaver light.

It lights the whole room perfectly adequately - and it's not the typical minimum possible size British bathroom..
Do you have a mirror light?
I ask as I have downlights only (no mirror light) and although they light the room well, shaving is hard as the downlight lights top of my head and makes shaddows on my face.
This is not in a major way but in a way that makes me keep wishing I had a mirror light when shaving, but then instantly forget when I finish.
Do you have a mirror light?

Yes, we will have a mirror with a built in back light, at least that's the plan. Have to find one in the right size yet, but may end up making it myself.

The downlights have now been installed and I'm fairly sure I could probably get a tan while using the bathroom now :) May have to replace the 50W equivalent LED bulbs with 35W equivalent's. Personally, I like a cool white light, but the missus prefers less light and prefers it to be a warm light, more like a halogen.

The I Lumos touch switch is also causing issues. While the switch turns the lights on and off, they are fine on maximum brightness, but any attempt to dim them results in the LED's flashing. Lucky I don't suffer from epilepsy! This appears to be a "known" issue, according to the hartington heath website, from where the switch was purchased.

I was aware of the limitations of using this switch; each lamp must be more than 3W and they must be of a good quality and dimmable. Thought that a 6W megaman dimmable bulb would be fine as these work fine on dimmers in our kitchen/sitting/dining area. I contacted hartington heath to be told that they hadn't tested the megaman bulbs. So I asked them which bulbs had been tested and their reply was that they don't really have a list of tested bulbs, but they've never heard of issues with Philips LED's! Their suggestion was to use the LED adapter capacitors that they sell. These need to be wired to the live and neutral feed for the lights and as the downlights are wired in series it should prevent them all from flickering.

Has anyone seen these LED adapters before? Is there any other product that would achieve this, but something that is more substantial than a bit of wire with a capacitor stuck in the middle?

So far I'm really disappointed with this I Lumos touch switch. As nice as it looks it is pretty useless to me if it doesn't dim properly as this was one of the ways I planned to reduce the brightness if necessary, which it appears is the case.
The downlights have now been installed and I'm fairly sure I could probably get a tan while using the bathroom now :) May have to replace the 50W equivalent LED bulbs with 35W equivalent's. .

Did I not say: "Too many. Equivalent of 400 watts. Who has this much light in a bathroom?"

Eqivalient of 20w will be more than enough.
Did I not say: "Too many. Equivalent of 400 watts. Who has this much light in a bathroom?"

You did and you were correct as it is currently very bright (personally I like it, but the missus doesn't). However, the light fittings haven't been pushed back into the ceiling yet and the bevels haven't been installed. As these are IP65 rated, they have a glass front, which tends to push the bulb up into the fitting a little. The affect of both of these would be to reduce the amount of light slightly I would expect. Having said that, the bathroom is a long way from being tiled, which I'm sure will have the effect of reflecting the light, so I suspect it will be too bright.

As I explained though, the I Lumos dimmer is supposed to remember the dimming position, so I was hoping to be able to dim the lights slightly if they were too bright, but this switch has been a bit of a waste of money so far, so I "may" need to resort to lower equivalent wattage bulbs. I'll decide that when the bathroom is completed in a couple of years :)

I hope not. They should be wired in parallel. Please check.

Sorry, my mistake. Just asked and they are wired in parallel. I thought that describing the cable running from one light, to the next, then onto the next (like a daisy chain) was serial i.e. one after the other. Obviously not.

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