Godden/Sudik Architect publishes article in Professional Remodeler Magazine
Doug Walters, Senior Architect, addresses the importance of lighting.

When it comes to proper lighting, one of the most critical rooms in the home is the bathroom. It’s most often the first place people go to when they wake up in the morning, and it can set the mood for the day. the bathroom is where you wash and groom, and many people take their morning medications there—all strong cases for optimized lighting and daylighting. the other reason is that light, particularly daylight, is what sets our circadian rhythms, which play an important part in overall health.

Helping people see well is also critical for safety, since the bathroom is where 80 percent of older adults experience a fall. Fortunately, good lighting for seniors is good lighting for everyone. Let’s look at seven opportunities for the best bathroom illumination: daylighting, overall light, vanity lighting, lighting over a tub, light in the shower, lighting at the water closet, and night lighting.

Light Levels

How much light is needed in the bath? the answer depends on the person and the task they’re performing. For someone just waking up and shuffling in to the water closet, 10 footcandles (fc) might be plenty. After a shower, when it’s time to shave, 100fc is probably needed for better visibility.


  • The eye loses acuity as we age. Pupils grow smaller, lenses yellow, and any number of vision disabilities occur.

  • A 60-year-old requires three times the amount of light to see as well as a 20-year-old.

  • Better lighting has been shown to help prevent falls among seniors, particularly in the bath (where 80 percent of falls happen) and on stairs.

  • Daylight—especially in the short-wavelength blue range (460 to 525 nano- meters) that comes in morning light—has been shown to help set proper circadian rhythms.

  • Having disrupted circadian rhythms has been tied to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

  • Brighter illumination has been shown to improve mood. 


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