How many downlighters in a bathroom ?

Is there a general rule of thumb for deciding upon the number of downlighters fitted in a bathroom ?
I am hoping to fit 50W chrome downlighters into my smallish bathroom and can't decide on the number. The ceiling space is only 3.55m squared so I was thinking along the lines of 4 or 5 downlighters giving 200 or 250W in total.
Does this seem about right or will 5 be too many ?
The suite is plain white and I will position a very large mirror on one wall to try and make the bathroom feel larger.
Any recommendations or methods to adopt here ?
Do you really have to have the waterproof ones above the bath ? - I mean it would be one heck of a splash to get water right up to the ceiling !
TIA, Mike.
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You'll need sunglasses to walk in there with that lot on!
I fitted 6x20W downlighters to a previous bathroom, that was perhaps 3m x 1.8m, and that gave a very high level of light. 50W lamps would have been way too much. Go wide angle lamps rather than the spots, and for bathrooms they need to be the glass-fronted enclosed type. I assume we're talking 12v elv here?
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RichardS wrote:

I'd second that, I fitted 4x50W 12V downlighters in my (approx) 2.5m x 2.5m bathroom and it's rather too bright. I'm planning to replace them with 35W, or maybe 20W, lamps at some point (probably as and when they expire naturally).
Remember that downlighters create quite distinct pools of light - even the 35 degree ones - and so e.g. 5x20W is better than 2x50W. I have heard of glass diffusers that clip over the downlighters, to produce a more even spread of light, but I haven't actually seen any to be able to judge how effective they are.
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Tony Eva wrote:

It does depend on ceiling height a bit. I have been in a small loo where the only illumination was 2 50W mains halogen downlights, and the lighting was actuially quite pleasent and even due to the ceiling being 10' high.
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John Rumm wrote:

That's true, though 10' high ceilings are hardly the norm :-)
Another consideration when planning the lighting is that (in my experience) it's better to angle the downlighters, perhaps onto the adjacent wall, so that the lighting is more indirect than directly from above. Again, in my bathroom, I placed one light above the basin and the downward light is not especially flattering when looking in the mirror.
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RichardS wrote:

could always use a pull-cord dimmer switch like this:
http://www.lighting-direct.co.uk/bigprod.asp?id $29
32.00 ish from http://www.lighting-direct.co.uk
search for dimmers / page 9
hth
RT
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RichardS wrote:

I have used 6 x 35W in a room 2m x 2.5m and it is about right. As with any downlighter scheme, the ceiling is darker and the coverage is a little patchy.
If you fit
http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Wiring_Accessories_Menu_Index/Wiring_Accessories~Dimmers_All/Dimpull/index.html
together with dimmable transformer(s), then for times when it feels a bit bright, you can set it to suit yourself. It is working well for me.
I have got hold of some ultra-wide angle bulbs, but the aperture size of the glass fronted fitting obviously has a limiting effect on this.
Chris
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Spiders wearing shades... ** T h e A r a c h n i d B l u e s B r o t h e r s **
Ok, that jokes going down the drain.
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mikeyw wrote:

I did four 35W 12V downlights in a small shower room (about 1.6 by 2.2m) and that gives a nice even coverage of the room from the lower half down (i.e. the top of the walls are less well illuminated than the lower half and the floor). This is the effect I was trying to achieve, however you may find that wall washers will work better if you want more even top to bottom lighting.

Probably too many... If you use the 12V lights then the colour of the light tends to be whiter and closer to daylight.

Does the bath have a shower? Personally I would stick to the waterproof ones given the room is small.
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If you look at the regs it will tell you what kind are needed in what zone. I seem to remember that as long as the light is 2m(?) or more above the floor then it doesn't need to be rated? That of course could be only in the areas outside of the bath, sink etc so you'd best check!
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adder wrote:

The ceiling would need to be over 3m over a bath to be unzoned!
http://www.diydata.com/electrics/bathroom_electrics/bathroom_electrics.htm
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On 8 Nov 2004 14:15:34 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@coda.com (mikeyw) wrote:

My bathroom is small - 1.8m x 2.2m. I've got 6 x 50w. And contrary to the others who say it would be too bright, it's not. It's just right.
MJ
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snipped-for-privacy@MJ.com wrote:

Wow. What colour are the floors, walls and fittings? I suppose a lot depends on personal taste as well - you would appear to prefer your bathroom well lit :-)
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Oooh, a new OT thread! "Who's got the smallest bathroom?"
Mine's 1.56m x 1.67m - which gives me an early lead. No, I don't have downlighters. They don't give out much light (300W for a room that size - eek!).
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Bob Mannix
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Ok, I have to admit there's a mix of black (granite actually) and white, but I had the lights installed and running for some time with just plain plastered walls and it was still ok. And now it's still about 75% white. I do like bright lighting, but nobody has ever complained or even commented on it being too bright.
I find it irritating that every light fitting you pick up says 60w max, which is little brighter than a couple of candles. It makes me wonder what these light fitting manufacturers think 100w bulbs are for. So what happens to all the 100w bulbs you see on the shelves? Probably bought by people like me who ignore the 60w max warning with no ill effect.
Halogen uplighters appear to have taken a downturn as well. They all used to be 500w. When I came to replace one a year or so ago all I could find were 300w max ones. I tried one, and instead of the bright white light I had before, it was a yellow. I examined the dimmer box and it said 500w max. The construction hasn't changed. So I put a 500w bulb in and it has been ok.
MJ
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On Tue, 09 Nov 2004 05:49:01 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@MJ.com strung together this:

Good, not just me then! I've got a 3m x 2m ish bathroom with 4 x 50W GU10s, 1 x 50W 12V showerlight and 2 60W wall light spot affairs. Just about right I'd say.
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Lurch wrote:

There must be a batch of _very_ low efficiency 50W bulbs going about, is all that I can think. :-)
cheers
David
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Most lamps are _very_ low efficiency if you use the floor as a reflector to light the rest of the room.
I have a rather brightly lit bathroom with 42W of lighting (actually, probably ~45W with control gear losses). Since this is a DIY newsgroup, I'll add that I made a substatial part of the lights myself too ;-)
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Andrew Gabriel wrote:

Yes , this is the issue. They could easily use a 35W or even 20W bulb and they would probably not notice the difference as 90% of the light ends up on the floor.
cheers
David
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strung together this:

Think I could downrate the lamps and not notice too much difference. <backpedalling> The room doesn't have a window so it is quite depressing when it's underlit. I'd like to point out that they're on seperate switches so they're not always on all together. </backpedalling>
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