Saunas and steam rooms are great for you to sit back, unwind, and soak in the goodness of heat. Proper lighting contributes to a warm and relaxing sauna. However, special attention and care are required when choosing the luminaire for saunas and steam rooms where conditions are hot and humid. In this article, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about sauna lighting from selecting right lights to installations.
Before you set out on finding the perfect lighting fixtures for your sauna, you need to understand what kind of environment different types of saunas operates, namely, temperature and humidity level.
|traditional sauna||70-90°C||5%-15% rising briefly only after water is poured over the hot stones|
|infrared saunas||38-65°C||no humidity|
What are the lighting requirements for sauna?
High level of heat and moisture are present in saunas, as mentioned above, this means you need reliable lights that can withstand heat and humidity for a long time. In another word, the light needs to be encased in materials that are chemically stable enough to resist heat and moisture. Also, you want to make sure the lighting fixtures in the sauna don’t generate much heat while working.
There’s a wide variety of lights in the market. A lot of them are not up to the challenging task-sauna lighting. Take incandescent light bulbs for example, these light bulbs are cheap with color temperature around 2700-3000K, they usually have a lifespan of around 1,000 hours and are not the most efficient option in the market. For another, they generate lots of heat while working, which for a place already that is high in temperature and moisture, is not ideal because of the potential fire risk.
What are the typical lights for saunas and steam rooms?
Understanding the difference helps you figure out the perfect light for your sauna or steam room. So, let’s look at some of the popular sauna luminaires.
1). Bulkhead Lights
Bulkhead light fixtures attribute their name to the metal cage that surrounds and protects the light glass, similar to how boats are constructed. They always give an industrial look whether hanging from the ceiling above or attached to the wall. The popularity of using bulkhead lights is partly due to the bright and wide illumination, so using an efficient and long-lasting LED bulb will prevent you from having to remove the cage for regular replacement.
2). Fiber Optic Lights
Fiber optic lighting is comprised of a core and cladding that trap light, allowing light to travel long distances. This type of light is commonly used in the ceiling for decoration purpose. Fiber is airtight and doesn’t create heat, which makes it an ideal option for all types of saunas however high the temperature is. But compared to other lights, it offers limited illumination. Fiber optic sauna kits in the market are safe for use in wet and humid areas as no heat or electricity is present in the fiber optics or fittings, but the illuminator which contains the electricity, must be located outside the main sauna or steam room.
A spotlight is a lamp projecting a narrow, intense beam of light directly on to a place, and can be adjusted to any angle. Ceiling spotlights are one of the most adaptable lighting options and they are a perfect lighting solution for any room. In a sauna, the spotlight is best used for accent lighting, for example illuminating the heater or backrest.
4). Recessed Downlight
A Downlight is often a light bulb set in a metal cylinder that is held into the ceiling mounted on or recessed into the ceiling concentrating the light in a downward direction. Downlights can be used in any room and are hugely popular in kitchens and bathrooms due to the wide availability in fire-rated, and IP-rated variations.
5). LED Light Strips
LED strip lighting is getting more and more popular among architects and lighting designers due to the improved efficiency, more color options and easy adaptability to a variety of installation circumstances. These flexible lights can fit the shape of the sauna room and enable continuous lighting that is wider and softer than other fixtures.
These slim led lights are available in a wide range of encasing materials depending on what kind of environment you want them to be applied to, indoor, outdoor, or underwater. To work in a sauna, they need to be wrapped in silicone or other least reactive materials that protect them from extreme heat and moisture.
6). Wall Lights
As the name implies, the wall lights usually are installed on the wall or in the corner of the sauna. These lighting fixtures are a little bit bulky like bulkhead bulbs and might take up some space. They often come with a wooden shade or scone that helps the light blend in the wooden sauna room without looking out of place. You can choose a qualified light bulb to your liking to go with the shade.
What kind of profile to use for LED flex lights in a sauna or steam room?
If you want the light up in the ceiling, a sturdy profile that provides a firm grip is required. Plastic profiles are not recommended for ceiling installation, it cannot hold the light securely in a heated environment, and the channel is easy to age over time. We recommend wooden or silicone encapsulated profile, but keep in mind that the light is best mounted where there is no human touch.
Where to install lights in a sauna or steam room?
You can install the light almost anywhere in the sauna but never above or too close to the sauna heater. No matter how safe the light is advertised, too much heat could potentially damage the light and cause fire. Luminaires in different locations create different lighting effects. Most of times, people mount the sauna lights under the bench, on the wall discreetly to create an indirect warm glow, helping contribute to a soothing and relaxing ambience.
How CLEAR LED Flex Light Produces Win-Win Results for Sauna Lighting: Functionality & Aesthetics
In hot and humid environment like sauna, it is tricky to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics in terms of lighting. Usually lighting fixtures able to endure extreme heat and moisture don’t always have the most appealing look and are not the easiest to install. CLEAR Sauna LED Light Strips has answers to all these questions.
Not only CLEAR flexible sauna led lights are encased in silicone which is almost immune to extreme heat up to 90 degree Celsius in the traditional sauna and 100% relative humidity in the steam room, they also are slim and easy to install on the surface or blend in the openings in the wooden planks. This flexibility gives more freedom to the lighting planners or designers in creating a warm atmosphere. For more details about sauna light series, you can sign up here to get the specs.