An Ultimate Guide For Choosing The Right Lighting For Your Sauna Or Steam Room (With LED Lighting Tips)
Saunas and steam rooms are the places for utmost relaxation.
Imagine returning home after a long day at work. A sauna or steam session is sure to de-stress you entirely.
As a result, you feel refreshed. Also, your body gets replenished after each session.
But did you know the ambiance in your sauna room installation determines your overall experience?
Think about sitting in a sauna room with poor lighting.
You won't enjoy the session as much as you'd in a well-lit room. Would you?
You see, lighting directly impacts the ambiance of a place. It affects your mood both in good and bad ways. A warm and pleasant lighting decor is sure to elevate your mood.
The same applies to the sauna and steam rooms in our homes.
You build one to sit back, unwind, and soak in the goodness of heat. And you want it to be a pleasant experience. Don't you?
So the right lighting is all you need to get the most out of your sauna or steam room.
That's exactly why we've compiled everything you need to know about lighting your favorite retreat.
So let's have a look.
Safety Is A Prerequisite For Sauna And Steam Room Lighting
A well-illuminated sauna or steam room looks warm and welcoming. And you enjoy the session manifold.
However, safety should be your top priority for any lighting decor in hot and moist conditions.
That's because your lighting is exposed to extremely high temperatures. Sauna rooms can be as hot as 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, temperatures in a steam room can reach up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
So the lights you install in these rooms should be able to withstand such temperature conditions.
Also, the lighting in a steam room is exposed to high moisture content. That is similar to exposing your lights to water.
Thus, unprotected lighting increases the chances of electrocution.
You can make the lighting in your sauna or steam room safe by installing light casings.
Casings don't let water in the form of moisture come in contact with the light.
In fact, special stainless steel light casings are readily available for this purpose.
To sum up, you need to install good quality lighting with high safety standards for your sauna and steam rooms.
UL-listed lights are an excellent option for your home sauna. These are rigorously tested for safety and quality.
There you have it, safe lighting for steam and sauna rooms.
Types Of Lighting For Saunas And Steam Rooms
The sauna or steam room in your home is more than a utility or personal wellness solution. It is a value addition. That's because sauna and steam facilities increase the value of your property.
So better aesthetics with the proper brightness and color contrasts mean more return on investment.
Also, it enables you to better enjoy your wellness retreat.
However, choosing the right lighting for sauna and steam rooms can be tricky since there's
a wide range of lighting materials in the market.
You should know the different types of lighting. As that helps you figure out the right lighting for your sauna or steam room.
So let's have a look at some of the popular lighting options.
#1. Filament Lamps
Filament lamps have been used for sauna and steam room lighting for a long time.
In fact, filament lighting has been a go-to choice for both residential and commercial sauna rooms.
That's for a reason.
You see, filament lamps are made to withstand extremely high temperatures.
Also, these lamps have an airtight sealant that prevents exposure to moisture.
That makes filament lamps ideal to light up hot and moist places like a sauna or steam room.
However, there are certain things you should consider when choosing filament lighting.
For instance, the safety rating for your lights shouldn't be less than NEMA 4X, as filament lamps of this class are moisture resistant.
Similarly, filament capacity for sauna or steam room lighting shouldn't be more than 0.06 KW. That's because lamps of higher capacity get heated easily. They're heated from both filament and sauna room heat. And using such lights in hot spaces like steam and sauna can cause a fire.
Altogether, filament lamps are ideal for a classical sauna and steam room lighting decor. They offer old-world elegance. So you can install filament lighting to create an ambiance of traditional Finnish saunas, among others.
Interesting, isn't it?
#2. Optical Lighting Systems
A safe lighting solution for a sauna or steam room is a prerequisite.
You see, high-capacity filament lamps can lead to electrical fires. That's why most filament lamps aren't considered safe for steam and sauna facilities.
Optical lighting offers a solid alternative to filaments. It is a safe lighting option for extremely warm environments.
That is because optical lights illuminate your sauna through the ceiling and the walls.
The main lighting is installed outside the sauna room. And the interiors are illuminated by projecting light through the optical fiber. That makes your lighting safe enough to easily withstand hot and moist conditions.
You can install an optical lighting system in temperatures up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit.
That's twice as much as a sauna or steam room.
So you can rest assured of safety while installing such lights.
There's more to it.
Optical fiber lights are cost-effective, long-lasting, and easy to install. In fact, they are an excellent option for DIY sauna or steam room lighting projects.
Optical lights allow you to create amazing lighting effects. They emit warm colored light, which makes your wellness retreat cozier.
Also, optical fiber lighting offers flexibility to control your ambiance. For instance, you can easily control its brightness and colors as per your liking.
That sounds awesome, doesn't it?
#3. LED Lighting
LEDs have transformed the way we light up our homes. The same applies to the steam and sauna rooms.
LEDs are the safest and most reliable way to light up places with extreme temperature variations. So you can use them for lighting a hot sauna room.
Also, LEDs are safe for exposure to moist conditions in a steam room.
Since LED lights are cost-effective and energy-efficient, they don't cost you a fortune.
LED lighting is sure to enhance the aesthetics of your sauna or steam room.
A wide range of multipurpose LED lights is readily available. And some of them even allow you to change the brightness and light colors as per your liking.
There's more to
Bonus: sauna lighting options with increased longevity and improved aesthetics
#4. Bulkhead lamps
Looking for a solid sauna lighting solution that can last you for years?
If yes, then bulkhead lights are something you should definitely consider.
Even though bulkhead lamps are mostly used in industries, businesses, and office spaces, their robust nature has always been appealing among residential designers. And thanks to the extensive bulkhead designs now available on the market, there's one for your home too.
Also, you can find bulkhead lamps with modular designs for your home sauna and steam room lighting.
In fact, when it comes to sauna lighting, bulkhead lamps offer you a solid, durable, and safe alternative. That's because the traditional bulkhead fixtures feature a robust metallic and glass casing which not only prevents exposure to the steam but also increases the lighting system's longevity.
Coming to installation, bulkhead sauna lights can be installed anywhere from the ceiling to the sauna walls. As such, they offer you great flexibility in terms of creating different lighting effects.
In a nutshell, if bright and long-lasting lights for saunas are your ideal type, then bulkhead LED sauna lighting should be your one-stop solution.
#5. Strip lights
An LED strip light is arguably the most innovative and featureful of all residential lighting solutions. And with such light stripes, you can create personalized lighting in your home sauna.
You see, apart from the efficiency of LED lighting, there are other exciting features too that LED strip lights have.
What about the lighting material's safety in a hot and humid spot like the sauna?
Well, sauna lighting LED strips are waterproof and available in multiple encasings for different environments. So you can choose one depending on the type of your steam sauna and the intensity of heat and humidity therein.
#6. Recessed downlights
If you want to illuminate the ceiling of your steam sauna bath, then recessed downlights are the best way to do so.
Downlight fixtures, especially those made for saunas, are moisture-proof and heat-resistant, which makes them safe to use sauna light fixtures for both infrared and traditional saunas.
Our tip: LED lamps are the perfect way to compliment your recessed downlight fixtures and create mood lighting in your sauna.
Lighting Style For Sauna And Steam Room
You've seen the popular types of lighting for sauna and steam bathing facilities. And you might be considering one, depending on your requirements and liking.
But no matter what type of lights you get for your home spa, choosing the lighting style can be confusing.
That's because the lighting style determines the ambiance of your sauna or steam room.
There are many light fixtures that you can choose from, the most common ones being round and tubular lights.
#1. Round Lights
Round lights are very common for saunas and steam rooms. They're easy to install and can create various lighting effects.
You can install round lights over the ceiling or on your sauna walls.
The best part is you can control your lighting from outside the sauna. That extends additional safety to your lighting.
You should, however, go for a round light with appropriate safety ratings.
#2. Tubular Lights
Tubular lights have become popular for sauna and steam rooms.
That's because their cylindrical shape allows them to create an even lighting spread, thus creating a unique ambiance in your sauna or steam room.
In fact, tubular lights are the go-to option for ceiling installation.
So a tubular light rated well for safety should be apt for you.
Where to install lighting in a sauna or steam room?
You can install sauna and steam room lights almost anywhere. It can be the walls, ceiling, and even the floor of your sauna.
Lighting in each location creates a different look and enhances the aesthetics.
Also, steam and sauna lighting offer you flexibility in terms of installation.
So you can install them either randomly or in a certain pattern.
However, you shouldn't install lighting directly above the sauna heater. No matter how safe the lights are, direct installation over the heater increases fire risk. It might even cause damage to your sauna.
LED Lighting For Saunas and Steam Rooms
Saunas and steam rooms are known for their immense health benefits. And by having one in your home, you can unlock these benefits on a budget.
That's because the cost per session of residential steam and saunas in terms of energy is just a fraction of their public counterparts.
But, the lighting in your home sauna or steam room can increase your utility bills.
Traditional filament lamps enhance the elegance of your sauna. But they're sure to increase your lighting expenses since they lack energy efficiency.
That's where LED lights come in handy. Their energy efficiency ensures your sauna and steam sessions are cost-effective.
LEDs extend a bright lighting decor to your sauna or steam room. And you can control the color and brightness by using advanced Steamist controls.
However, the utility of LEDs differs for saunas and steam rooms. Also, it varies for different types of saunas.
So let's see how to use LEDs in different settings.
#1. LED lighting in a traditional sauna
The most common LED lights you find in the market are suited for temperatures between 100 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
In fact, regular LEDs work more efficiently in cooler temperature conditions.
An ambient temperature higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit reduces the lifespan of these bulbs.
You can compare that with the average temperature of traditional saunas.
As per the Finnish Sauna Society, the temperature in a conventional Finnish sauna should be between 176 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
So you can't install a regular LED lamp in these saunas. Can you?
You should, thus, look for high endurance LED lamps capable of withstanding extreme heat conditions.
LED lamps painted with coolant coating are readily available. Such coating keeps the LED components like semiconductors safe from heat damage.
Also, a safety rating for heat exposure is something you should look for.
A well-rated LED lamp, and you can rest assured of safety.
#2. LED lighting in infrared saunas
The working of infrared saunas is entirely different from their traditional counterparts.
Infrared saunas don't heat the sauna room. Instead, they heat your body using infrared rays.
So the temperature in an infrared sauna isn't as much as a regular sauna.
The average temperature here can be between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since regular LED lights can withstand temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you can easily install them in an infrared sauna room.
That means you can use even low-cost LEDs in an infrared sauna.
Nevertheless, it is good to consider some basic infrared sauna facts while installing LED lighting.
For instance, your lighting installation shouldn't directly face the infrared lamp. That's
because infrared lamps generate heat when they contact a surface.
You may also want to read - Infrared Sauna Dangers: Points You Must Know To Be Safe.
#3. LED lighting in a steam room
A residential steam generator creates moist heat in your steam room. That means steam rooms are extremely humid, with close to 100 percent humidity levels. In fact, the best steam shower generator kit is likely to create the highest humidity levels.
Steam rooms have average temperatures of around 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, you can't install regular LEDs since moisture exposure can cause damage.
Humid air can easily penetrate the lighting system and corrode internal components.
However, you can easily overcome this problem by installing waterproof LED lights.
LED lighting with the right NEMA rating is sure to endure the humid conditions of a steam room.
There you have it, an LED lighting for your in-house steam room.
Pro tips for elegant steam sauna lightingTip
#1. Consider natural lighting for your home sauna
Traditional saunas are built as wooden enclosures with zero natural lighting inside them.
And the same goes for the traditional steam rooms that have very little to no outside light.
In fact, these steam saunas have been built this way for the past couple of thousand years, and many sauna owners are in for this traditional charm.
But what if we told you that bright natural lighting in your sauna could create a modern aesthetic appeal?
Thanks to the readily available insulating glass materials, home designers these days are creating steam saunas with large glass walls and ceilings. And that means you can also go for such glass finishes when building a steam shower or a sauna.
These saunas let plenty of natural light in and also allow the users to soak in enjoy the outdoor ambiance.
Simply put, a naturally lit sauna will amplify the way you soak in a sauna’s heat shock proteins and overall heat therapy.
Sounds awesome, doesn't it?
Tip #2. Place some strip lights under the sauna benches
Ambient lighting is something that many people opt for in their saunas with soft and indirect illumination.
As Like we discussed earlier, lighting sets the tone for your overall sauna session quality.
Having top-notch sauna sessions on a budget is one of the reasons for installing a home sauna. And towards that end, ambient lighting can make your session fulfilling by lifting your mood. Wondering how you can create such lighting effects in your home sauna?
Well, you can place some strip LED lights in concealed spaces, like underneath the sauna bench or behind the wood framing of the sauna walls.
The result: you'll have soft reflective illumination in the sauna, creating a cozy ambiance.
Sauna lights: frequently asked questions
What are the basic lighting prerequisites for a home steam sauna?
Contrary to other indoor spaces, steam rooms and saunas can have extremely high temperature and humidity conditions.
This requires the sauna and steam lighting solutions to have the necessary features, including:
Notwithstanding the differences between steam rooms and saunas, these requirements apply to both.
Which lighting fixture profiles are recommended for a sauna?
Generally speaking, there is no substitute for a solid lighting fixture for places like steam rooms and saunas.
More so, if you're looking to install the fixture in the ceiling, we suggest you go for a robust fixture with an improved grip and a protective metal casing.
Light fixtures with plastic casings are a big no for steam saunas, notwithstanding the quality of the plastic.
You see, in hot saunas, there's a good chance that plastic will start to melt over time. And that'll damage not only the lighting system but also overall electrical wirings.
You may also want to read - Choosing The Right Wood For Your Sauna: A Brief Guide.
The steam and sauna facilities are the biggest highlights of your home. And you want them to have the best ambiance. Don't you?
You can fit them with the best steam room parts. But lack of right lighting means you won't enjoy them as much.
An elegant lighting decor increases the aesthetics of sauna and steam rooms.
On the contrary, poor lighting makes them unattractive. Also, the resale value would decrease, as it affects the sauna and steam bath experience.
That's why we've compiled this lighting guide to help you choose the ideal lighting for your sauna or steam room.