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Lighting a Bathroom

Posted on July 09 2020

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Achieving Great Lighting in Bathrooms

In bathrooms, there is one key rule of thumb: the more light, the better. Dark bathrooms are unwelcoming. No one wants to use a poorly lit bathroom.

When done right, great lighting can give the impression of a bright, fresh, inviting space, and breathe new life into your bathroom. This amplified illumination can also improve beauty routines and hygiene regimens. No one wants to appear to look alright in their bathroom mirror, only to step outside and find out the opposite.

To achieve a well lit and inviting bath space, we recommend layering your lighting. The essential design concept of light layering, involves using multiple light sources in an effort to illuminate every part of the room.

With multiple lights, having independent control of light fixtures' outputs is the best way to control the intensity, amount of light, and number of lights used at any given time. Be sure to group your lights on different controls. This will allow you to light your bathroom with the right amount of light needed for each performed task.


9916-B18 BLK-OP fixture beside either side of mirror in bathroom

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Guide to Installing Bathroom Lighting

In addition to layering your lights, you should also keep in mind the height of your ceiling, your chosen fixture's height, and the necessary clearance needed. Not doing so, could lead to retrofitting your space with the wrong light. We recommend all fixtures have at least 30" of clearance between the top of any surface it hangs above.

Tip: If you have 8-9' ceilings in your bathroom, you should look for lighting for low ceilings. Hone in on the damp rated semi-flush and flush mount fixtures. These fixtures are approved for use in the bathroom and will help provide the proper overhead lighting that is needed, while allowing clearance.

Eliminate any shadows in your bathroom by illuminating the vanity as well as the mirror. In addition to overhead vanity lighting, you may opt to install wall sconces at the sides of your mirror(s). This diffused light will provide additional illumination.

Shade Options

Many bathroom fixtures offer widespread light while others gently diffuse light. This usually depends on the shade and light source used on the fixture. A white or opal shade diffuses light better than a clear shade. Be selective in your bathroom lighting choices and select fixtures that speak to the space's style while offering utility. By choosing the proper placement and correct combination of lights and shades, you can reduce shadows, hot spots, and prevent blinding glare.


2120-BA4 BLK fixture above mirror in bathroom

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The Best Light Bulbs for the Bathroom

When purchasing a light, a daunting task can often be deciding which light bulb to install in your chosen fixture. Here, you must consider the color temperature as this is important in providing the right light in the bathroom. It is better to use a whiter, brighter light to render colors accurately. So, look for fixtures with recommended bulb color temperatures of 3500-4000K.

A lot of tasks take place in front of the bathroom mirror. This increases the importance of selecting the right bulb. That is because the Color Rendering Index or CRI of certain bulbs allow you to correctly see your clothes, skin, hair and makeup. A CRI of 90-100 is recommended. 

Modern Bathroom Lighting

Amari 3 Light Bath Vanity

Marco 3 Light Bath Vanity

Transitional Bathroom Lighting

Carver 3 Light Bath Vanity

Bellare Semi-Flush

Carver 1 Light Pendant

Traditional Bathroom Lighting

Belle Meade 2 Light Bath Vanity

Suzette Semi-Flush

Heartwood 4 Light Bath Vanity

Rustic Bathroom Lighting

Bartlett 3 Light Bath Vanity

Calgary Semi-Flush

Bailey Flush Mount

Bavaria 1 Light Pendant

Coastal/Nautical Bathroom Light Fixtures

Chatham 3 Light Bath Vanity

Journey 1 Light Wall Sconce

Ferris 2 Light Bath Vanity