9 bathroom lighting tips: design, lighting fixtures

7 min

Bathroom lighting, with the right approach, will perform not only its primary function, but also some others. Lamps can decorate the interior, visually expand even a small room. But when choosing them, you need to be extremely careful, because the combination of electricity and water in the bathroom requires compliance with safety rules. Here are some helpful bathroom lighting tips.

# 1. How many fixtures do you need?

The number of lighting fixtures in the bathroom depends directly on its area. If the room is quite tiny, and its area is about 5 m2, then a chandelier in the center of the ceiling with two or three lamps will suffice. But even if the bathroom is small, it is better to additionally illuminate the washbasin and mirrors area, so that all cosmetic procedures would be much easier to carry out.


If the bathroom is spacious enough, then it is necessary to provide for zone lighting, the features of which will depend on the configuration of the room, design ideas and some other factors.

It is important to take into account a lot of other factors that affect the illumination of the bathroom. These include:

  • the style of the interior, or rather the chosen color scheme, because, as you know, light shades reflect light fluxes more, which means that the room will seem more illuminated. The same can be said for glossy, mirrored and glass surfaces;

  • the height at which the lamps will be installed, because the closer they are to a person, the brighter they give;

  • type of lamps.


It is better to decide on the number and location of lighting fixtures even at the stage of repair work in order to avoid unnecessary trouble and waste in the future.

# 2. What type of lamp should you choose?

Today, the choice of lighting devices is so extensive that everyone can choose the option that best suits their wishes. So, according to the type of location on the surface, the lamps can be:

  • open;
  • built-in. This option is preferable for miniature bathrooms with not very high ceilings.


Depending on the location, the luminaires can be:

  • ceiling. This is a timeless classic. Each bathroom must be equipped with at least one ceiling lamp, which will be responsible for the overall light in the room;

  • wall-mounted. These are lamps that are designed to illuminate certain functional areas of the room;

  • floor lamps perform a more decorative function, they are able to add flavor to the interior of the room, visually expand the space of the room.


Each of the luminaires used can perform one or several of these functions at once:

  • work lighting;
  • decorative lighting;
  • directional lighting;
  • general lighting.

Today, different types of lamps can be used as light sources:

  • incandescent lamps;
  • halogen;
  • luminescent;
  • LED.

Everyone has the right to choose the type of lamps themselves, depending on the type of lamp or their own desire to save money, but special attention should be paid to LED lamps. They are considered the most economical and safest, because they do not heat up during operation. Also, LED strip is often used, which brings a real zest to the bathroom interior. The only drawback of LED lamps is their high price.


No. 3. How to properly position the light sources in the bathroom?

Experts advise to be very careful when choosing the location of lighting fixtures in the bathroom. Experience suggests that you need to take into account some of the nuances, including:

  • the lighting must be uniform, so the following rule must always be taken into account. The more light sources in the room, the lower their power should be;
  • the light should be correctly distributed, and the lamps should be located in all functional areas of the bathroom;
  • it is important to avoid glare, and for this you should not direct the lamps perpendicular to reflecting surfaces: it is better if they are located at an angle;
  • a common mistake is to place one light directly above the mirror. Often in this case, the reflection will be slightly distorted. It is better to use mirror lighting on the sides, or on the top and sides;
  • zest can be added to the interior thanks to color spots: colored shades, original inserts of ceramic tiles. But it is better not to place such details in the area of ​​the mirror, so as not to distort the reflection;
  • fans of non-standard ideas can be advised to experiment with the location of the LED strip: it can be placed under the side of the bath, under the windowsill, etc.
  • it is better to connect different lamps in the bathroom with separate lines, because not every time you will need to turn on all the lighting at once.


No. 4. The need for ceiling lighting

As already mentioned, even the smallest bathroom is indispensable for one light source. The function of general lighting, as a rule, is performed by ceiling lamps, which must be present in the bathroom. So, for ordinary ceilings, it is better to choose a chandelier, and for suspended ceilings, you can use recessed lamps. It is also worth considering the height of the room, and not placing long chandeliers in low rooms. An excellent option is a spotlight, the direction of the light of which can be adjusted to obtain a sufficient level of illumination in any area of ​​the room.

The shape, design and color of lighting devices can be very different, and here the choice should be based on personal preferences, room design, but not forgetting about functionality.

17 ceiling

18 ceiling

No. 5. What functional areas to highlight in the bathroom?

If your bathroom is quite spacious, then it is necessary to highlight several zones with their own lighting:

In addition, furniture items can also be illuminated: shelves, cabinets, bedside tables can have small built-in lamps that provide soft, unobtrusive light that can illuminate the entire contents of the cabinet and make it easier to find the necessary item.

Bathroom interior

No. 6. Mirror and washbasin lighting

The mirror must be illuminated so that the reflection in it is as natural as possible, without unnecessary shadows and does not distort colors. In this case, it is better to refuse from the lamps under the mirror, as well as from colored lighting, which will create unnecessary color spots on your reflection. It is better if the light is as soft as possible, so the shades can be matte or white. The best option is the location of light sources on the sides or along the perimeter of the mirror. Lamps can be used of absolutely any type, but it is better that the resulting light is as close to natural daylight as possible.



No. 7. Bath or shower lighting

Bathroom lighting is optional, rather purely decorative, creating a cozy and relaxing atmosphere. So, you can find several lamps in the shower, hang several sconces over the bathroom, or even organize a bottom lighting in the bath. Everyone has long known that taking a bath is more relaxation than a hygienic procedure, and appropriate lighting can make such a rest even more comfortable.



No. 8. Decorative lighting possibilities

For sufficiently spacious bathrooms with interesting architectural details, you can use lighting that does not have any direct function, but is intended only to decorate the interior and create a unique atmosphere. You can highlight anything you want: steps, niches, windows, other elements of the room. Today, there is even a tile in which LEDs are embedded.

Floor lighting should be noted separately: to create it, durable lamps are used, such as for garden paths, and their power should be no more than 5 watts. With their help, you can create a unique interior and visually expand the boundaries of the bathroom.



No. 9. Safety regulations

Where electricity and moisture meet, there is an increased risk of unforeseen situations that can be dangerous. That is why when choosing, installing and using lighting fixtures in the bathroom, you need to adhere to a number of rules:

  • correctly develop a bathroom lighting scheme, and this task can be entrusted to professionals;
  • it is necessary to use only those lamps that perfectly tolerate the effects of moisture;
  • metal parts of luminaires must be protected from corrosion;
  • lighting devices in the bath and shower must have a power of no more than 12 W;
  • it is impossible to place sconce lamps immediately above the bathroom;
  • the risk of water ingress on wall or ceiling lights should be minimized. There is no place at all for open incandescent lamps in the bathroom, since if drops of water hit the heated glass, the lamp may burst altogether, and glass fragments will fly around the room;
  • in the bathroom there is no place for open wiring, extension cords, tees.


In conclusion

Bathroom lighting is a detail that performs several functions at once, and therefore the approach to organizing lighting requires taking into account a variety of factors: the type and power of the lighting fixture, location, safety, design, etc. With all this, it is important not to forget about safety precautions both at the stage of repair work and in the future. Remember that with lighting, you can create not only a comfortable, but also a cozy space.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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