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What Is the Best Lighting for Bathrooms?

There are so many things to keep in mind when renovating your bathroom. But, arguably one of the most important considerations is the lighting fixtures. Specifically, your bathroom should be well-lit – bright enough to let you get things done but not so much that it is too harsh on the eyes.

However, choosing the right lighting for your bathroom is easier said than done. With so many options in the market, it is easy to get overwhelmed and get trapped in decision paralysis. But don’t worry, we are here to help. In this article, we will cover some of the best lighting options for your newly-renovated bathroom, as well as some tips on how to choose the right one for your needs.

Different Types of Bathroom Lighting Fixtures

Your bathroom is a special area of the home. After all, it is the first place you will go to immediately after waking up – and the last place you will be in before collapsing in bed after a tiring day. For most people, it is also where they will groom themselves before heading out.

For these reasons, the bathroom needs to be comfortable and functional. This includes being well-decorated and well-lit. Your light fixtures don’t have to be extravagant – there are plenty of options for different budgets.

At the end of the day, what’s important is that your bathroom is balanced and optimized. That is, your chosen lighting fixture should provide enough illumination while blending in with the rest of your bathroom’s design and structure. They should also have the right colour temperature for maximum comfort, coziness, and functionality.

1. Ceiling Bathroom Lighting

Ceiling lights are perhaps one of the most common lighting options for the bathroom. As the name suggests, they refer to a fixture (or a series of fixtures) hanging from the ceiling, typically smack in the middle. They provide general illumination all over the bathroom, and ambient lighting for tasks done at the vanity or the counter.

For small bathrooms, a ceiling light can serve as the sole light source. However, it is more commonly used alongside other light fixtures.

The best thing about this kind of lighting is that it comes in a wide range of styles, designs, and sizes. Whether you want something eye-catching or discreet, there is surely at least one type that will satisfy your needs.

Related Article: How Much Does It Cost to Remodel a Small Bathroom in Toronto?

2. Pendant Bathroom Lighting

Pendant lights – also referred to as “drop lights” or “suspended lights” – are technically a type of ceiling light fixture. They are mounted from the bathroom ceiling and are held firmly in place by a chain, cord, or a metal rod – the same way a pendant dangles from a necklace (hence the name).

Like regular ceiling lights, pendant lights also provide general illumination over a large surface area. But since they are not particularly bright, you will have to install them in pairs or sets. Alternatively, they are also an excellent choice if you are on the hunt for directional or accent lighting.

Pendant lighting fixtures are available in many designs and styles. However, the most popular ones are a single light bulb placed inside a spherical cover, which is typically made of either metal or glass.

3. Wall Sconce Bathroom Lighting

Wall sconce lights, as you may have guessed from the name, are directly affixed to the bathroom walls. They are usually installed in pairs and aim the light upwards and outwards (rather than downwards). This makes them a great choice if you have some extra space on the sides of the mirror or around the sink.

Again, wall sconces come in all sorts of styles, designs, and sizes. More than just functional, they are also a fantastic design element, guaranteed to jazz up your freshly-remodeled bathroom.

4. Bathroom Vanity Lighting

Vanity lights – also known as “mirror lights” – are perfect if you tend to prep yourself in the bathroom, including applying makeup, shaving, or just readying yourself before heading out. Similar to wall sconce lights, they are also mounted in pairs on either side of the mirror. For sure, they can spice up your bathroom or even serve as decorative pieces.

At first glance, bathroom vanity lights seem like they are made purely for aesthetic purposes. However, they are also incredibly functional and help brighten up the countertop and sink area. But to make the most out of vanity lighting, you would have to mount them correctly for balance and uniform light distribution.

Since vanity lights are typically placed at eye level, make sure that they have shades. The last thing you want is a harsh glare directed at your eyes. Plus, the lights also need to have the optimal colour temperature. Some fixtures are even dimmable for increased comfort and convenience.

5. Bathroom Task Lighting

Task lighting is meant to provide extra illumination on “workspaces,” making it easier for you to accomplish specific tasks. In the bathroom, it is particularly useful in the vanity or mirror area, when the existing ambient lighting may not be enough for applying makeup or doing other grooming-related tasks. Aside from serving as vanity lighting, task lights can also be placed around the tub or shower area.

ceiling bathroom lighting

6. LED Bathroom Lighting

If you are looking for cheap, energy-efficient, and reliable lighting, you can never go wrong with LED bulbs. Plus, they are extremely versatile and easy to play around with, allowing you to achieve your desired illumination. LED lights are also ideal if you want to add some modern, urban, or even minimalist touches to your bathroom.

For bathrooms, LED light strips are strongly recommended, especially for mood lighting. Essentially, they consist of a row of LED light bulbs in one strip. You can install them around the perimeter of the bathroom mirror for a makeshift makeup mirror. Alternatively, you can also use them to accentuate the bathroom ceiling or tub – the possibilities are endless. Just make sure to use waterproof LED light strips if you intend to mount them in the bath area.

7. Bathroom Chandeliers

Who says that you can’t have chandeliers in the bathroom? If you want the fixture to take centre stage, you can never go wrong with chandeliers. As a bonus, they can make you feel like royalty each time you sashay into the bathroom and perform your daily ritual.

Just a couple of caveats: ensure that you have enough vertical space to fit in a chandelier. Ideally, you should have at least a 10-foot ceiling. Your chosen chandelier should also be proportionate to your bathroom’s size.

Tips on How to Illuminate Your Bathroom

  • Place the Bathroom Light Fixtures Strategically. Placement is key when it comes to bathroom fixtures – especially if you plan to mount multiple lights. This ensures adequate illumination across the bathroom.
  • Opt For Similar Finishes. While not obligatory, going for similar finishes can do wonders in promoting unity and balance in the bathroom. For example, if you have brass showerheads and other fittings, you may want to choose bathroom lights featuring the same material.
  • Don’t Forget About Unity and Proportion. Basically, you want to make sure that your chosen lights are proportionate to the bathroom’s dimensions, and won’t clash with the rest of the room’s design and aesthetics.
  • Select the Right Bulbs. Essentially, you want to choose energy-efficient bathroom light bulbs. They should also have the right colour temperature, preferably something between 2700K and 3000K. Besides this, colour rendering index (CRI) rating of at least 80 is recommended.
  • Try Dimmer Switches. This convenient switch enables you to adjust the brightness of the light for maximum comfort. Plus, it helps save energy and prolong bulb life. Just make sure to use the appropriate fixtures. Incandescent bulbs and halogen bulbs are perhaps the most common dimmable lighting options, but some types of LED bulbs are also compatible with dimmer switches.
  • Don’t Neglect Safety. Having functional and visually pleasing bathroom lights is not enough. They need to be safe and correctly installed as well. After all, electricity and water are two deadly combinations. As such, make sure to consult a certified electrician before getting started with your bathroom lighting project – no matter how small-scale or simple.

Related Article: 9 Bathroom Remodelling Mistakes to Avoid

The Best Bathroom Lighting for Your Needs

Lighting is a critical part of the bathroom. Unfortunately, many people tend to neglect their bathroom’s lighting fixtures and just choose whatever is on hand. But as discussed above, there are some factors you should consider, especially when it comes to functionality, aesthetics, comfort, and safety.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options to choose from, including the classic ceiling lights or the trendy vanity lights and wall sconces. Regardless of your lighting needs, style preferences, and budget, we are sure that you will find one or two fixtures that are perfect for your bathroom.

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