Bathroom lighting ideas don’t have to be boring — just take your time and choose fixtures that make an impact. Whether you’re creating a romantic spa sanctuary or a sleek contemporary master bath, there are plenty of creative ways to light your space.
Layered Lighting (Photographer, Nicole Miller)
The best way to illuminate a bathroom is to layer light sources. This includes ambient light from recessed lights, vanity lights over mirrors, and accent lighting to highlight features of the room. The first layer should be used for general lighting, and the others can be dimmable to adjust brightness depending on task demands.
Using a single light source in a bathroom can lead to shadows, glare, and an overall unflattering appearance. To avoid this, try hanging wall sconces at eye level on each side of the mirror. This will provide a flattering glow that doesn’t cast a shadow under your eyes or chin, allowing you to see yourself clearly.
When choosing your bathroom lighting, consider the color temperature of the light. Warm-hued bulbs can create a relaxing space, but they’re not ideal for detailed work like applying makeup or shaving. Instead, opt for cool-hued bulbs that mimic the natural light in the room.
For a soft, feminine look, try adding pink light to your bathroom. The warm color helps soften and smooth skin, and it can also boost confidence. But be sure to limit its use as the hue is prone to harsh glare and skewed lighting, which makes it difficult to see details and imperfections.
You should also opt for light bulbs that emit cool tones, not yellow ones, which can skew features and create a dull, unfocused feel in the room. To create a soft, welcoming atmosphere, go for bulbs with a color temperature of 4000K to 6500K.
A chandelier can be a great focal point in a bathroom, especially when it has an opulent, textured finish. In this case, interior designer Lindye Galloway chose a staggered brass chandelier to add drama to this classic bathroom design.
Pendant lights are another great option for a modern bathroom. They can be paired with any style of fixture, from rustic wood to glass and brass.
They’re often a perfect choice for spaces with a neutral palette, because they’ll add some interest to the room without overpowering it. They’re also an inexpensive way to bring some sparkle into a room.
The right bathroom ceiling light can make or break a bathroom, so you’ll want to find the perfect fit. Several strands of lights grouped together on a string is an easy and budget-friendly way to create a dazzling focal point, while a single sconce can create the impression of more space with its minimalist design.
To keep your bathroom lighting from becoming a distraction, choose lampshades that coordinate with the decor in the room. For example, a stained-glass shade will draw the eye to a decorative element or art piece, while an etched glass lamp will give your bathroom a more polished look.