7 Bathroom Lighting Tips You Need to Know

Choosing the best bathroom lighting can be tricky. Bathroom lighting needs to be functional for things like showering and doing your makeup, but it also needs to be inviting and create a relaxing ambience for your baths and self-care rituals. 

Plus, bathroom lighting needs to be water-resistant and shouldn’t make you look too red or too blue in the mirror. All in all, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to bathroom lighting. But we’re here to help!

Keep reading for our 7 best bathroom lighting tips you need to know before you install light fittings in your bathroom.  

1. Functionality is Key

In any bathroom, functionality is essential and task lighting should be one of your main considerations when choosing your fittings. 

After all, the bathroom is where you’ll do your hair or put on makeup. Not to mention, it’s nice to see what you’re doing when you’re having a shower or using the toilet. 

Task lighting refers to lights that highlight specific areas of a space. So, you’ll want to consider task lighting that can light up your sink area, shower or toilet, for example.

Vanity lights and spot lights are often used as task lighting in bathrooms and offer direct light to a specific spot in your bathroom without being overly harsh.

 

2. Layer Your Lighting

Another top bathroom lighting tip is to layer your lighting. In fact, this is a lighting tip for any room, but in your bathroom, you can layer your lighting by starting with lights that offer the broadest spectrum of light and working your way down to more specific light sources. 


Bathroom lighting that you can layer include:

3. Match Your Fixtures

Just because it’s your bathroom doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put effort into how your light fittings look. So, you’ll want to do your best to match your light fittings with your bathroom fixtures. 

You could have brushed brass sinks and shower handles, why not match your light fixtures with the same colour and textures?

While mixing and matching might work in some situations, unless you’re an interior designer who knows what they’re doing, it usually looks best to match your fittings to your fixtures.

4. Pay Attention to IP Rating

IP ratings refer to how durable the lighting is to intrusive substances like water. In other words, lighting with a higher IP rating can withstand more intrusion. IP ratings involve two digits and the second digit rates the light based on liquid intrusion. 

So, when you choose the lighting for your bathroom, it’s important to pay special attention to the second digit in the IP ratings. And the higher the number, the better. 

As an example, an IP rating where the second digit is only a 1 means your lighting is only safe against dripping water whereas if the second digit is a 6, your lighting can withstand powerful jets of water. 

In other words, in places that are likely to get soaking wet like a bathroom, IP ratings really matter. For a deep dive into IP ratings and what they mean, check out our complete blog post on the topic here.


 

5. Colour Matters

Each light also has what’s called a CRI or Colour Rendering Index. Different from the colour temperature of a light which refers to how warm or cool the tones in the light are, CRI is about how accurately the light presents colour.

So, for a bathroom where you’re washing your face and doing your makeup, it’s important that you choose light fittings with a high CRI. 

Natural sunlight (which provides the most accurate colour representation) has a CRI of 100. So, you can think of lighting with a CRI of 80 as showing 80% of colours accurately.

6. Go for Bathroom Heaters

Not only can bathroom heaters heat up the room for those cold winter mornings, but they can also provide relaxing, ambient light as well as ventilation. 

Bathroom heaters, therefore, are the ideal type of lighting for bathrooms since they’re multi-functional, they keep your bathroom warm and they ventilate the air, making sure your steamy showers don’t cause any water damage.

Check out our complete guide to bathroom heaters here.

7. Try Some Soft Lighting

Soft lighting options are something else to consider when choosing the best lighting for your bathroom. For late nights when the kids are sleeping or midnight toilet runs, soft lighting can show you where you are without blinding you in the dark.

For this, LED strip lighting is an ideal choice. Installed behind the edges of mirrors and cabinets, they produce a soft glow that offers all the light you need – the perfect balance between pitch black and way too bright. Plus, LED strip lighting can provide an upscale feel at the same time.

 

Bathroom Lighting Mistakes

Downlights Above the Mirror

Lighting just above your head as you’re looking in the mirror causes unflattering shadows. In other words, you don’t want the light to come from directly above you when you’re getting ready in the morning.

How to Fix It: Install vertical lighting on either side of the mirror to cast an even light across your face. Downlights and overhead pendants are better in entryways or other parts of the bathroom.

Asymmetrical Lighting

With too much light on one side and not enough on the other, this also can distort what you see in the mirror. 

How to Fix It: Install the same lights on both sides of the bathroom (especially around the mirror) to give yourself equal lighting from all angles. 

Too Much Lighting

A little goes a long way when it comes to bathroom lighting and in terms of interior design, it’s easy to overdo it with your lighting in the bathroom.

How to Fix It: Keep it simple with a set of low-level lights for midnight toilet runs, a set of full, overhead lights for optimal “getting ready” light and perhaps one statement piece.


Ready to add some impeccable lighting to your bathroom? Shop our full collection of light fittings today!