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5 lighting ideas for the perfect bathroom

26th Mar '21 • By Shreya Kulkarni

Even if you doing a complete bathroom renovation, consider upgrading your lighting scheme – whether you add a bold pendant, upgrade your mirror lighting, or add a dimmer switch, you can completely transform your space.

When it comes to lighting, it's all too tempting to slip into a safe decorating pit. Instead of concentrating solely on the functional aspect of lighting for daily bathroom activities, make your light fittings a trendy element or a focal point in their own right. Even if you doing a complete bathroom renovation, consider upgrading your lighting scheme – whether you add a bold pendant, upgrade your mirror lighting, or add a dimmer switch, you can completely transform your space. Consider the times of day you'll be there and whether or not you'll have a lot of natural light to work with. Then think about the atmosphere you want to build and when you want to do it. 

bathroom-lightingAre you looking for a lively and energizing space, or for a more relaxing and therapeutic bathroom? The choice is yours. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Bathroom mirror lighting


Do you want to be able to see your face in the bathroom mirror while applying makeup or shaving? Grouping bathroom lighting over – and to the side of – a mirror will ensure that they're working where they're most needed. The light bouncing off the mirrored glass will also make a small or narrow bathroom appear larger. For a balanced space, use bathroom lighting over a mirror to illuminate the entire room and accent lighting to highlight a feature in the room. Install strips of bare bulbs around a mirror to give it an old-fashioned Hollywood dressing room feel. Lights like these look as good turned off as they do on, when they cast a flattering, shadow-free reflection for anyone getting ready for their close-up. Concealed lighting is architectural lighting, as it’s worked into the fabric of the building, so this is definitely one you’ll need to plan for.

Go minimal

minimal-bathroom-lightsA monochromatic scheme is the best bet for a clean look, and graphic box wall lights would look particularly good with a matching black bathtub. If you've had enough of sconces, try hanging pendant lights from the ceiling. Round frosted pendant lamps with soft white LED lights inside will look fantastic in a minimalist bathroom. A pair of funky naked lightbulbs will add a soft glow to a dark bathroom. Make sure they're in an out-of-the-way place so they don't get in the way of you using the mirror. You can also go for a soft and understated look with frosted glass or ceramic, or a bolder, more dramatic look with a brass pendant. Remember to consult an electrician before you buy.

LED your way to the future


LED lights are initially more costly, but they will save you money in the long run. They're not only more energy-efficient, but they also last longer than fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. LED lights can be used in a variety of ways in the bathroom. You can place wall-mounted fixtures in the centre of a recessed mirror lined with LED strips, and use softer lights behind a tiled wall to add ambience and avoid glare. The subtle elegance of slender LED lighting strips inserted into a new benchtop is hard to beat for a classy appeal. Dimmers for halogen and LED lights are available, allowing you to monitor the brightness of all your bulbs. LED strips or directional lights work well to highlight a feature whereas wall lights are great for ambient lighting.

Make the most of natural light


If you’ve got a few or small windows in your bathroom, maximise the natural light coming in by getting large mirrors for vanity tasks. Mirrors reflect light and make any room appear bigger and brighter. Another way to maximise natural light is to keep walls as white as possible! As with most areas within a house, good bathroom lighting will transform the look and feel of a bathroom. Planning your lighting scheme is important – think about what times you generally use your bathroom and whether natural light is available.

Pick a statement piece


Bathrooms aren't just functional spaces, and the lighting you choose should reflect that. Consider arranging your lights to highlight a statement piece, such as this stunning stone. Do you have a beautiful marble sink in your bathroom? Complement it with a pair of wall-mounted vintage shaded lamps. Traditional colour and shape choices for glass or stained-glass light fittings are not needed. Look for unique geometric shapes, such as stars, that will stand out in your bathroom by complementing or contrasting with the current decor. And if you have a big bathroom, the possibilities are endless when it comes to bathroom lighting. So to really make the most of the big space, get a statement chandelier.

All of these lighting ideas are great options to start and will give you that desired bigger room feel. When decorating, try and find that happy medium that still gives a homely, welcoming feel and is inviting to family and friends when they visit, without feeling too enclosed. Enjoy the benefits of creating an uplifting atmosphere that raises the spirits after a hard day at work!

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