Bathroom Lighting Tips

Bathroom Lighting Tips

A deliberate and intentional placement of lights in your bathroom will influence the entire space. Bathrooms require a mix of functional and aesthetic lights to establish an ideal ambience and complement the space. Get your mirror and wall lights just right with these bathroom lighting tips.

Complement your Mirror

In our bathrooms, vanity mirrors take up prime position as we pamper ourselves. The right task lights are required for a clear and flattering glow when brushing your teeth, applying makeup or performing other daily tasks. A common mistake is to position recessed lights directly over a vanity mirror to accentuate the mirror but recessed lights cast unflattering shadows on your face, highlight wrinkles and add a harsh glare to the room.


Replace harsh overhead lighting with vertical fixtures along the edges of the vanity or mount sconces on either side to provide a soft and warm light that bounces evenly across your face. Sconces or bathroom light strips can add a complementary layer to your existing lights. Mount sconces along the mirror’s edge at eye level, to eliminate shadows or harsh contours of light. Surround your vanity with light strips that are the closest width to your mirror or opt for a sconce that complements your ornate sink or vintage mirror. Sconces are usually installed in pairs or groups of three, and can be plugged into a switch or hardwired to your home’s existing electrical system. With a variety of styles and sizes, sconces can be a functional and stylish alternative to harsh overhead lights.


It is best to avoid positioning recessed lighting in the ceiling or lights that are directly above a mirror. Overhead lights are only recommended when sidelights cannot be added to the vanity. To cast a softer light, spread lights approximately 2m off the floor. Crisp, white bulbs will remove any unflattering lights and can be achieved with an LED light or a Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL).

Set the Ambience

Bathrooms are not just functional spaces but can also be relaxing spots to unwind and relax after a long day. Creating the perfect ambience can be achieved at any time of the day with dimmer switches.

Dimmer switches allow you to control your bathroom lights and consequently, influences the mood of the space. The opportunity to dim your vanity lights or overhead lights provides the chance to brighten when necessary but also soften the lights when a relaxing ambience is necessary. Dimmer lights do not only cater to the ambience but conserve energy by extending the life of the bulb. Lower-watt lights with dimmer switches will also cut costs in your overall energy bill.

Different light bulbs will render different colours in your space. Lighting fixtures with a white shade or bulbs with a white colour can best reflect daylight in a bathroom. LED bulbs have a wide range of brightness and colours available for your bathroom lighting. For an optimal daylight effect, choose an LED bulb with a colour temperature and brightness between 2700-3000 lumens. Read more about LED lights and globes here.

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Keep your bathroom on trend by adopting pendant lights or rustic sconces that feature sharp angles, glass frames or steel cages. For a touch of glamour, opt for a crystal chandelier for a classy sparkle. Coloured shades are also an inexpensive way to add colour and light to your bathroom. For more inspiration, check out our trending lights post.


Positioning your bathroom lights and choosing the right colour bulb will make a vast difference in the ambience of your bathroom as you go about your daily rituals. Want to know how you can save money on your household lighting cost, check out our top energy saving tips here.