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Your Definitive Guide to Bathroom Lighting

Great bathroom lighting can make all the difference to your bathroom design. The right bathroom lights can be the difference between a functional, comfortable space and a dark and dreary room.


To help you choose the right bathroom lights, we’ve asked our expert interior designers for bathroom lighting ideas you don’t want to miss. Whether you want your vanity light to be modern or traditional, they’ll show you how to master the art of bathroom lighting.

Why is good bathroom lighting so important?


Good lighting is one of the most important aspects of a bathroom, as it can make the experience comfortable and relaxing, or it can make it uncomfortable and stressful. The wrong type of lighting can create shadows, glare, and an unpleasant ambience—all things you want to avoid when designing your bathroom. In contrast, well-considered bathroom lighting can enhance your bathroom design. That’s why lighting should be carefully considered as part of your overall design— a lighting plan will help you do that.

From bathroom lighting ideas to a lighting plan.


What is a lighting plan? Lighting plans are the backbone of lighting design. They set out how many, what kind, and where specific lighting fixtures should be placed, ensuring that these lights will be effective for the space.


A good interior designer will not only bring brilliant bathroom lighting ideas to the table, but they will also consider the specifics of your bathroom when creating a lighting plan. They will analyse the layout and ensure that the placement of lights is functional. 


For example, they will check that all placements make sense—for example, having a downlight above directly where you will stand at your vanity means your face will be cast in shadow when looking in the mirror, which you want to avoid. These little details can be easily missed by a less experienced designer but are critical to the success of your bathroom renovation.

What are the different types of bathroom lights?

With many options available, finding the right lighting solution for your bathroom is a creative and fun endeavour. The most important part is to remember that not all light sources are created equally. You need to consider three main types of lighting: general lighting, task lighting, and mood lighting.


General Lighting


General lighting is used throughout the room to provide an overall illumination level so that it’s easy to see where you’re going when moving around. Wall lights and downlights are some of the most common general bathroom lights.


Task Lighting


Task lights are precisely what they sound like – they do a specific job, and they do it well! Task lights are designed to illuminate small areas of your bathroom, such as your vanity. Task lights can be mounted on the wall or ceiling, depending on how much light you want to throw onto your target area. Some task lights are also adjustable so that you can direct light where needed.


Mood Lighting


Ambience lighting creates a certain mood or atmosphere within your bathroom design scheme. Strip lights are great for adding ambience to your bathroom but can also be used as task lighting if needed. You can even use them as spotlights if you want a particular bathroom area to stand out!


When it comes to bathroom lighting, you have plenty of options. For example, you can use heat lamps, aesthetic lighting (such as around mirrors), and sensor-activated lights for midnight bathroom runs.

What is the best lighting for a bathroom?


The best bathroom lighting is comprehensive and flexible, providing different solutions for various functions. Ideally, this means a combination of soft and bright lighting. A trendy option is to have a strip light under the vanity with a sensor to double as a night light, a beautiful feature wall light, and then downlights.

How do I light a small bathroom?


How you illuminate a small bathroom will depend on a few factors. First, how much light do you like in a room? Second, how high the ceilings are. And third, how reflective are the materials used for your wall surfaces.


If the space has a high ceiling, it’s a good idea to use pendants as your eye is drawn up. If we’re talking about a tiny WC, it’s best to avoid wall lights as they take up space at eye level. However, wall lights can be lovely in a larger powder room.


If the walls are white and fairly reflective, you can probably get away with using one overhead light fixture to illuminate the whole room. However, if they’re darker or textured, you’ll want to consider additional lighting sources.


There is no one formula for lighting a small bathroom. The key is to find creative ways to incorporate all kinds of lighting – general, task, and mood. Fortunately, if you’re clever with your choices, one light might cover more than one role. For example, using a dimmer, a general light can become a sensory/mood light.


These are some of the most innovative techniques you can implement in your small bathroom to maximise light but don’t forget about natural light. Whilst windows are often naturally incorporated into bathrooms, there are other ways to introduce more natural lighting, such as a skylight.

What about vanity lighting? How do I light the mirror?


With a mirror as a focal point in your vanity, you should consider how it will be lit. Light directed from the mirror toward the face is the most effective – consider something with a diffuser or that can be positioned so as not to shine directly in your eyes.

 If you’re looking for something more subtle, LED strips around the outside edge of the mirror or inside the frame can easily add some ambience to your vanity area. It also doesn’t hurt that LED strips are incredibly energy efficient and long-lasting! Again, a professional interior designer will help you select the best options for your space and needs

Great lighting can make your new bathroom a delightful space you’ll want to spend time in.


Are you ready to transform your bathroom and how you experience your home? Our expert design team can collaborate with you to ensure that every aspect of your bathroom comes together beautifully. Get in touch with us on 1300 662 838 or book your FREE in-home consultation today.

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