5 Unique Bathroom Lighting Ideas Anyone Can Do

Most likely, your bathroom has a central ceiling fixture and some form of vanity lighting. While these are essential pieces, there’s a lot more you can do in this utilitarian space to make it feel special. After all, you do use the bathroom every day – multiple times. So why not give it a little extra love and attention? Below are five unique bathroom lighting ideas anyone can do.

5 Easy and Unique Bathroom Lighting Ideas

1. Mix and Match Styles

While mixing and matching is a popular fashion trick, most people don’t think to use this concept in their home lighting plan. But if you can pull it off, the contrasting look will turn heads. To give this unique bathroom lighting idea a try, you can mix and match one of two ways: 1) mix finishes/metals or 2) juxtapose styles.

Mixing finishes is simple – and even trendy. In fact, mixed materials have been a design wonder since art deco lighting. You simply choose a different finish for your bathroom lighting that you do for your bathroom hardware. You could also choose a light fixture with a mix of materials itself. Many modern lighting pieces have a blend of shiny brass and muted iron or glass.  

Incorporating different design styles may be a little trickier, but it can be done. This involves finding bathroom lights that complement multiple personalities. These tend to be fixtures with clean lines and less adornment. That way they fit in with a variety of other accessories. Picture a minimalist vanity that practically floats mid-air, paired with a set of chunky, distressed wall sconces. One says contemporary, while the other is grounded in old-time industrial style. Put the two together and you have a very unique bathroom lighting design.

Try it yourself:

The Sullivan Wall Sconce creates unique bathroom lighting with its two-toned, mixed-metal design.

Sullivan Wall Sconce by Maxim Lighting

If you’re bold enough to mix and match, the Sullivan Wall Sconce will be right up your alley. The black-and-gold finishes are strikingly different, which makes this fixture pop against your bathroom décor. That being said, the Sullivan will never overpower a space. Its straight lines and upright stance help tone down the two-toned sconce.

The Feiss Dailey Wall Sconce blends in with a rustic wood vanity and sleek mod accessories.

Feiss Dailey Wall Sconce by Generation Lighting

The Feiss Dailey Wall Sconce is a unique bathroom lighting fixture, because of it is delightful versatility.   surprisingly versatile fixture. At first glance, this fixture feels like a rustic lantern – perfect for a farmhouse-style home. But look closer and you’ll see the face of this sconce is flat and its sides are open. This kind of minimalism speaks to modern design, especially when you choose the sleek chrome finish.

2. Layer Low Light

In a space where you shave, apply makeup and pluck your eyebrows, it’s important to have lots of light for visibility’s sake. But what about the inevitable midnight bathroom runs? In those half-asleep moments, it helps to have another level of lighting that’s not quite so blinding. Enter: low light.

Low light can be achieved by adding fixtures or installing a dimmer switch. If you want to add, consider mini pendant lights or candle wall sconces. These types of fixtures range from ornate and highly decorative to simple and subtle. In any case, they provide a soft glow that feels warm and inviting. As for placement, wall sconces and pendants are typically hung on either side of a mirror as bathroom vanity lighting. But you can also use them to accent artwork on the walls or to set the mood by your soaker tub.

For bathrooms that don’t have the square footage or wall space to accommodate more fixtures, there’s always the option of a dimmer switch. To create dimmable lighting, your existing fixtures need to be compatible with the dimmer switch you choose. If you’re not sure, consult a lighting expert or certified electrician. The time and research is well worth it, though. Dimmers let you decide exactly how low your lighting goes.  

Try it yourself:

Unique bathroom lighting idea: hang two Caress Mini Pendants on either side of your mirror.

Caress Mini Pendant by Progress Lighting

With a double-layered lampshade, the Caress Mini Pendant dims its own light. By the time light travels through the etched opal glass and hammered clear glass, it’s a soft, candle-like glow. But because it is a pendant, you can easily cluster a couple together to layer more light next to your mirror.  

The dimmable Solaris Vanity Light runs above a mirror, reflecting light from its crystal shade.

Solaris LED Bath Vanity Light by Kuzco Lighting

At 24 inches long, Kuzco Lighting’s Solaris is the perfect fixture to run along the top of your mirror. The best part is it’s fully dimmable, so you can adjust the lighting level to low during those early morning or late-night hours. With diamond-cut crystals all around, the Solaris will spread light across your vanity no matter how low you dim it. Plus, it comes with two lighting temperatures. To maintain a soft white tone, choose 3000 Kelvins.

3. Add Art

A framed painting or playful limerick gives a bathroom personality. But you can also liven the space with a single light fixture. You need bathroom lighting anyway, so why not make it multifunctional? This unique bathroom lighting idea keeps the room clean and efficient without feeling completely sterile. Plus, it’s one of the more fun plans to put in place.

All you have to do is decide which piece of lighting you want to be the focal point. It can be the central ceiling fixture, the vanity lights or, perhaps, the chandelier you want hanging above your tub. Once you know where the light is going, look for a design that inspires you. The most artful light fixtures have an abstract form, a handmade quality, contrasting materials or fine, elaborate details.

Try it yourself:

Unique bathroom lighting can be simple, like the bold, two-ring Celesse Wall Sconce.

Celesse by Hubbardton Forge

The powerful light and movement coming from Hubbardton Forge’s Celesse wall sconce will perk you up first thing in the morning. While the circular shape is undeniably basic, the level of dimension is what makes this a unique bathroom lighting fixture. Like a firework in the sky, it projects up, down, forward and to the side all at the same time. Even the most modern-minimalist bathroom will be bursting with energy.  

4. Backlight Your Mirror

One way to glam up a standard mirror is to add backlighting. You can DIY the project with lighting strips or LED under-cabinet lighting. Look for a Damp or Wet UL rating, so you know the light bar is suitable for a bathroom. Also, make sure to measure the space you have. If installed correctly, you won’t see the light strip at all – just a nice halo glow around the mirror.

Of course, you can always simplify the process by buying a wall mirror with lighting. The Martel Wall Mirror by Elan Lighting features an LED lamp that runs the perimeter of the circle. The one-inch frosted band is where the light shines out. Though inspired by old European design, this mirror has 21st century technology. The touch dimmer functionality will send you over the moon. Prefer a square or rectangular mirror? No problem. Capitol Lighting has several more options for wall mirror lamps.

5. Dress up the Tub

A soaker tub is a luxurious bathroom piece, but why stop there? Enhance the value of your space and the mood of your bath by hanging a decorative ceiling fixture above the tub. This may not be a ground-breaking idea, but, rest assured, the effect is life-changing. The right fixture will coax you to calm down and soak up a moment of peace.

To find the “right” fixture, it helps to channel a high-end hotel or spa. Think polished finishes, clean lines, and shiny glass crystals. These elements invoke a sense of luxury that makes you feel extra-special when they’re hanging in your own home.

Try it yourself:

The Glendale Cage Pendant’s sputnik-style core sends warm light throughout this modern bathroom.

Glendale by Hudson Valley Lighting

It may not be dripping in crystals, but the Glendale Cage Pendant by Hudson Valley Lighting is a stunning starburst of light. With its core of candelabra bulbs, it has the power to put a smile on your face after a long, hard day of work. Not to mention, the linear design and polished metal finish are nothing short of sophisticated.

Mirror Your Personality

The bathroom is a small but mighty space. It has great potential to serve as a reprieve — the place you go to mentally reset at the start or end of your day. You can create that kind of sanctuary with candles and a soaker tub. But if you really want to take it to the next level, add some unique bathroom lighting. It doesn’t take much. Any of these easy-to-do ideas will elevate the room and make it feel like your own-sweet-own.


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