What Is the Most Flattering Lighting for a Bathroom?

Whether completely remodeling a bathroom or simply giving it a little refresh, adding the right lighting can make a huge difference in the room’s aesthetics. However, it’s essential to consider how to light the area effectively. Between getting rid of shadows, illuminating the mirror, and designing a place for relaxing and unwinding in a bubble bath, finding the most flattering bathroom lighting can change the entire look and feel of the space.

From simple wall sconces to elaborate chandeliers or pendant lights, there are many ways to turn what is often a utilitarian room into a spa-like oasis.

Is Warm White or Cool White Better for Bathrooms?

A relaxing bathroom is a necessity for most people. After all, you spend so much time there—why wouldn’t you want it to be as comfortable as possible? But there’s more to a relaxing vibe than just the bathroom light fixtures. The color of the lights matters, too.

Choosing the best light for your bathroom can be tricky, as it often requires task lighting and ambient lighting. The bathroom is often a multi-purpose room that requires brighter light when getting ready in the morning and softer mood lighting when relaxing at night. Cool white is the best choice if the lighting illuminates the mirror. Warm white will make you feel more relaxed if you’re using them for mood lighting while soaking in a bathtub.

@etchdesigngroup, photography by @cateblackphoto

Glacier 32 Inch LED Large Pendant by Allegri

Over the bathtub is a great place to go big with a stunning pendant. The Glacier 32 Inch LED Large Pendant by Allegri features a polished chrome frame and spears of ice-shaped crystals that create a focal point during the day and offer soft lighting in the evening.

@themoderncottageclt, photography by @thehousethatwisdombuilt

Julien 20 Inch 3 Light LED Bath Vanity Light by Hudson Valley Lighting

Vanity lighting is a critical finishing touch for the bathroom. Practical and decorative, the Julien 20 Inch 3 Light LED Bath Vanity Light by Hudson Valley Lighting turns vanity lighting on its side. It creates a beautifully lit bathroom that functions well from morning to night.

Should Bathroom Lights Face Up or Down?

The best approach to bathroom lighting is to offer balanced lighting. The size of the bathroom, the space’s primary use, and the light’s placement influence whether it should face up or down. If the fixtures face upward, the light they emit will bounce off the ceiling and illuminate the entire room. When installed facing downward, they spotlight the mirror and counter. It also depends on the style of the light.

@studio818, photography by @conastudios

Mitzi Brielle 16 Inch Wall Sconce

There’s beauty in simplicity, as evidenced by the Mitzi Brielle 16 Inch Wall Sconce. The sleekly modern orb-like opal shade offers soft uplight throughout the space. This pair makes a gorgeous contemporary accent and play off the patterned wallpaper with style and sophistication.

@megancrosbiedesign, photography by @patrickbiller

Tech Lighting Sean Lavin Orbel 12 Inch LED Wall Sconce

Inspired by mid-century modern art with contrasting geometric shapes, Tech Lighting Sean Lavin Orbel 12 Inch LED Wall Sconce is the epitome of everyday luxury. Its streamlined profile offers practical lighting and subtle style in this bathroom.

How Do I Choose a Bathroom Light?

When choosing new bathroom lighting, there are a few factors to keep in mind.

Size: bathrooms come in many sizes, from spacious to relatively tight spaces. Measure carefully as you look for new lighting.

Decorative style: Whether you choose a complementary style or eclectically bold, almost any personal kind will work as long as the elements mesh.

Light Direction: Consider the style and color of the shades – are they open-ended, or do they wrap around the bulbs? Also, consider where they will be mounted to ensure the light doesn’t hit the eyes. Indirect lighting is generally the way to go.

Brightness: This is also a personal preference and can be controlled with dimmers or smart bulbs to suit the bathroom’s size and the lighting’s use.


Chatham 28 Inch 6 Light Chandelier by Savoy House

A shade chandelier paired with matching shade sconces creates an effortlessly, comfortably elegant look that makes them the perfect choice for the bathroom. The Chatham 28 Inch 6 Light Chandelier by Savoy House has a bold visual look that is an excellent fit for this timeless design. A pair of Savoy House Monroe 20 Inch Wall Sconces complete the look.


Clover 22 Inch 8 Light Chandelier by Crystorama

In this bathroom, the luxurious, freestanding tub sits beneath a spectacular Clover 22 Inch 8 Light Chandelier by Crystorama. It adds a bit of sparkle while highlighting the black of the curtains, vanity, and mirror frame.


Hudson Valley Lighting Greene 8 Inch Mini Pendant

When the main focus of a bathroom is the bold black and white color pattern of the tiling, a smooth contemporary lantern pendant is the perfect counterpoint. This understated Hudson Valley Lighting Greene 8 Inch Mini Pendant does not take away from the rest of the design because it quietly disappears when not on. The striking handcrafted glass provides effortless allure, while its oversized lantern ring is a design touch.


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