The Importance of Proper Bathroom Lighting Placement

When designing a functional and visually appealing bathroom, lighting is often an underestimated element. However, proper bathroom lighting placement plays a crucial role in creating a practical and inviting space. Whether getting ready for the day ahead or unwinding with a relaxing bath, having the right lighting in your bathroom can significantly enhance your experience. From illuminating key areas to maximizing natural light, choosing the right fixtures, and understanding the importance of lighting zones, every aspect of bathroom lighting placement deserves careful consideration. These tips for bathroom lighting will help you transform your bathroom into a well-lit sanctuary.

Why Bathroom Lighting Placement Matters

Proper lighting plays a crucial role in every room of your home, and the bathroom is no exception. In fact, due to its multifunctional nature, the bathroom requires thoughtful lighting placement to ensure functionality, safety, and an aesthetically pleasing ambiance. The proper lighting placement can make a world of difference in your daily routine and overall bathroom design. With thoughtful planning and consideration, you can create a well-lit bathroom that meets your practical and visual requirements.

@karilawsondesigns, photography by @garykurns

Drake Wall Swing Lamp by Savoy House

The brass finish on these Drake Wall Swing Lamps by Savoy House brings out the warmth of the wood cabinetry, giving the entire room an inviting look and feel. The sconce’s simple, sophisticated style has plenty of vintage appeal, with understated details highlighting its functionality. The adjustable arm focuses the light exactly where you need it, making these sconces a versatile choice for bathroom lighting.

The Key Areas to Illuminate in Your Bathroom

The vanity area is where you perform daily grooming tasks, such as applying makeup, shaving, or styling your hair. It is crucial to have adequate lighting in this area to avoid shadows and ensure accurate visibility. Placing wall-mounted sconces on either side of the mirror at eye level helps eliminate harsh shadows on your face. Incorporating proper lighting in the shower and bathtub areas is essential for safety and functionality. Ensure the lighting is adequately shielded and waterproof to prevent accidents or damage.

@heatherwolffinteriors, photography by @laurasumrak

Rylee 24 Inch 8 Light Chandelier by Crystorama

A traditional Empire shape mixes modern elements in the Rylee 24 Inch 8 Light Chandelier by Crystorama to add style and grace to this luxurious bathroom. The beads add just the right amount of vintage glam balanced by the vintage, distressed look of the hand-painted frame.

Maximizing Natural Light in Your Bathroom

Taking advantage of natural light in your bathroom not only creates a pleasant atmosphere but also helps save energy. If your bathroom has windows, make sure heavy curtains or blinds do not obstruct them. Consider using shades or frosted windows for privacy that still allow natural light to filter through.

Maximize the natural light in your bathroom by incorporating light-reflecting surfaces. Mirrors, glossy tiles, and light-colored walls can help bounce natural light around the space, making it feel brighter and more spacious., photography by @meganlorenz

AERIN Sanger 29 Inch 12 Light Chandelier by Visual Comfort Signature Collection

Dramatically taking center stage in this bathroom, the AERIN Sanger 29 Inch 12 Light Chandelier by Visual Comfort Signature Collection makes this whole bathroom shimmer. It captures the light streaming through the windows and cascades it down the polished nickel frame, lighting the multifaceted crystals. This bold update of a classic chandelier looks just as good, bathed in natural light as it does when lit from within.


Nest 37 Inch 3 Light Semi Flush Mount by Hubbardton Forge

The window behind the free-standing tub provides plenty of light and a view of the landscape. The delicately sculpted, free-flowing style of the Nest 37 Inch 3 Light Semi Flush Mount by Hubbardton Forge not only casts warm, ambient light over a wide area, it also acts as a chic design element to create a spa-like look and feel.

Choosing the Right Fixtures for Your Bathroom

When selecting fixtures for your bathroom, consider the size and scale of the space. Oversized fixtures in a small bathroom can overwhelm the area, while undersized fixtures may need to provide more illumination. Find a balance that complements your bathroom’s size and style.

Bathroom lighting fixtures come in various styles, from sleek and modern to classic and ornate. Choose fixtures that align with your overall bathroom design theme. Coordinating the style of your lighting fixtures with other elements in the room, such as faucets and cabinet hardware, can create a cohesive and visually appealing look.

@disabelladesign, photography by @christykosnic

Hollis 15 Inch 2 Light LED Bath Vanity Light by Hinkley Lighting

The distinctive vintage globe design of the Hollis 15 Inch 2 Light LED Bath Vanity Light by Hinkley Lighting caps off the look of the mid-century-inspired bathroom. The stylized leaf pattern invokes a mid-century mood, while the etched opal glass shade ensures the light illuminates your face instead of just hitting the surfaces in the room., photography by @snowchimp_creative

ET2 Lighting Interval 8 Inch LED Mini Pendant

These non-traditional ET2 Lighting Interval 8 Inch LED Mini Pendants break the “rules” of bathroom lighting in the most perfect way. Intersecting ellipses and spheres illuminated by LED light strips give the space a contemporary vibe.

Balancing Task Lighting and Ambient Lighting in Your Bathroom

Balance is vital to get the best bathroom lighting. However, less isn’t necessarily more. An excellent lighting design should include task lighting around the mirror and soft ambient lighting overhead.

Task lighting focuses on specific areas where you perform tasks that require precise visibility. As mentioned earlier, the vanity area is a prime example of where task lighting is crucial. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination to the entire bathroom space. It sets the mood and creates a welcoming atmosphere. Recessed ceiling lights, pendant lights, or wall-mounted fixtures can serve as ambient lighting sources. Dimmers can also be used to adjust the intensity of ambient lighting to suit different activities or times of day.


Chatham 28 Inch 6 Light Chandelier and 20 Inch Monroe Wall Sconce by Savoy House

Both a focal point and source of ambient lighting, the Chatham 28 Inch 6 Light Chandelier by Savoy House creates a look of effortless elegance in this bathroom. The white fabric shades provide comfortable illumination throughout the room. A trio of 20 Inch Monroe Wall Sconces by Savoy House provide task lighting and complete the look.

Read more about the Right Height for Your Bathroom Wall Sconce

Bathroom Lighting Zones: Separating Wet and Dry Areas

One important aspect of bathroom lighting design is understanding and implementing the concept of lighting zones, particularly when separating wet and dry areas. Electrical safety is of utmost importance in a space where water is present, and the use of appropriate lighting fixtures in different zones ensures protection against potential hazards. By dividing the bathroom into specific zones, such as inside the shower or bathtub, above the shower or bathtub, around the sink and vanity, and the general bathroom space, it becomes easier to determine the suitable lighting fixtures for each area. This approach ensures compliance with electrical codes and provides a clear framework for creating a well-illuminated and safe bathroom environment.


Kokoro 23 Inch Large Pendant by Troy Lighting and Hudson Valley Lighting Bowery 12 Inch Wall Sconce

Hand-worked iron in a bronze finish highlights the unique circular pattern of the Kokoro 23 Inch Large Pendant by Troy Lighting draws all eyes as it floats gently from the ceiling. Soft light seeps through this unusual-shaped shade, creating warm relaxing ambient lighting. The traditional opal glass globe shade of the Hudson Valley Lighting Bowery 12 Inch Wall Sconce plays against the pendant, creating an eclectic look.

Check out our online catalog for more lighting inspiration.


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