How to Light a Bathroom

While the bathroom may seem simple to light up, you still need to follow a few specific guidelines to ensure that you get balanced and efficient lighting. Adding a few lights in the ceiling and letting the white walls do the rest isn’t the best course of action. 

At LampTwist, we know that little planning can go a long way as the shape and design of every bathroom requires some adjustments to get it right.

Having inadequate lighting when bathing, showering or attending to other grooming tasks can make these daily functions difficult.

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Today, we’ll take a look at the various steps that you need to think through before installing lights in your new bathroom or correcting a badly lit bathroom lighting system.

If you would like to know how to perfectly plan out your bathroom lighting, then read on.

Start from the Top and Work Your Way Down

As we mentioned, you won’t always just put lights on the ceiling. It is often quite useful to place lights above or on the sides of your mirror, for example.

bathroom cabinet lighting

That being said, you should always prepare lights from the ceiling and work your way down the walls from there. Generally, the first step is to decide if you want recessed or ceiling-mounted lights.

Once you’ve decided that, move on to your vanity area.  Here, you should decide if you want to place task lights above it or on the sides. Sometimes, you can place lights in both positions but only if this won’t cause the room to be too bright. There isn’t much point in having a brightly lit mirror when you get so blinded you can’t see yourself!

Once that is done, consider the remaining locations you may need to install lights. We’re going to go over most if not all of those later on so stay with us.

Learn to Balance the Brightness of Your Bathroom Lighting

There is such a thing as too bright when it comes to bathroom lighting.

Everyone knows that a dimly lit bathroom looks dreary and even a bit scary. However, a brightly lit bathroom can limit your ability to function in the bathroom.

For example, if your shower is too bright, you may not notice the rim and trip over. The high brightness could also give some people a headache.

Try your best to set up your lighting so that everything is illuminated but so that each light doesn’t meld with the others too much. This way, you should have a balance of brightness.

shower room lighting

Install Ceiling Lights in the Central Area of Your Bathroom

Some people make the mistake of wanting to install their ceiling lights directly above where they will stand in front of the mirror. It is never a good idea to have lighting directly above you as it will distort your image in the mirror.

It is best to have ceiling lights behind where you would stand so that they light everything behind you instead of just your scalp. Because of this, you want to position your ceiling lights in the central area of the bathroom.

If your bathroom is box-shaped, you may get away with two lights or four in a square formation. If your bathroom is rectangular, then three or four lights in a line through the walkway would be preferable.

Obviously, you need to adjust the number of lights based on the size of your bathroom as well.

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Light Both Ends of Your Bathtub

If you want your bathtub to be brightly lit, you need to install lights on both ends. This is both for ambience and for your own safety.

As for the shower, you may get away with having just one light. However, we recommend having two just to be sure. That way, you will still be able to see when you move as the other light will illuminate where your shadow would have been.

Use LEDs To Light Up The Bath

LEDs are the most energy-efficient light bulbs to date. They also produce a large number of lumens easily and last for a very long time. It will cost you extra to use these instead of other kinds, but they are more efficient and last longer.

By the time a year or so has passed, you will easily have made back the extra you paid by not needing to replace any of your LEDs!

The Results Should be Bright and Flattering

Once you’re done with your planning, try to imagine how it will all look when you put it together. Your lighting should be bright, but it should also be flattering for your appearance and just right to allow you to see everything in the bathroom from any angle or position.

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In short, you should be able to see everything, all the time, but it shouldn’t so bright that you have any trouble. Now that you know all your basics, you should be good to go.

Good luck and happy bathroom planning! 


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