The right lighting can help make your bathroom both functional and atmospheric, depending on the time of day. In the morning, bright lighting helps you wake up and illuminates the space whilst you’re doing your beauty and grooming regimes. However, in the evening, bathroom mood lighting can create a relaxing, spa-like environment, helping you unwind after a busy day.
The best lighting for bathrooms
Carefully-considered lighting can transform your space from bright and practical to a tranquil haven at the touch of a button. Discover the best lighting for bathrooms in our guide.
Choose ceiling spotlights if you want to update your current bathroom lighting for a modern, minimalist design. This lighting style is not only contemporary and sleek but also one of the most functional options. For example, you can position your spotlights to illuminate areas of the bathroom where you need additional brightness, such as the sink area, bath or shower.
In addition, ceiling spotlights can make your bathroom look bigger, as space is not wasted by a large pendant light. Placing a spotlight above your shower can bounce light around the enclosure, contributing to this spacious feel.
Whist ceiling lighting is essential in any bathroom, low-level lighting is a more subtle way to illuminate the space when you want to relax. Place spotlights along the floor following the curved edge of your bath to create a unique feature. You could also install under-cabinet spotlights beneath any wall-mounted storage, shelving or mirrors to brighten up these areas without turning on the ceiling lights.
Unlike traditional energy-saving bulbs, which take a while to reach their full brightness, LED lights are bright as soon as they turn on. You can find LED lights for bathrooms in many different designs and configurations to suit your space, from contemporary ceiling lights to decorative lamps, under-cabinet LED spotlights and illuminated mirrors.
Light up mirrors
Light-up mirrors are invaluable for beauty or grooming regimes. However, your sink or vanity area doesn’t have to include a statement Hollywood light bulb mirror to achieve precise illumination. Choose mirrors with built-in LED strip lighting on each side for a more subtle appearance. Alternatively, you can create a softer look with mirrors with built-in bulbs behind the glass, giving a glowing halo effect.
Dimmable lights are the most customisable option for bathrooms, allowing you to adjust the brightness as required. To illuminate the space fully whilst you’re showering or doing other daily routines, turn the switch to its maximum brightness. Then, when it’s time to relax whilst taking a bath or doing your evening skincare routine, create soft mood lighting by turning down the dimmer switch.
Light some candles in your bathroom to create a relaxing atmosphere in the evening. Add a few tealights to your bathroom for a spa-like feel, or opt for soothing scented candles to help you unwind. If you’re looking for ways to accessorise your bathroom, choose statement candles in different sizes, shapes and colours to create a feature display.
Mood-enhancing artificial light can work wonders in bathrooms, but never underestimate the power of good natural lighting. Make use of all your window space by ensuring all window sills are clear of clutter, allowing light to flood the room. Remove any blinds that may obscure the sunlight and choose plain or textured glass instead.
This is especially important if you have a small bathroom, as the more light you allow into the space, the bigger it will feel. Discover more design ideas for small bathrooms in our dedicated guide.
Whatever your bathroom lighting preference, you can enhance the brightness in your space with reflective surfaces, including tiles, glass bath screens or shower enclosures, and shiny chrome fittings like taps, door handles and showerheads.