When designing your ideal bathroom, you’ll probably focus on the shower, fittings and storage first, as these aspects will impact your bathroom’s functionality. Don’t forget about the lighting! The type you choose can significantly alter how your space looks and feels. Follow our guide to bathroom lighting to set the perfect tone.
Why is bathroom lighting important?
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 for your grooming routine. In the evening, bathroom mood lighting can create a relaxing, spa-like environment, allowing you to unwind after a busy day.
The placement of your lighting can also impact the appearance and feel of your bathroom. Consider shadows and how they affect your chosen colour scheme, layout and design features. For example, overhead bathroom spotlights are less likely to create unwanted shadows than wall-mounted lights.
Bathroom lighting ideas
Carefully considered lighting can transform your space from bright and practical to a tranquil haven at the touch of a button. We’ve compiled some of the best lighting for bathrooms to help you get inspired.
Choose ceiling spotlights if you want to update your current bathroom lighting to a modern, minimalist design. This contemporary and sleek lighting style is 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.
Ceiling spotlights can also 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.
While 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 designs and configurations to suit your space. Explore contemporary ceiling lights, 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 need 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 while showering or grooming, 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 window space by ensuring windowsills are clear of clutter, allowing light to flood the room. Remove 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, 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.