Bath Lighting

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Bathroom Lighting Inspiration & Ideas

Today's bathroom lights are easier than ever to install, energy-efficient, and available in endless designs and sizes. Whether you're shopping for bathroom ceiling lighting, a vanity mirror with lights, wall sconces, or bath strips (also called bath bars), the choices are endless.
If you’re in the market for new bathroom lighting, explore our guide that goes over the following:

  • Shopping for bath lighting
  • Bathroom wall lighting fixtures
  • Vanity lighting fixtures
  • Professional advice on bathroom lighting
  • Frequently asked questions about bathroom lighting

Shopping for Bath Lighting

Since bathrooms tend to be one of the smaller rooms in your home, you should start by doing a realistic assessment of the space. Vanity lighting is the most common approach to bath lights, but the opportunities for placement go far beyond that. Consider hanging sconces or single-light bath fixtures near the door, by the shower stall or near a freestanding whirlpool or bathtub. When choosing a light fixture to hang over a mirror, consider where the light will land when it passes through the shade. If bathroom brightness is your main priority, shop for styles that cast light in a downward direction.

Speaking of lighting direction, a shade that opens up toward the ceiling or towards the end of your vanity might be more suitable for powder rooms that add dramatic visual interest for visitors and party guests. Some modern lights are entirely encased inside the shade, bathing the area with a luminous glow.

Whatever your pick, make sure to properly measure the space where the bath lighting will be installed, accounting for edges and corners that might interfere with your plan. It’s helpful to divide your mirror into equal sections with masking tape in order to determine the number of lamps to include in your fixture. For sconces, ceiling lights, or decorative lights, try cutting a piece of thin cardboard into the exact dimensions of the light you plan to use. Hold the template to the wall or ceiling to get a sense of how the fixture will fit into the area.

Bathroom Wall Lighting Fixtures

Bathrooms are usually overlooked when it comes to picking lighting fixtures. We often start our day in the bathroom, so it’s important to choose lighting that complements the room. Illuminating your bathroom starts with assessing your space and figuring out what works best for your style and comfort. We’ve put together some tips that can help with your buying process:
  • Start with ceiling lights: Bathrooms need proper ambient lighting. Consider starting with ceiling lights and working your way down. Recessed lights or ceiling-mounted lights, like drum pendants, are great options to start out with. Choose lights that are four or five inches in diameter to provide enough concentrated light.
  • It’s all about balance: We like variety when it comes to picking bright lights for vanity areas. But it’s important that the lighting sources you choose don’t clash. You don’t want light coming from your vanity light bar or wall sconce to produce too much brightness or glare. Think about balance when adding a combination of lighting fixtures.
  • Moderation is important: Don’t overdo it by adding multiple lighting fixtures that don’t add anything to the space. This will not only look aesthetically unpleasing but also feel overwhelming. Moderation is key and can only be achieved through balanced lighting.

Vanity Lighting Fixtures

The bathroom is a very special place in the home for self-care and grooming. So, what better way to spruce it up than with vanity light fixtures that provide task lighting? Whether you’re taking a bath, applying makeup or shaving, having the right amount of well-placed lighting is essential. Installing a combination of bathroom light fixtures will not only minimize shadows across your face but create a relaxing aura all around.

Vanity lighting should be functional. Popular lighting solutions like horizontal wall lights and vanity light bars can provide even, consistent lighting throughout the room. Horizontal wall lights, for example, should be mounted above the mirror and typically include multiple lights. They come in a variety of styles, including upward and downward options. Keep in mind that upward lighting styles fill the entire room with light whereas downward lighting styles spotlight the mirror. Vanity light bars, on the other hand, can be installed either horizontally above your bathroom mirror or vertically alongside your reflection.

Bathroom wall sconces are another popular option. They are usually installed in pairs and placed on both sides of the mirror. They’re best at distributing light evenly and preventing any unwanted shadows. Bathroom sconces also complement overhead lights. Lastly, twin-light fixtures provide an ample amount of light and are typically placed on top of the mirror. They help cast the light down for better lighting balance and distribution. We have a wide selection of vanity lighting fixtures to choose from.

Professional Advice on Bathroom Lighting

According to professional designers, you should consider the shapes already at work in the bathroom's décor and architecture. If your bathroom floor is covered in square tile and the mirror is also square, continue the pattern with a set of square-shaped bathroom vanity lights. More fluid shapes such as a curvy bathtub or pair of oval sinks might be complemented by a shell-shaped wall sconce or vintage light bar. Alternatively, a long, curved rectangular wall light lends classic sophistication to a modern bathroom's sleek styling.

Consistent use of the same material, whether it be metal, glass, ceramic, or wood, is another professional technique, but that doesn't mean you should be afraid to create contrast. For example, if your vanity is built from dark oak and has a ceramic sink, industrial bath lighting is a surprising contrast that looks beautiful.

Shopping for bathroom light fixtures provides an opportunity to create a new look without the stress and expense of a major remodel. With so many styles and options for vanity lights, ceiling lights, and wall lights, your toughest task is making those final decisions. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to read the product descriptions carefully, taking time to obtain proper measurements.

Also consider important factors like wattage, bulb style, shade color, light direction, and installation methods. When hanging your fixtures, use precaution and consider hiring a professional if you need help. With your new lights shining, you can look in the mirror and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Bellacor has been helping shoppers find the perfect bathroom light fixtures since 2000. We’re dedicated to providing top-tier products to fit any budget and taste.

FAQs About Bathroom Lighting

Where’s the best place to put vanity lights?
Where you place vanity lights depends on the size of your bathroom mirror. We recommend adding bathroom lights over the mirror that are about 75 to 80 inches from the floor. If your mirror is smaller, try installing bathroom light bars or sconces about 36 to 40 inches apart on either side. The bulb should be about 66 inches from the floor.

What kind of lightbulbs pair well with bathroom wall lights?
Halogen bulbs give off a white glow and provide the brightest light. However, they burn faster and hotter than their counterparts. Although xenon and fluorescent bulbs cost more, they are much more energy efficient. Dimmable LED vanity lights are also a great option. LED lighting fixtures can provide bright lighting when you’re getting ready for the day and ambient lighting for soaking in the bathtub in the evening.

Do I need damp-rated lights for my bathroom?
Damp-rated lights are meant to hold up in moist environments, especially if condensation builds up in and around the light fixture. You do not need damp-rated lights in the bathroom, unless you’re installing them in close proximity to your shower. You also need proper ventilation (such as a fan or air vent) to prevent too much moisture. If that’s in place, you should be able to install dry-rated lighting in your bathroom.

Can I install plug-in lighting fixtures in my bathroom?
Plug-in lighting is typically not used in bathrooms due to moisture and condensation. A majority of bathroom lights are hardwired and connected to wall switches. This helps protect bathroom lighting from any possible moisture.

Is it safe to put a chandelier in the bathroom?
Yes, it’s safe to put a chandelier in the bathroom. We recommend looking for chandeliers that are rated for use in damp or wet spaces. Although with proper ventilation and adequate ceiling height, even a dry-rated chandelier may be installed. Keep in mind that space in bathrooms is limited, so you’ll want to measure the size of your room before buying one. We have several chandeliers to choose from.
Article Resources:
Wake Up Beaming with the Best Bathroom Lighting
A Tour of Bathroom Lighting for Your Dream Spa
From Blah to Spa: How Bathroom Lighting Can Turn Your Space Into an Oasis

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