Things You Should Consider When Buying Bathroom Light Fixtures

Tips to Consider while Buying Bathroom Lighting Fixtures

The lighting in your home, especially bathroom lighting, is often a forgotten-about element of your décor. It’s more of a necessity than a décor accessory. But, it’s truly both. The right lighting can illuminate the mirror to do your makeup and hair while also giving your bathroom a larger, more spacious appearance. For this reason, it helps to know what you should consider when choosing bathroom lighting through a few bathroom lighting tips.

Evaluate the Space and Have a Plan

It seems like a simple concept — go to a store online or in person that sells bathroom lights and choose the one you like the most. However, you need to measure, consider size, and think about the purpose, among other aspects. This prevents you from looking at all the shiny items and making a hasty decision because of all the sparkle.

Look at how much natural light is in your bathroom. Do you have one or two windows? Is there only a small window or no windows? As a general rule, you need less artificial light when you have ample natural lighting. However, when you have less natural light, you need more artificial light.

The placement of the windows matters as well. If they’re not letting light in throughout the entire bathroom, you may need light fixtures for bathrooms that light the entire space adequately.

The next step is to measure your bathroom and figure out how much square footage you have. Aim for the bathroom light concept of all lighting to look similar to natural light. And in general, you should strive for about 50 lumens per square foot to achieve this look. Therefore, if you have an average-sized bathroom of 400 square feet, you’ll need 2,000 lumens of light to mimic natural light.

Add Vanity Lights to the Bathroom

Vanity Lights For Bathroom

Begin at the ceiling and work your way down when selecting light fixtures in bathrooms. Choose overhead lighting to fill the bathroom as much as possible. Next, add vanity lighting, bearing in mind that this is where you’ll be getting ready. The options are more plentiful for this type of lighting. Finally, select any additional lighting you desire that’s merely to accent a small area, like the shower. This lighting is what gives the bathroom a personal touch and often a hint of warmth.

Understand the Types of Lighting

As one of the vital bathroom lighting tips, before you choose any lighting, know the different kinds and their purposes. In an average-to-large-sized bathroom, you’ll want to layer the lighting, meaning you include more than one kind to give the lighting multi-dimensions to create a homey feel.

The main varieties include the following:

  • Ambient Lighting
  • Accent Lighting
  • Task Lighting
  • Shower Lighting
  • Ceiling Lighting

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is your main source of bathroom lighting. It lights most or all of the space evenly. Oftentimes, you opt for a ceiling light to achieve ambient lighting, but in a smaller space, you may be able to achieve the desired level of ambient lighting with vanity or track lighting.

Accent Lighting

Although accent lighting does produce light, it’s more to create a mood in the space. You can use it to create a feeling, or you could also use it to accentuate certain elements of your bathroom. For instance, maybe you have a small table with a vase. You could place accent lighting above it to showcase this item. Or perhaps, you could add a small lamp there.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is specifically for areas of your bathroom where you perform certain tasks. Its purpose is to assist you in seeing better so you can perform them. For instance, you may want task lighting around your sink.

Shower Lighting

Typically, if you want bathroom lighting for your shower, you’ll want to choose a recessed light. Because of the amount of steam and moisture in the shower, you should select either a moisture-rated or damp-rated fixture. These particular bathroom lighting fixtures are safe to use in a damp environment.

For shower lighting, you may choose from different styles, such as opal or frosted, depending on the look and feel you’re going for in your shower. Generally, you’ll want one overhead in a single shower or two in a double. You may even want to choose task lighting to help with activities like shaving in the shower.

Vanity Lighting

Vanity lighting goes above your sink and mirror. Its purpose is to help light the space so people may brush their teeth, apply makeup, or shave.

When selecting this kind of lighting, think about where the area is located. Is it near a window? If so, you may not need as powerful bulbs or as many lights. You also need to consider the size. A larger area will need a longer row of lighting.

Ceiling Lighting

Ceiling lighting is any lighting that’s either flush with the ceiling or mounted to the ceiling. A bathroom light in this category is usually ambient lighting, though some varieties, like chandeliers, maybe more for accent purposes than a main source of light.

Varieties of Bathroom Lights

Besides knowing the types of lights and their purposes, it’s useful to know the varieties of lights you can choose from since they can change the entire feel of your bathroom.

The most common examples are as follows:

  • Recessed
  • Flush mount
  • Sconces
  • Chandelier
  • Track Lighting
  • Pendant Lighting
  • Drum-Flush Mount


Recessed lights are typically overhead lights. They install into the ceiling and don’t hang down. Recessed lights work well in larger bathrooms as well as modern ones. If you want to figure out how far apart to space them, the rule of thumb is to measure the ceiling height and divide the measurement by two. Let’s say you have a 10-foot ceiling. You want to space the lights five feet apart.

Flush and Drum-Flush Mount

You mount these to the ceiling with a part that sticks out. A drum-flush mount has a piece that connects to the ceiling with another portion that sticks out or possibly hangs down.

Wall Sconces

A sconce is a light fixture that connects to the wall. Often, people buy them in pairs, and they work as accent lighting.


A chandelier is a light that hangs from the ceiling, often consisting of crystals or candles. Typically, it doesn’t emit enough light to be ambient lighting.

Pendant Lighting

Pendant lighting has one piece that dangles from a wall mount. Like chandeliers, it’s usually not meant to be ambient lighting for a bathroom.

Track Lighting

Track lighting is when you have a row of lights on the same mount. They may be used as vanity lighting or accent lighting. In some cases, you could use it as either task or ambient lighting, though when you utilize it as ambient lighting, you may need multiple tracks or longer ones to illuminate enough of the bathroom at once.

Looking for Inspiration?

After you learn about the different types of bathroom light fixtures, including bathroom vanity lights and bathroom ceiling lights, it’s time to put that information to use and choose. If you’re a bit lost, these bathroom lighting ideas may give you some inspiration.

Try a three-light bathroom fixture for vanity lighting. While it won’t provide enough lighting to act as the main light source, it’s perfect for above a vanity to give you light to see as you get ready in the morning.

A sconce or two surrounding a mirror could work well to accent the mirror and give you light to use the mirror.

Do you want to give your vanity a cozy feeling as you get ready each morning? Consider adding a three-light fixture with candle-like lights. Not only will you have light to see, but it’ll accent this area.

Think about the vibe you’re going for in your bathroom. Is high-end and upscale on the list? Consider an elongated LED light fixture. It works as an accent, serves a purpose, and won’t be enough light to interfere with the ambient light.

Personal preference comes before all when you’re choosing bathroom lighting. However, when you know the types of bathroom light fixtures and a few specifics that decorators use, you can enhance the look and mood of the space.

While having just enough, but not too much, you can complete your usual daily bathroom activities, from brushing your teeth to applying makeup to shaving. Moreover, it’s vital to consider the size of the room and the natural light it already receives when selecting.

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