Bathroom Lighting Tips

How to light your bathroom

In the bathroom, it's recommended that you take a similar approach to what you'd do in the kitchen -- emphasize practical task lighting, and fill in with ambience. If you're moving beyond simple ceiling-mounted lighting to build a more creative and nuanced lighting design, a winning strategy is to place overhead task lights above mirrors and link them to dimmer switches. As an alternative, you can place tasks lights on both sides of the vanity.

Your choice and placement of fixtures will depend on the size of your bathroom, its layout, and its components. As a general rule, each separate area of the bathroom should have its own light or lights. Many people overlook the need to provide lighting over or around the shower, bathtub or Jacuzzi, something which can be easily and attractively achieved with track lighting or recessed lighting.

DIY Bathroom Lighting Tips

Here are more practical suggestions for creating your bathroom lighting, offered by DIY experts:

  • Avoid using recessed down-lights over vanity areas for use during grooming. These lights create stark shadows, which can make it very difficult to get a clear and accurate look at your face.
  • Incandescent and halogen lights, while not maximally energy-efficient, are recommended for use around vanities. Their intensities are much easier to accurately control with dimmer switches.
  • Create uniform and even lighting distribution in shower areas by using gaskets with domed glass diffusers. Recessed lighting is also an excellent choice for showers and tubs.
  • If your DIY bathroom lighting requires that you rewire your bathroom, it is strongly recommended that you hire a professional rather than attempt it yourself. It takes specialized skills and training to correctly rewire any room in your home, and errors can be dangerous. The leading cause of electrical fires is faulty wiring.

Finally, it's a good idea to over-light your bathroom. This means that you create lighting intensities that are above and beyond what you'll need, then link your lights to dimmer switches to give you pinpoint control. Both task lights and ambient lights should be dimmer-controlled in the bathroom to give you maximum flexibility for usage at varying times throughout the day.