How to Buy Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom lighting refers to a variety of fixtures that work together to create the best lighting solution for your bathroom.

Follow this bathroom lighting guide to help you select the right lighting scheme for your bathroom.

  • Consider the Location
  • Choose the Right Size
  • How much Light Do You Need?

Consider the Location

To find the right bathroom light for your space, consider where it will be installed.

Bathroom Lights for the Mirror and Vanity Area

Task bathroom lights work best around the mirror and in the vanity area.

Here’s a look at which type of bathroom lights to purchase for specific locations in the vanity area.

Around the Mirror

Purchase two bathroom lights, one for each side of the mirror. This lighting solution creates an even spread of light, preventing shadows and splotches from showing up on your face.

Above the Mirror

An alternative to two lights flanking the mirror, you can install a bathroom light above the mirror. This lighting solution saves space.

Lighted Mirrors

You may want to purchase a lighted mirror if you don’t have the space to install any lighting in your bathroom vanity area. In particular, lighted makeup mirrors are designed to provide task lighting while taking up minimal space.

Bathroom Ceilings

Ceiling lights are great for general (ambient) lighting for the whole bathroom. This diverse category includes chandeliers, pendant lights, flush mount lights, semi-flush mount lights, and recessed lighting.

Chandeliers and Pendant Lighting

You can safely hang a chandelier or pendant light in the bathroom. They’re an ideal choice if you want decorative lighting and have a high ceiling that can take hanging light fixtures. Place them at least 3-feet from bathtubs and showers for safety.

Flush Mounts and Semi-Flush Mounts

Flush mounts and semi-flush mounts are ideal if you want decorative lighting, but your ceiling is too low for chandeliers and pendant lights. They install directly onto the ceiling and take up relatively little space.

Recessed Lighting

Recessed lights install into a hollow groove in the ceiling and take up virtually no space. They are ideal for bath areas, as well as closets and alcoves. You should choose recessed lighting if you prefer a clean, unobtrusive look for your ceiling.

Bathroom Exhaust Fans

As long as your bathroom is properly ventilated, you can safely use any type of lighting.

If you have problems with excessive moisture and dampness, install a bathroom exhaust fan onto the ceiling. As an added benefit, some exhaust fans come with a built-in light.

Bathroom Walls

Wall lights are excellent for accent lighting, which is meant to provide a complement to your general lighting or a set an atmospheric mood, or highlight certain objects or focal points.

Accent lighting can also be used to illuminate specific areas or objects. Place lights around wall art and décor in order to highlight them.

Choose the Right Size

Follow these tips to help you find the right size light for your bathroom.

Bathroom Lights Flanking the Mirror

For an average size bathroom, buy bathroom lights that are 18-inches wide or less.

If the spots are tight and narrow, then buy smaller models that are 12-inches or less.

For a larger bathroom, start from lights that are 19-inches wide and go wider.

Bathroom Lights Above the Mirror

Purchase a bathroom light that is 19 inches wide or longer, and place it 1 to 5 inches above the mirror. This will usually be a multi-light fixture or long bath bar that will provide a sufficient light output.

Flush Mount and Semi-Flush Mount Ceiling Lights

Instead of thinking about the width and height, consider the number of lights in the design and the wattage, or lumens output.

For a larger room, choose a design with a larger light output.

Bathroom Wall Lights

For wall lights, the standard installation height is about 75 to 80-inches off the ground, which is usually being above eye level.

If you have several wall lights, try installing them about 28-inches apart to create an even diffusion of light.

Tips for Large Bathrooms

Consider flipping the fixture around and installing it vertically instead of horizontally. This will clear up precious wall space for you to install more lights.

How Much Light Do You Need?

Very Bright Light

Think in lumens.

You may want brighter illumination in the bathroom, especially in larger bathroom spaces or around the vanity area. In this case, you should buy use a light bulb with a higher lumen count. As long as it fits the wattage and base of the recommended bulb, it should work fine.

Some bathroom lights will have LED lights built into the design. When it does, lumen count of the LED will be listed in the product description.

Warm and Cold Light

Consider the color temperature.

For a warm, inviting atmosphere, use bulbs or LEDs with a 2700K color temperature range. These types of bulbs have a warm white light output that’s ideal for the bathroom.
On the other hand, if you want a colder white saturation for a cleaner look, we recommend using bulbs with a 3000K or higher color temperature.

Long Lasting and Energy Efficient

Go with LEDs.

Our bathroom lights can take LED light bulbs. As long as it fits the recommended base and wattage, an LED bulb can be used in place of an incandescent or halogen bulb.
We also carry many bathroom lights that have integrated LED lighting. This means that that the LEDs are built into the design, and cannot be removed or replaced like with regular light bulbs. Check the product description to see the given lifespan of a built-in LED light.

Different Levels of Light

Consider dimmers.

Dimmers can be used to customize the level of lighting and mood of the bathroom. Set a romantic atmosphere with a low level of lighting one day, and then create a bright white look with a high level of lighting the next day.

Most of our bathroom lights can take dimmers. It will often be noted in the product description whether a lighting fixture is dimmable or non-dimmable. If the fixture is dimmable and takes light bulbs, be sure to purchase a bulb that is also dimmable.