Thinking of renovating your bathroom any time soon? While shower, bathtub, vanity, and storage are invariably the first things that come to mind, you should not overlook the importance of proper bathroom lighting when renovating your bathroom. Well-designed lighting will not only change the way you feel about and act around your newly refurbished bathroom, it will also make your new bathroom shine and increase its value.

Your challenge is to devise a lighting plan that would illuminate the shower, tub and sink areas evenly so that you make the most of your haven by giving it the proper lighting.

The four types of lights that are crucial for the best bathroom lighting and atmosphere are task, accent, decorative and sparkle lights.

Task Lighting

This is the light by which you can best see yourself. Proper task lighting at the mirror is important.
Consider a pair of sconces mounted at eye level on either side of the mirror to provide shadowless illumination. This creates the best scenario for makeup application, shaving, tooth care and so on.

Proper task lighting is crucial when considering bathroom lighting

Tip: Avoid adding a light above the mirror. That includes recessed lighting in the ceiling. That would throw a strong light onto your forehead and cast deep shadows below your eyes, nose and chin. Not only is this light ineffective for shaving or applying makeup, it can visually age you by 10 years.

People should look their best when they look at their reflection. Proper lighting in the bathroom will make you feel better about yourself and promote confidence throughout your day.

Wattage for task lighting

In the master or guest bathrooms, use fixtures that provide 75 to 100 watts’ worth of illumination. You can get these wattage equivalents in a 24- to 26-watt compact fluorescent or 20- to 25-watt LED.
Tip: Putting task lighting on a dimmer will allow your eyes to adjust first thing in the morning; it will also help you wind down at night.

Accent Lighting

If you enjoy art in your bathroom, accent lighting will show it off best. Recessed directional lights provide focused illumination for each piece of art — or, in this case, for an alcove dedicated to a corner spa.

A good example of accent lighting when planning for bathroom lighting

Decorative Lighting

This adds visual sparkle. Consider using a single pendant in a square-shaped bathroom for just the right touch.

Decorative lighting as part of your bathroom lighting design

Ambient Light

This acts as fill light, especially in bathrooms with taller ceilings where a cove or cantilever details, ambient lighting fixtures can be installed along the perimeter of the space. A pendant fixture with a translucent shade can be a source of both decorative and ambient light.

Ambient lighting for that extra feel good bathroom lighting

Bathroom Lighting – Putting It All Together

Sconces on large mirrors at the sink vanities offer functional task lighting. Recessed cans on dimmers provide ambient light for whatever mood is desired. Dimmers are especially useful in the tub area, where relaxation and romance are priorities. Wall sconces offer additional ambient and decorative light. Large mirrors, both at the vanity and over the tub, effectively reflect all of these layered light sources for the best effect.

Tip: If you use recessed cans over the sink, make sure they are on a different switch than your task lighting.