Bathroom Lighting Buying Guide

Just like fashion and car trends, bathroom design and décor move with the times too. What always stands out at the top of the list is form and function.

Bathroom Lighting Buying Guide

Functionality and structure are necessary for every piece chosen in interior design. Living spaces vary for every home, and when it comes to aspects like lighting, it will either complement or ruin the setting.

In this buyer’s guide, we want to help you get an idea of how to go about choosing the right bathroom lights for your humble abode. Let’s jump into it.

What makes a good bathroom light?

You might think bathroom lights are like any other old lights in and around your home. But the truth is, they have to be chosen correctly to serve the purpose of lighting the space in the bathroom.

Some bathrooms are large and others cozier. If a light is too bright in a small bathroom, it could be harsh on the eyes. Not to mention, the tiles reflect even more of the light into your eyes.

Bigger bathrooms need more light to light up efficiently. But, you can also have lights in designated areas. These lit areas may include the bathroom sink, the bathtub, and the middle of the ceiling. Lights are independently controlled. In this way, you don’t have to use the main light if you are only going to brush your teeth.

What should you look for in a bathroom light?


Before you decide on the type of light, whether it be ambient, vanity, or fixtures, for example, you need to know the design. Designs for bathroom lighting come in many options. Depending on what you want for your loo, you can go with virtually anything related to your theme or style.

Type of globes

Not all lights have the same globe types. Globes differ in the way they shine and also their price range. White lights tend to give a bright, almost daylight ambiance. Halogen globes are energy-efficient, yet they produce a flawless glow. When it comes to cost, though, halogen bulbs are a bit more expensive.

Adheres to safety

When you buy a bathroom globe or replace a current one, make sure it is approved and certified. It must comply with safety and health regulations, especially if it is in the bathroom.

Will they use more or less electricity?

Energy efficiency is of top priority. Not only do energy-efficient lights have a lower carbon footprint, but they will also not run up your electricity bill. Consider if the lights you’re looking to use in the bathroom can accommodate energy-efficient globes.

Are there any disadvantages?

Are the lights going to be difficult to clean? Will the globes be hard to change once they are done? Will you need to call a professional electrician out each time a globe needs changing? Considering the disadvantages is critical for a long-term solution.

Types of bathroom lights?

There are many different bathroom lights to choose from, and while there are as many, it can be confusing. Design, price, and robustness are just some of the things that bother many buyers.

Pendant lights

Like its name suggests, pendant lights sort of hang from a thinner line in the center. Just like a pendant would suspend from someone’s neck. Pendant lights are available whether you love contemporary, modern, vintage era, or industrial style. They are beautiful and often elegant in aesthetics. Consider these styles:

  • Shade pendants
  • Lantin style
  • Multi-light fixture pendant
  • Drum shade

Downlights (ceiling lights)

Sometimes ceiling lights are also called downlights. This is probably because it is fitted directly inside the ceiling and reflects light downward. Ceiling lights often offer great lighting ambiance. Because of the way they are fitted, they tend to open up a space that would seem smaller with a different type of light.

Vanity lights

Vanity lights are the perfect source of lighting for your vanity in the bathroom. It works well whether you have a double or single vanity. These lights are excellent. Vanity lights come in many shapes and sizes. You’re sure to find one to match your bathroom’s aesthetics. Here are a few types:

  • Linear design
  • Wall-mounted
  • Pendants
  • Mirror lights


While the grand chandelier is not the typical choice in a bathroom, it is a preferred choice for a distinct taste. Just like its peers, you can find a chandelier for every type of design. Here are a few types:

  • Cluster
  • Industrial
  • Cage
  • Sputnik chandelier
  • Globe chandelier

Dimmer lights

Dimmer lights aren't only made for the bedroom or lounge. You can have dimmer lights in your bathroom too. These are pricier and installation isn't as simple as that. An electrician may need to help you install these types of lighting. The good thing about dimmer lights is that they are also energy efficient. You won’t rack up your electricity bill by using these energy savers.

Ceiling lamps

Ceiling lamps work well if you can’t afford many different types of lights. Depending on how big your bathroom is, ceiling lamps can be fitted into bathroom sections, like one in the vanity area and another over the bath and shower. Here are a few types:

  • Flush lights
  • Recessed lights
  • Semi-flushed light
  • Utility lighting
  • Hanging lights

LED lights

LED lighting is also a type of ambient/mood light. It can fit into the tray roof ceilings or under counters. You could even put LED’s around the vanity mirror and other select places in the bathroom.

LED lights are perfect for a contemporary look. But, you could also get the best out of these lights to accentuate certain areas of the bathroom, whether you are going shabby chic or vintage. LEDs have a way of blending in when they are the right shade. LED lights are also long wear and power savers.

LED strips

Track and rail lighting

Track and rails for lighting are versatile. It works as a ceiling light and can also be used as task lighting for the vanity section. Their name stems from the way they work. Electricity is fed through a bar-like rail to each light attached to it. In this way, it creates light along a rod in either of the shapes named below.

Track rail lighting is often great for industrial and also contemporary and modern looks. Still, it isn’t limited to this. Here are a few types:

  • J-type track lighting
  • H-type track lighting
  • L-type track lighting
  • Monorail
  • Cable track lighting
  • linear

Wall sconces

Wall sconces are probably one of the simplest and trendiest lights around. They are great, no matter the look you’re going for. Modern, art deco, or contemporary, wall sconces work well. Their placement on the wall makes them good as task lights. Their lighting reflects up or down and also both ways at the same time. Here are a few types:

  • Up and down wall sconces
  • Up sconces
  • Candle sconces
  • Sign sconces
  • Picture light sconces

Artificial or natural light?

Artificial light - the globes lighting your way with the help of electricity

Natural light - relies on the sun and daylight to create light

There are pros and cons to both natural and artificial light. Natural light requires more oversized windows which allow for natural sunlight to filter through. Natural light is excellent during the day, but it won’t work the same when it comes to nighttime. Having room for natural and artificial light will also help you save.

Artificial light will kick in during the evening, while natural light will sort your lighting needs in the daytime. Natural light is free and you don’t have to budget for it each month. You can change the brightness of artificial light whenever you want. This is, of course, if you have it installed.

Natural light cannot change manually but is entirely dependent on the weather. If you have grey skies, your bathroom will be darker too.

Key tips to consider when you select lights for your bathroom

  1. Create balance

    When you layer your lighting, it allows for depth and beauty. With layering comes balance. You want to create the perfect balance by lighting certain areas that include the center with ambient lighting. You also need to cover the vanity area with a task lighting option. Some people also choose to tackle the shower with a light of choice.

  2. Use ceiling lights too

    Ceiling lights help to create the balance we speak of in the first point. Without a ceiling light, you would probably have scattered lighting throughout the bathroom as a result of only certain sections being lit up.

  3. Go for simplicity and moderation

    Remember, less is more. It doesn’t help to put everything in the bathroom because you don’t need every light design. So, bear in mind that less is more. When styling your bathroom in moderation, you will get a perfect balance of light, textures, and aesthetics.

  4. Use a brass or a chrome finish

    Lighting fixtures in metallic finishes are suitable for pairing with your bathroom fixtures. When you choose brass or chrome, it can sometimes accentuate the bathroom’s aesthetics. Metal finishes are also not overdone and won’t look like it’s too much for the bathroom.

  5. Work with your budget

    If you’re not careful, it’s easy to overspend on lighting types. This is also because some shops sell imported products. Sometimes you can get a “lookalike” to the actual designer one without using an arm, leg, and kidney. Also, set aside funds to hire a certified electrician.

    Safety is paramount and using a professional will be the best option. Get your quotes and decide which one is best from the shortlist.

  6. Plan

    When you plan, you could get more done. If it’s just the lights you’re replacing, then you don’t have to worry as it won’t require renovations. Take the cue from your fixtures and work from there.

Final thoughts

If you’re redoing your bathroom’s lights, make sure that you bear the fixtures in mind too. Sure, you’re getting the lights sorted, but it won’t be balanced if they clash with the current finishes.

Once the hard work is out the way, you will be able to enjoy your good-looking bathroom every day. Not to mention, your visitors will admire it too. Your bathroom will determine every choice you make with your décor and lighting choices. Everything will play off the current look unless you’re going to change everything. Good luck!