Bathroom Lighting Guide

Bathroom Lighting Guide

When it comes to your bathroom, it’s a space that gets you through the day. Whether you’re getting ready for work, dressing up for a night out, or relaxing after a long day, your bathroom can be a refreshing sanctuary.

Beyond simply lighting up the vanity, bathroom lighting can awaken and motivate you in the morning and help you relax and decompress at night. With so many daily routines happening in the bathroom, it's important to layer your lighting. In this guide, we’ll go through the details of bathroom lighting, so you can pick the best lighting that caters to your every need.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is the general light that provides overall illumination, ensuring that no corners are left in the dark. Ceiling lights such as recessed lighting, flush mounts, and pendant lights are all great options for ambient lighting in your bathroom.

Veli Chandelier by Slamp in a modern bathroom

A bathroom pendant light can add a luxurious touch to your bathroom, making it feel like a spa.

Task Lighting

Next, you can choose your task lighting. Task lighting is essential for the bathroom, especially around the vanity where a multitude of tasks occur. When you’re brushing your teeth, doing your hair/makeup, or shaving, you can use vanity lights to illuminate the space. Bath & Vanity Lights to the side of the mirror

For the most flattering light, we recommend installing a vanity light on each side of the mirror. This will provide an even light to frame your face.

Fixtures above the mirror

Placing a fixture directly above the mirror looks great as well. In this case, we recommend a diffused light. Directional or exposed lights directly above you can result in harsh shadows on your face, as seen in the photo on the right.

Vanity lighting above the mirror

When placing vanity lighting above your bathroom mirrors, be sure to choose lighting that is at least 3”-5” smaller than the width of your mirror. Lighting should be at least 70"-80” from the floor to ensure the entire space is well-lit.

Lighting Mirrors by Eurofase

Lighted Mirrors are also an elegant, stylish option to perfectly highlight your reflection.

Location Rating: Wet vs. Damp

When it comes to task lighting in areas with a lot of moisture and water, you will want to use a wet-rated or damp-rated fixture.

  • Wet-rated lighting fixtures can handle direct exposure to water, making them suitable for being above your shower. Recessed lighting is a great choice for the shower since they are often wet-rated. 
  • Damp-rated lights are for spaces where moisture is present but not in direct contact with water, such as above your bathtub.

Brasher Chandelier by Hudson Valley above a bathub

Accent Lighting

Finally, accent lighting in the bathroom can be a fun addition to emphasize the mood and highlight your home décor.

Accent Lighting in the Bathroom


For having full control over setting the mood in a room, we recommend dimmers. With a dimmer, you can make your bathroom bright in the morning to energize for the day and dim it in the evening to unwind for the night.

Legrand Adorne Switches and Dimmers

Dimmers and switches by Legrand Adorne, the American leader in household switches and dimmers.


With the right lighting, your bathroom can be a rejuvenating haven. Now that you’ve read this guide, you’re ready to pick out the perfect fixtures for your bathroom! Shop all our bathroom lights here.

Any questions? For more tips on lighting design, check out our master guide. If you'd like to consult our team of experts for your next project contact us. We'd be happy to support you in any way we can.