Bathroom lighting ideas – to ensure all key fittings are illuminated properly

When planning the lighting for your bathroom, remember that you want it to work equally well at all times of the day and throughout the year, whether it's dark December or sunny July

Looking for bathroom lighting ideas? Lighting can have a massive impact and should be planned early to ensure all key fittings are illuminated properly. Aim for sufficient task lighting in the shower and vanity areas, plus ambient lighting around the bath and in alcoves and niches. The latest smart lighting controls allow pre-programmed settings. Look out for wireless lighting controls, which is installed without cables and can oversee thermostats, security and audio, if desired.

Since electricity and water don’t mix, it’s important to ensure any electrical fittings have the correct IP rating (ingress protection) according to their proximity to water. There are many guides to IP rating bathroom zones available on the internet.

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1. Look to many different light sources

Bathroom lighting ideas

Image credit: Lizzie Orme

With the correct lighting, your room can take on different looks throughout the day, night and seasons. In most rooms, you’ll likely need several types of lighting, as one central light source won’t do every job. This is easily achieved through light layering, where you make use of different types of light sources in each room to suit your needs. Don’t overlook wall lights either – downlighters especially have become very popular, with an array of different styles, and are perfect for adding interest and ambience to a focal wall.

2. Incorporate hidden lighting

Bathroom lighting ideas

Image credit: Douglas Gibb

Bathroom lighting has to work on many levels. Think about how you will use the bathroom at different times of day. You want your bathroom to be bright and functional in the mornings, especially around the mirror area, but you also want to be able to wind down in the evenings with a nice relaxing bath. Fairly bright lights pointing in all directions make this a bathing space that is perfect for relaxing soaks with no danger of dazzling beams. Reccessed walls are great for hiding spotlights and LEDs.

3. Set the scene with wall lights

Bathroom lighting ideas

Image credit: David Parmiter

Lighting is crucial in a bathroom so always ensure that it is sufficient, particularly over the basin area for makeup and grooming. Something that I find very useful is to fit low-level lighting on a sensor for use in the middle of the night, when you want to avoid the harsh glare of main lights.

4. Amp up with ambient lighting

Bathroom lighting ideas

Image credit: Tamra Cave

Combat a windowless bathroom with lots of ambient light. Subtle led strip lighting attached to the mains looks sophisticated running under a mirrored cupboard for a clean, streamlined look, while a pair of wall lights either side will strike a classic note.

Love these bathroom lighting ideas? READ: Bathroom storage ideas – to help you stay neat, tidy and organised

5. Take lifestyle into consideration

Bathroom lighting ideas

Image credit: Oliver Gordon

To help you choose the right bathroom lighting, think about who is going to be using the space. If it’s a children’s bathroom, you might want motion-sensitive lighting that switches on and off by itself. If it’s going to be used by adults, you may want mood lighting or a dimmer, and several different circuits – perhaps a low-level light in the shower, floor lighting, overhead lighting and lights around the mirror.

6. Create a mood

Bathroom shelving ideas

Image credit: David Brittain

Lighting doesn’t have to be artificial. Go back to basics with simple lighting, such as candles, for a romantic atmosphere in your bathroom. Scatter a selection of pretty holders on shelves and tables for a decorative look. Always remember to blow out your candles once you leave the room.

Want more bathroom ideas? READ: En-suite bathroom ideas – to create a well-planned scheme that is entirely personal

Will you be using these bathroom lighting ideas to illuminate your scheme?

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