Bathroom pendant lighting can turn even the smallest of bathrooms into a statement space, yet all too often it’s overlooked as we add those hero lights to more obvious areas, such as above a kitchen island. Yet with a little inspiration and bathroom IP rating knowledge, you can use bathroom hanging lighting to transform your room. If you are looking for bathroom lighting ideas, then you’ll be amazed at the designs now available
You can choose from on-trend caged designs to coloured glass pendants, chandeliers to flush-fitting solutions. And you don’t have to hang centrally either. ‘Pendant lights work well above a vanity, bringing light straight down on to the countertop and providing exceptional task lighting,’ says Niki Wright, founder of Lights & Lamps.
‘They also allow you to step away from the traditional “one bright bathroom light”, and layer lighting within the space, using task lighting in spots where you need it most, and ambient lighting to create a relaxing feel.’
Bathroom pendant light ideas
1. Turn on the period charm with pendant duo
Frame a washstand with a pair of glass pendant lights, hung either side of a mirror, directing light to where it’s most needed. The rest of your bathroom lighting can come from spots fitted into the ceiling. This allows your pendants to shine while creating a mini pamper zone.
Add to the period feel with a finish for your bathroom pendant lights that echoes warmer metallics used for ironmongery and accessories.
If you're hanging pendants against a busy bathroom wall tile idea, stick to clear glass, allowing the pattern to show behind.
2. Illuminate your dream tub
Splashed out on a luxurious roll top? Make sure your lighting does your investment buy justice. Think how pendants are used to draw attention to a kitchen island idea or dining table and apply the same theory.
Choose a fisherman’s pendant light, where the bulb hangs lower than the shade for plenty of directional light. Brushed chrome finish echoes the industrial elements of this space and copper detailing mirrors that hero bath.
Ask an electrician to fix your pendant to a dimmer switch. This allows you to create a soft pool of light around your bath, which is perfect for those long soaks.
3. Go directional with a three-way pendant
Make a single bathroom pendant fitting work hard, by choosing a design that allows you to point the light at key bathroom zones – the bath, the basin and the shower.
This is a great fix if you don’t want the expense of running spotlights during your bathroom reno plans. There’s also the added benefit that the pendant’s separate heads can be adjusted to suit.
Go for matt black to work a black and white bathroom idea. Then you can echo this finish in your choice of radiator and even brassware.
4. Use a bathroom pendant to bring in a new accent
Make your bathroom pop with a coloured glass pendant light. It’s an easy makeover, especially if your monochrome bathroom needs a lift. Complete the look with neon-bright towels, adding to the bright fun.
Pick a pendant that reflects the lines of your bathroom. This could be a large round design that picks up on the curved corners of a shower screen. Or the round edges of a bathroom cabinet idea, or even the shape of the loo. Giving careful thought to how to plan a bathroom will help the space feel cohesive.
5. Go for two to balance a scheme
Frame a contemporary mirror with equally contemporary pendants. These will create visual balance in a bathroom, where often you are faced with single hero pieces, like a bath, loo and basin.
Use pendants to highlight a handy ledge, where favourite products are displayed. It will cast a soft glow around the wash basin. Choose smart matt black details on your pendants to echo brassware and furniture, especially if you’ve gone for neutral tiles. The black touches help lead the eye around the space.
Buy now: Matt black Silio one-light pendant, £69, Lights & Lamps
6. Reflect for extra interest
Think how any pendant will be reflected in a bathroom mirror. You can easily make more of a light, doubling the impact by placing in front of a mirror. A trio of exposed bulbs hung from a central fitting allows you to also adjust the drop of each. Once again this adds brilliant visual interest to a bathroom scheme.
Look for different shaped bulbs – they will need to be IPX4 above a basin and be at least 600mm radius clear of its top. It's important to choose lighting according to their IP ratings for safety.
7. Work an industrial look
Bathroom pendants have changed so much in recent years – you can even embrace the trend for caged light fittings with that all-important IP rating. Think about scale – bathrooms are often the smallest room in the home, so unless you want to create a big “wow” moment, shop for smaller designs. Reflecting any pendant in a mirror will boost its impact.
Black caged pendants look striking against a darker wall, adding to the industrial feel. Co-ordinate with brassware and small details, like the framing of a bathroom mirror idea.
Buy now: Diablo IP44 pendant in black, £56, Iconic Lights
8. Choose an elegant design
In a traditional bathroom, a glass pendant always looks great. Hang centre stage above a roll-top bath, and hunt down a ribbed or fluted design, which will cast soft shadows when lit, plus interest when not.
Think about any pendant’s cable – a twisted design lends itself to the period feel perfectly, while a coloured length might add a splash of your chosen accent colour.
Buy now: Wellington ribbed glass bathroom pendant light, £370, Fritz Fryer
9. Turn on the glitz
In a vintage-style bathroom, a chandelier pendant hung high above a bath is a lovely finishing touch. You need to shop for an IP44 rated design and avoid the temptation to hang it too low. If a low-ceiling is an issue, then look for a flush-fitted design, which will sit much closer to the ceiling.
A chandelier will help create that sense of a sanctuary or pamper zone, providing a lovely indulgent atmosphere when relaxing in the bath.
10. Find period style with all the right ratings
Giving your bathroom an art deco look? You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to bathroom lighting. As a style, it suits flush-fitting and wall lights brilliantly so you can match a central bathroom pendant with a pair of wall lights either side of your basin.
Brass touches enhance the art deco look – this design was inspired by a 1920s school light and it’s IP44 rated. You can also change the effect by the lamp you pop into your bathroom pendant. Choose a warm LED or cool one, depending on how you want to feel in your bathroom space.
Buy now: Caden bathroom semi flush antique brass opal glass light, £93.60, Dar Lighting
Can you put a pendant light in the bathroom?
Yes, but you need to follow the IP rating rules for bathroom lighting, choosing a design that’s suitable for the zone you plan to hang it in.
‘Statement pendant lights can be used to add personality and reflect your unique individuality – but watch out for finishes on metal that may rust with the humid conditions in a bathroom,’ says Mary Buchanan, Creative Director of Laura Ashley Lighting & Mirrors. ‘Good metal-plated options are best and sealed units are safer, along with glass in patterned textures or opt for white frosted finishes to hide any unsightly bulbs for an amazing result.’
Where should pendant lights be placed in a bathroom?
While we often think of pendants above a kitchen island, they can add provide invaluable task lighting in a bathroom too. Don’t limit to a single pendant hung centrally – try a pair either side of your wash basin, or a trio of smaller designs above your bath. ‘Single pendants on either side of a mirror adds additional practical light as well as a considered design element,’ says Scarlett Hampton, founder of Lights & Lamps lights&lamps (www.lightsandlamps.com).
If you can’t hang your bathroom pendant in the centre of your ceiling, try the space equidistance between the basin and bath – this will cast a soft glow for both. Or alternatively, hang pendants where they can reflect in a mirror, doubling the style of a statement design. Do check its position from the door before you commit, as this will be what guests see – unless they are prone to lying down in your tub!
When it comes to height, bathroom pendants will need to meet IP ratings – above a basin, IP44 that’s a 600mm radius to meet zone 2, while above a bath, zone 1, a height of 2.25m from the floor and a minimum rating of IP45 is required, although IP65 is used too.
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