Bathroom Lighting Ideas and Styles

Bathroom lighting ideas and schemes are often neglected or overlooked. It is important to get lighting just right, not too bright and not too dim. Lighting in a bathroom needs to be ambient, yet functional; you need to be able to relax in the bath, but you also need to be able to see in the mirror and all at the flick of a switch. The solution is layered lighting and this should be tackled in a similar way to how you would light your bedroom or living room.

bathroom lighting ideas

Bathroom lighting ideas and styles

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting creates a relaxing environment, which should inconspicuously diffuse throughout the room. A ceiling light on its own will not create ambience, layering multiple lights at different levels of the room will create a nicer environment, they are however, the traditional and most popular lighting option in all rooms.

Ceiling lights are either enclosed bulbs or shades hanging centrally in the room and a statement ceiling light can make a great feature.

bathroom lighting designs

Low level lighting is the perfect way to create an ambient atmosphere – uplights in the floor create a relaxed atmosphere at night.

Wall lighting can help add interest and break up a lighting scheme. The lights can be wired into the mains, so they come on with the rest of the lighting scheme, or act independently with individual pulls/switches, the latter is more adaptable if you want to change the mood of the lighting.

how to light a bathroom

Task Lighting

Functional task lighting is key above the shower or bath, this is a zone 1 lighting area and spotlights above shower areas are usually recessed to protect them from spray from the shower.

Task lighting around mirrors is typically wall mounted, lighting both sides of a mirror is good practice as it will ensure that shadows are not cast across one’s face. Where as, if you fancy yourself as a true Hollywood starlet, blue lighting around the entire mirror is your best option for daylight lighting, even at night time.

how to design bathroom lightingImages from: House to Home

Know your areas

All lights and switches fitted in a bathroom must be out of reach of anyone using the bath or shower. Water and electricity don’t mix well so it is essential that the fittings you select are compliant.

Lighting in bathrooms is zoned because not all lighting is suitable for use in wet areas. These zones depend on the light fitting’s proximity to water.

Zone 0 is where lights are submersed in water

Zone 1 is where they might be affected by a spray of water

Zone 2 is where they might get a little splashed

Zone 3 is the area immediately surrounding zone 2, stretching 2.4 metres horizontally and 2.25 metres vertically

Safety is very important when installing lighting in a bathroom, it is essential to use a Part P qualified electrician to complete any electrical work in your bathroom, as they will be able to advise you on which lighting is suitable to use in different areas of your bathroom.

To find a quality electrician in your local area, post your job for free on and we’ll put you in contact with up to 3 tradesmen. Receive quotes from the tradesmen and remember to ask if they are Part P qualified, read their online reviews and select your preferred tradesman. Once your job is complete remember to rate the tradesman!

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