Good bathroom lighting is as important for safety as it is for vanity.

Statistics show it’s one of the most dangerous rooms in your house due to injuries from falls.

Good lighting will help you see better and therefore avoid the slippery wet spots on your floor.

It’ll also help you avoid the embarrassing situation of using blue eyeliner to darken your eyebrow line, because you thought it was black. (True story. Just ask my mother).


What type of lighting should you choose?

As with many other rooms in your home it’s important to implement a good design plan for your bathroom lighting. This means you should layer your lighting and have several individually controlled sources of light that are appropriate for different tasks.

Lighting is a great way to add some personality and is an important way to enhance your home’s décor style. You won’t have any problem finding fixtures to suite your taste and budget as the choices out there are endless.

Bathrooms are a great place to have some fun with your lighting, so go bold and let your inner diva out. Even if you’re only brave enough to do it in your en-suite!



The 3 light sources to include in your bathrooms

Ceiling fixture

#1) Ambient

  • This is your general room illumination.
  • They can take the form of ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, pendants, chandeliers, recessed or pot lights. In a bathroom they will often be pot lights or ceiling fixtures and should be bright enough to ensure that you see the wet (slippery) spots after bathing.
  • Make sure your lighting fixture is rated for damp areas in order to use it in the bathroom.
  • Put these on dimmers for greater lighting flexibility.

2 pendant vanity

#2) Task

  • These are brighter lights that focus on a specific area where you need more light for a particular task, like applying makeup, or for safety in the shower. TIP: In wet locations like showers your light fixture should be rated for wet areas.
  • In a bathroom these will be used to illuminate the vanity and shower areas. Consider using a sconce or pendant on both sides of the vanity mirror to eliminate facial shadows.
  • You can have some fun in a powder room with some decorative lower watt bare bulbs, but in your main bathroom ensure your fixture’s bright bulb is behind a diffuser to avoid glare and create a more even light.

Silhouette lit mirror

#3) Accent

  • In a bathroom this could be hi-lighting some display shelves or perhaps placed behind your mirror’s silhouette for some interesting effects.
  • Add a touch of glitz to your bathroom with a glamorous ceiling fixture that you can gaze at while soaking in the tub. Put these on dimmers to instantly adjust the mood.

Important extras


This is an important addition to your bathroom for safety during those midnight bathroom trips. They can simply be low-level LED lighting under your vanity cabinet or a built-in motion sensor light.

Light switch location

Install switches at a maximum height of 48in/122cm from the floor so they are easily accessible to everybody.

Action Plan

Consider hiring a professional to draw up a lighting plan to ensure a creative and effective lighting design. On a practical level they will ensure all switches, receptacles and thermostat controls are logically placed and easily reached.

Before you renovate or build take another look at your bathroom lighting and make sure it has all the elements that you’ll need for a highly functional and safer environment.

Is there a particular lighting fixture that you couldn’t live without? Share which one that is in the comments below.