Bathroom lighting design: Tips & Ideas

If you’re remodeling your bathroom, you’ll find a lot of things that need your attention. From color schemes to tiles, curtains, plumbing and layout – there are so many different things that you need to consider, whether technical or aesthetic. Which of these should you focus on the most? What’s the most important part of the bathroom remodeling process?

Lighting. Getting the light right in your bathroom is half the battle won. We’ll tell you why in this article, and cover the basics of bathroom light design.

Why should you focus on bathroom lighting design?

First, let’s discuss the importance of light. Why should you make this a priority? Why can’t it play second fiddle to, say, the bathroom layout or the tiles? They’re pretty important too!

While those factors are important, light matters more because it will strongly affect your bathroom using experience. Have you ever noticed how colors look different depending on the light? Have you noticed the effect of natural and artificial light? Have you looked at your face in the wrong light and worried about how old you look? These might sound like rather frivolous issues, but they serve to prove the point that lighting really affects the way you see and experience things.

The second thing that makes this important is the fact that lighting directly affects your eye health and mood. Low light can make you feel relaxed and drowsy, but it can cause eye strain. Bright lights look jarring, but they also look modern. Then again, those prone to migraines might not appreciate them very much.

Finally, there’s the unbeatable fact that of the various aspects of the remodeling process, getting light fixtures is one of the least expensive. And it’s one of the only things you can do if you’re designing your bathroom on your own, or haven’t hired a contractor yet.

So here we’ll share some bathroom lighting design ideas that’ll help you and your contractor figure out how to make your bathroom renovation the best it can be.

Recessed lighting and lighting zones: what are they?

Recessed lights are lights installed in small hollows in the ceiling. You’ve seen them – they look perfectly unobtrusive and neat, and during day you’d hardly notice them. They look modern and minimalistic, and if you’re aiming for a clean look in your bathroom, recessed lighting design is something you should consider.

Now, you might wonder what part design plays in this. If the type of lights is predetermined, do you have to really design anything? You kind of do. Choosing the right location for your lights is just as important as choosing the light itself – and that’s where light zones come in.

Light zones have been created so there’s enough light in important areas. Imagine a bathroom with lights immediately above the door, and nowhere else. It’s a bright enough light, but at night when it’s dark, the single source of light at one end of the bathroom isn’t enough to see your way around the shower – or to notice a puddle of water lying near the sink.

When discussing your bathroom lighting, design things keeping the layout in mind. Know where you’ll have the shower, the bathtub and the sink. These are the key areas where you’ll need light. This will not only ensure safety, but also provide a rich, hotel-like feel to the space.

Tips for the bathroom vanity – light bulbs, lamps and more!

If you want a touch of style or an element of glamour in the bathroom, the vanity is the best place for it. You can get a Hollywood-style effect and turn your bathroom into a thing of beauty with the right bathroom vanity lighting design.

Lamps and bulbs are your friend if you want a soft look. You can have bulbs all around the mirror, and delicate lamps work beautifully with a well-designed vanity, for an upscale look. When it comes to vanity light, the mirror is a key player. Try to position the light so the mirror can catch some or all of it and reflect it around the bathroom. This’ll improve the bathroom overall, rather than just focusing on your vanity. Plus, mirrors and lights work well in general.

The best light bulbs for a bathroom vanity are not super bright, since you don’t want bright light in your eyes when you’re brushing your teeth and getting ready for bed. Bright lights chase away drowsiness and make you feel alert and awake.

Make sure you don’t overdo the vanity lights, however. The line between fancy and tacky is so very thin – but we’ll help you walk it!

Modern vs soft: which is better?

Modern designs aren’t necessarily not soft, but recent trends do rather lean towards sharp, crisp colors and clean edges. That gives you a bright, angular look which doesn’t feel very soft. Of course, as we said, it’s hard to generalize and you can definitely achieve both a modern and a soft look, but it’d be best to choose either one or the other in order to get the full effect.

A soft look would be better suited to people who like a warm, feminine feel. If you enjoy dim lights, soft music and a cozy sort of look, go for a softer look with warm colors, bulbs, etc. You could go old-school with brass handles and fittings, and get a side-order of classy luxury.

If, on the other hand, you want bright lights – either for aesthetic reasons or for better visibility and/or light reflection, opt for a more modern look. Sharp angles, crisp colors and stunning contrasts will go hand-in-hand with it, although you can always experiment and create your own look. If you enjoy a minimalistic look or fancy having an all-white bathroom with a neutral, impersonal feel, when it comes to bathroom lighting, a modern design might be more appropriate for you.

Getting natural light in the bathroom

When thinking about bathroom lighting design, always remember the importance of natural light. Light bulbs and lamps look gorgeous, come in different colors and are great for night-time, but during day you cannot do better than natural light – so make sure your bathroom gets plenty of it.

Having large windows and reflective surfaces will help with this. If you want to create an illusion of spaciousness and increase light reflection you can consider having a large mirror above the sink, or even beside the bathtub! It’ll look wonderfully luxurious, and your bathroom will positively glow during the day. Just remember not to position a mirror where it’ll catch the sunlight, or you’ll have a fire hazard on your hands.