Bathroom Lighting Ideas and Alternatives

The Kitchen Master | November 14, 2016

Choosing lighting for a bathroom is like walking a tightrope. You want fixtures that are attractive, but you also want good light for shaving and applying makeup. Bathroom lighting should not be an afterthought. Whether you plan to remodel or install a brand new bath, think about lighting options as you develop your plans so that your electrician is able to install the necessary wiring boxes and circuits.

Some believe that the most efficient lighting for shaving or applying makeup is a pair of bare-bulb strips placed vertically on either side of a mirror. However, as efficient as they might be, they’re not really the most attractive option, unless you love the look of a stage dressing room!

Select Bathroom Light Fixtures for Function

There’s no doubt that good light is important, but you don’t want your bathroom to look clinical either. Think in terms of general illumination, specific tasks and, finally, additional ambient lighting.

Adding a heat lamp in a bathing area can be a “warming” idea. In addition, it will brighten the space and provide a bit of additional luxury in your bath.

A telescoping, lighted magnifying mirror can be a stylish and convenient addition. It can be placed on the vanity or wall mounted.

Finally, provide dimmer switches for individual fixtures so that not all lights are blazing unless it’s necessary.


Don’t Cast Shadows

Lighting experts tell us that placing a single fixture above a mirror provides the least effective illumination. Vanity lights should provide clear, bright light without creating glare or casting shadows. Place wall sconces on either side of a framed vanity mirror, or install the fixtures directly on (or through) a larger wall-mounted mirror. Doing so doubles the effect and bounces light around the room.

If you don’t like the look of “make up bulbs,” use bathroom wall lights with frosted shades that diffuse light. For a trendier option, hang a pair of pendants, placing them so they’ll hang about shoulder height above the vanity. A pendant is also perfect for a dramatic powder room.

Options for Modern Bathroom Lighting

Think about general illumination in addition to task lighting. Don’t think in terms of a single ceiling-mounted fixture, but rather about how you can achieve a well-balanced lighting plan for the entire room, day and night.

Consider lighting strips in the toe kick of a vanity cabinet to serve as night-lights in bathrooms used by children or seniors.

Place waterproof recessed cans in the shower and over the tub; add a combination light/fan above the commode. If you have a closet or tall cabinet for towels and bath supplies, place a small fluorescent fixture above the door frame, operated by a jamb switch.

Add a Bit of Glamour

Add character to a master bath or power room by hanging a chandelier. It can be as formal, funky or dramatic as you like, and it will lift a utilitarian space out of the realm of the ordinary. Set a decorative lamp on a large vanity counter strictly for its decorative value. Combine special lighting with efficient recessed cans or ceiling fixtures for a well-planned bathroom.

Our trained design consultants can help you choose the perfect lighting options as you begin planning your bathroom remodeling. Why not contact us to schedule a visit to our expansive Naperville showroom?

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