powerful lighting ideas for the brightly illuminated bathroom

Having your bathroom badly lit is not a very good idea unless you are planning to relax in a hot tub with some candles around. The bathroom should be brightly lit in 90% of cases, because, obviously, all everyday activities, such as shaving or personal care, require a lot of light. Poorly lit bathroom is neither functional nor safe, so we strongly recommend carefully planning the lighting of your bathroom and not try to save on trifles. Remember that we start and end the day in the bathroom, so the bathroom lighting is vital to our mood and well-being.

Most of us pay more attention to the kitchen or bedroom or living room lighting, leaving the bathroom underestimated. We have written this article to help you avoid this common mistake and create a good-looking and functional bathroom lighting scheme. And the best part is that upgrading the lighting scheme will require significantly less money and effort compared to other improvements in the bathroom. There are numerous options, such as pendant lights, chandeliers, sconces, LED strips, or rope lights to choose from to turn your old shadowy bathroom into modern, brightly lit and efficient area.

Here are a few powerful tips and ideas to help you with this mission:

Divide Your Bathroom into Zones

First of all, you need to pay attention to the fact that the lighting in the bathroom should be divided into different zones, just like in any other room in the house. You will need both functional lighting and decorative lighting. Moreover, functional lighting should also be divided into zones. You will need separate lighting for the mirror and vanity, for the shower and / or tube, the general lighting for the entire room, and also accent lighting to emphasize the design or art elements of your bathroom.

Analyze your bathroom and determine which zones it has and how they are used. You will probably seethat your lighting scheme will consist of the task lighting, ambient lighting and accent lighting. Task lighting will be used to illuminate the mirror. Remember to make it as efficient as possible. You’ll want your face to be brightly lit in the mirror, but you don’t need the light to strike your eyes and cast sharp shadows, because this will interfere with your personal care instead of helping you in these everyday activities. We’ll take a closer look at task lighting below.

Put Task Lighting First

When we talk about task lighting, we usually mean the lighting fixtures that serve certain task rather than create general or decorative lighting. The task lighting is usually used in the kitchen for cooking meals or in the bedroom for reading. But we are currently interested in the use of functional lighting in the bathroom. Of course it is bathroom mirror that should be lit brightly and at the same time properly.

The bathroom mirror lighting is very important for shaving, washing your face and applying the make-up, so pay particular attention to the location and brightness of the light sources. The first rule is not to place the lighting fixture directly above the mirror because such light will cast the unpleasant shadows all over your face. The best solution is to put the lights on both sides of the mirror. There are many options to choose from. If there is enough space around the mirror, you can place wall sconces on the sides. If you don’t have enough space or you prefer more modern look, you can place LED light strips there. Just remember to choose the waterproof version.

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You can also place two vertical rows of LED spotlights on the sides of the mirror. Here, choose not too bright lights. Another great option, especially if you have a wide mirror, is to place two pendants hanging from the ceiling on long wires so that the light source is at the level of your face. Use popular Edison bulbs for a retro-futuristic look, or more traditional shades if you prefer the more conventional theme.

You can also use the bathroom mirror with built-in lighting or install lighted bathroom cabinets with a mirror for added functionality, especially if you have a small bathroom.

Always try to group light sources on the sides of the mirror. This will ensure that the light will do its work properly. And, of course, when reflected from a mirror surface, the light will make the room visually larger. This is without a doubt a win-win situation, so why not take advantage of it?

Create Different Layers of Light

Lighting in any room usually consists of different layers. It is easy to create multi-layered lighting in the bathroom. It is almost similar to the zoned lighting. You divide your bathroom into zones, as we described earlier, and then create your own layers of light. Basically, it is the combination of different light sources, their intensity and direction.

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Bathroom lighting - compare prices

Start planning your layered lighting scheme from the natural light from the windows. After that, consider the overhead general light, then go to the task lighting, and end with accent lighting. Keep in mind the interaction of the different light sources and fixtures, their intensity and color temperature. It is usually better to stick to the similar color temperature, yet sometimes the combination of warm and cold lighting may give a very interesting effect. It all depends on your specific room and situation. For example, you may want to install a cold white light for shaving or applying makeup, and some warm lighting to relax in a hot bath. Make your choice wisely and don’t forget about the different scenarios for using your bathroom.

Consider a Chandelier for a Bathroom Ceiling Light

If you have a large bathroom, the best solution for ceiling lighting is to install a chandelier. This will allow you make the most of the large room and at the same time make a statement.

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Bathroom Chandelier - compare prices

The style of a chandelier will depend on the overall theme of your bathroom. Look for a retro-style glass fixture if you have a traditional bathroom. There are many websites that sell vintage-style chandeliers or truly retro and antique items. And if the theme of the room is modern, choose from the thousands of contemporary chandeliers on Amazon, Ebay, Wallmart or other online venues or in your local stores.

Never try to save on ceiling lights

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Bathroom Ceiling Lights - compare prices

Even if you plan to install some task and accent lights, don’t neglect the general ceiling light. The bathroom should be properly lit to give you a boost of energy; it should always be bright and welcoming. It would be a mistake to rely only on task lighting, as it is not only dim, but also not directed properly to illuminate the entire room. We recommend opting for a chandelier if you have a large bathroom, and choosing recessed lights if you have a small one.

Highlight Your Bathroom Art with Accent Lighting

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Bathroom Task Lights - compare prices

A good idea is to have some art in the bathroom. But simply putting a work of art in a bathroom is not enough: it must be properly illuminated to make the desired impression. Use accent lighting for this purpose. There is a huge variety of accent lighting; which one you need will depend on your piece of art, as well as architectural features of the room and the interior design scheme.

Install a dimmer

As we said before, your bathroom should be brightly lit for daily personal care and in order to give you energy in the morning. Thus, installing bright light sources is a good idea, and most designers do this in their projects. But what if you enjoy relaxing in the hot tub at night? Perhaps you prefer a more intimate setting, and that is when you will be glad that you invested in a dimmer! Any dimmable light gives you versatility and can meet all your lighting requirements.

Replace your old light bulbs

The easiest and most obvious way to upgrade your bathroom lighting is swapping your old light bulbs with new ones. The most contemporary solution is using LED lights. They are brighter and at the same time much more energy-effective and durable than any other source of light. Most of LED bulbs can work for 5 years and more without replacement. And the best part is that LED lights can be manufactured in endless forms and shapes. They can imitate the old-fashioned Edison light bulbs if you prefer a traditional design scheme. And, of course, there are many contemporary-looking LED lights for the modern interior designs.

Add Neon Lights

Neon lamps can look surprisingly good in a bathroom. There are so many different neon lamps these days in numerous online stores; they come in various shapes and sizes. If you plan to plant greenery in your bathroom, add a neon lamp in the shape of fruits or birds to complete the overall theme of the interior.

Go with outdoor style lights for a contemporary theme

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Recent trends bring a touch of industrial or even steampunk into the modern interior design. The simplest solution is to add these outdoor lighting fixtures to the indoor lighting scheme, in our case, to the bathroom. The variety of shapes and sizes is huge; it’s now up to you to choose the best option for your specific situation. Read more about industrial light in this article.

Consider Recessed Lights

Recessed lights can be a perfect light source for the small bathroom, yet of course no one can forbid you to install them in a large bathroom if you like. These lights are placed in the ceiling and point downward, producing a lot of bright light. They work especially well when placed above the mirror: the reflected light makes the room look bigger and brighter. Recessed lights can also be installed above the shower area or tube, just remember to use the waterproof lights for this purpose. There are multi-colored versions too, which makes your design possibilities limitless.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

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It is always good to have your bathroom lit with natural light from the windows. If you plan to make the most of natural light, paint the walls white and place a large or several mirrors in the bathroom. This combination will make the room look bigger and brighter and allow you to maximize the use of natural light, which otherwise might not be enough.

Set Task Lighting to the Tub Area

If you like to relax in a hot tub, then turning on all the general lighting is not the best idea. By installing task lighting in a tub area, you will create a wonderful relaxing atmosphere.

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Some LED strip lighting or recessed lights fixtures work well in a modern design scheme. Wall sconces or a reading lamp can be a good option if you have a more traditional bathroom.

Use Two Small Pendants in Front of the Bathroom Mirror

Two small pendants hanging from the ceiling in front of the mirror can become a beautiful and functional task lighting solution, especially in a small bathroom. They will help you properly illuminate your face for daily self-care, without unwanted shadows or dark areas. And at the same time, such lighting fixtures always look great and can enhance any bathroom design. The options are wide – from beautiful frosted glass pendants to the retro-inspired Edison bulbs, from brass industrial fixtures to delicate glass lampshades. Choose the style that complements your bathroom décor.

Choose a Cluster Pendant

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A cluster pendant light can be a fantastic solution for overhead lighting, especially for a dark bathroom. Use the bulbs of warm light temperature for creating a peaceful and magnificent ambience in the room. There are many options of cluster pendants available in online stores and marketplaces, so it will not be difficult to choose the best product that matches the design of your bathroom.

Consider a Multiple Light Bulbs Design

Multiple Light Bulbs Pendant Lights Multiple Light Bulbs Pendant Lights

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To make your bathroom look unusual, try this interesting modern scheme: hang several pendant lights at different heights. Use Edison LED bulbs for vintage style or matte white lamps for a more modern feel.

Try Steampunk Style, If Appropriate

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Steampunk Lights on Amazon

If you have exposed pipes in your bathroom and you don’t want to rebuild the entire room to hide them; if you are ready for a bold experiment - try a stempunk style. Buy some Edison bulbs attached to the pipes (you may find many different styles in online stores) and install them by the sides of the mirror. Add some pendant lights with Edison bulbs to complete the overall theme.

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Steampunk Lights - compare prices

Consider Backlit Bathroom Mirror

There are many styles and sizes of bathroom mirrors with lights on the market today. This is the most practical solution, since you don’t need to install any additional lighting fixtures to set up the task lighting. Moreover, there are smart mirrors which can show some useful information while you shave or apply makeup. They are quite expensive, but, of course, are the most modern top-of-the-line solution for the people obsessed with new technologies. Read more about bathroom mirrors with lights here.



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