Top 10 Creative Bathroom Lighting Ideas for All Styles

Are you looking for bathroom lighting ideas? Bathrooms play an important role in every home. It’s not just about hygiene. It’s also about helping yourself relax and get ready for anything.

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The right bathroom lighting is instrumental in making this happen. This article provides several ideas you can choose from.

About different bathroom lights

To be really creative with your lighting bathroom ideas, it helps to understand the different types of bathroom lights. It’ll give you an idea about the common applications when it comes to lighting your bathroom.

bathroom lights
bathroom lights

Vanity lighting

A vanity light refers to the specific illumination that you place on the bathroom’s vanity mirror. This is typically where the bathroom sink is. It’s for task lighting purposes. It allows you to fix yourself in the mirror – whether that’s for grooming or applying makeup. In some bathrooms, their vanity area serves as the central focus. Make sure the light fixtures you’ll choose for this area can highlight the mirror and sink – while providing enough illumination for anyone wanting to apply their makeup.

vanity lighting
vanity lighting

Wall-mounted lighting

Also known as wall sconces, you’ll commonly find these on either side of the bathroom mirror. You can choose to install this to provide a layering of light together with the vanity light. This effectively removes shadows – which is really helpful when one is doing something in front of the mirror.

If the room is large enough, like a master bathroom, these wall sconces are also perfect as accent lights. Like if there’s a painting, you can position the sconces on either side or top of the wall decor. Because of how you use wall sconces, it’s important to choose a design that compliments the overall look of the bathroom.

Wall-mounted lighting
Wall-mounted lighting

Ceiling lighting

A bathroom ceiling light is another type that you should know. This is mostly for ambient light purposes. The vanity lights and wall sconces may provide illumination already, but you still need general lights. The general rule is for bathrooms to have 70 lumens or more per square foot. That should be enough illumination. This includes all the lights that you have in the room.

bathroom ceiling lighting
ceiling lighting

Chandelier and pendant lighting

While you can consider these to be a part of the ceiling lights, they can be for a more specific purpose. Chandeliers and pendant lights can serve as a beautiful accent themselves. You can hang it from the ceiling – right on top of the master bath. You can consider the design of the pendant light to match that of the bathtub. Like you can match a gold pendant light with a claw foot tub with golden trimmings. A modern tub can have a minimalistic chandelier hanging on top of it.

pendant lighting
pendant lighting

10 creative lighting ideas for different styles of bathrooms

Here are 10 bathroom lighting ideas that you can choose from. When you’re looking for the best design, make sure you consider the size of the room, the color of the paint, the windows, and other fittings inside.

1. Apply layering to bathroom lights

This is a common technique wherein you use different types of lights. You have lights for accent, task, and ambient purposes. Accent lights for bathrooms include pendant lights, profile lights, and wall sconces. Task lights include vanity lights for the bathroom mirrors. Ambient lights can include recessed downlights in the ceiling.

When doing this, you are free to use different designs for the lights. But, make sure they will still look good together. You should also consider the position of the lights against the area of the bathroom. If you have a small bathroom, it might be hard to do layering of lights. Or if you just have a powder room in a common area in your house, it might be best to focus on making it look beautiful.

As you plan, it’s best to start with the ceiling lights then move on towards the various elements in the bathroom.

apply layering to bathroom lights
apply layering to bathroom lights

2. Balance function with mood

Mood lighting is common for bathrooms. But to apply this properly, you have to understand the different areas in the bath. Usually, it has 3 areas – the bath, the shower, and the vanity.

If the bathroom has a bathtub, mood lighting is a really good idea. You’ll be spending a lot of time relaxing in the bath. It would be nice if you can adjust the bathroom light so it mimics the mood that you want to have.

While setting the right mood in the bathroom is important, you still have to consider functionality. Mood lighting won’t be enough for the vanity area. This one needs lights that are bright enough to make tasks easier to do – like applying makeup, etc. That doesn’t mean you can’t make it adjustable so setting the mood is still possible. If you use LED lights, it’ll be easier to set the mood because you can use dimmable lights.

mood lighting
mood lighting

3. Use spotlights wisely

Spotlights are a good idea if you want the entire space to be bright. But the thing with spotlights is you can choose to make it adjustable. So the brightness is an easy fix. You can install it with pre-programmed settings with smart controls. You can also make it dimmable.

But the positioning of the spotlights is a different matter. Make sure that if you decide to use this, it can provide enough ambient lighting.

In reality, the most common light fixture for general lighting is recessed downlights. But if you want the lights to affect the space inside the bathroom, positioning is important. Like if you point the spotlights in the right direction, it can make the shower space a lot bigger than it really is.


4. Put lights near mirrors

This is a common application for vanity lighting. The main goal is to make sure that the lights are bright enough to light up the vanity area. It’s not just the brightness – but the elimination of the shadows that you want to achieve. To do this, there may be a need to use extra light fixtures.

But that’s not all. You can’t just put the lights near the mirror and that’s it. The position of the light fixtures will affect the overall style and mood of the bathroom. Not only that, the styles of the lights will depend on the mirror itself.

Do you have framed mirrors? You can make sure the design of the wall sconces complements the type of frame the mirror has. Like Victorian-inspired mirrors can have brass wall sconces beside them. You can also put lights at the back of frameless mirrors to give the illusion that it’s floating.

mirror lights
mirror lights

5. Consider backlighting

This is the same as profile lighting. It’s when you use lights to highlight the profile of mirrors, paintings, or other accents and decors you plan to put in the bathroom. This is actually a great idea for your guest bath because you naturally want it to look visually appealing.

Using the backlighting technique to highlight the artistry of the bathroom’s design would be enough to impress your guests. It’s not functional, but it’ll be a great way to showcase the beauty of the bathroom.


6. Create the right ambiance through dimmers

This is probably the best way to make the ambiance in your bathroom adjustable. Using LED lights with dimmers, for instance, will help you tone down the brightness to suit the mood you want to create. This is great for bathrooms that are too small to accommodate a lot of light fixtures. If there’s a need, you can make the light bright again for tasks. But if you want to relax in your bath, you can turn it down again.

But it’s also great for creative purposes. Imagine using it with backlighting. When you dim the lights, it’ll make the backlighting or profile lighting more prominent. Among the lights that you can have dimmers include ceiling light fixtures like recessed lights, pendant lights, etc.

7. Be creative with ceiling lights

Usually, the main purpose of ceiling lights is to provide ambient lighting. But you can be quite creative with it.

Many types of ceiling lights can bring personality and character to your bathroom. You can have a boring white bathroom but with the right ceiling lights, you can bring it to life. The lights can reflect beautifully on the walls and floor of the room.

If you pair the ceiling lights carefully with the sink, window, door, and other elements in the bathroom, the fixtures could be an accent already. Like a black yet modern-looking pendant light will look beautiful in a simple marble bathroom. It can stand out perfectly.

ceiling lights
ceiling lights

8. Mix and match materials

This requires bravery but if you can execute it well, it can give you the best bathroom lights. Feel free to mix different materials like brass and silver and black metal if you wish. Of course, you want this to be tastefully done so it doesn’t look all over the place.

For instance, you can mix classic chandeliers with industrial lights. You can also do the same for black metal and brass fixtures. The variety will keep your bathroom from being too boring.

9. Set up a spa-inspired bath

If it’s the relaxation that you want, create a bathroom that looks like a spa. You can achieve this look through mood lighting. The goal is to make it look soothing. That means the bath is the focal point.

Choose a bathtub that screams comfort. Make sure it’s surrounded by downlights that’ll highlight the tub. You want to have dimmable lights because you don’t want them to be too bright when you’re trying to relax.

You can also add waterproof lights in the shower area to give off a subtle glow. Use profile lighting in the vanity too. Using different layers would give off a mood that’s perfect for your spa-like bathroom.

It’s usually a good idea to stick to white and wooden elements. The latter exudes warmth and relaxation. Just make sure the bathroom is well ventilated. This will also work perfectly for farmhouse bathroom styles.

spa inspired bath
spa-inspired bath

10. Keep the lights hidden

This is another technique that you can use to keep your bathroom looking neat and clean.

There are many ways to apply this technique. You can use recessed LED downlights – these are energy efficient so that’s another reason to use these.

You can also hide the light behind the mirrors. Or even under the tub or cabinets – giving it a floating illusion. But make sure that any light fixture that you put near water is waterproof.

It also helps to ensure that the wires aren’t visible and switches are inconspicuous.

lights hidden
lights hidden

Tips when deciding on the perfect bathroom lights

There are many things that you need to know about bathroom lighting. But to understand how to best apply it, make sure you understand what bathrooms are.

Bathrooms are for multiple purposes. You use it to clean up, relieve, fix, groom, and relax. These multiple purposes require a different type of bathroom lighting. It helps to think about how you want to use the bathroom at various moments in a day.

Like in the morning, you use it to get ready for the day. You take a shower and put on makeup. You need bright lights for that.

But what about at the end of the day? You want it to be darker and more relaxing. These are important considerations when you’re deciding on what to use for your bathroom lights.

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Bathroom Lighting FAQs

View more questions related to bathroom lighting.

What’s the best way to light vanity mirrors?

To get the best lighting for bathroom mirrors, you need to remove the shadows. That’s the goal. There are several ways to do this.

You can line up the side of the mirrors with LED lights. Or you can put wall sconces on either side of the mirror. You can also add lights on top and make it point downwards.

Is it a good idea to put lights on top of the mirror?

If you want to put lights on top of the mirror, it has to be 75” to 80” from the floor. But this would still depend on how high you position the mirror. Adding the lights beside it would complete the lighting for vanity mirrors.

Should bathroom lights point upwards or downwards?

When it comes to removing shadows, the best way to do that is to point the bathroom lights downwards. But it’s still best to balance out the light. Maybe put one downlight and two lights on the side. That’s the best way to illuminate the area around the vanity area.

What are my options for bathroom ceiling lights?

There are many options to choose from. You can use recessed downlights or daylight bulbs. If you want to be a bit dramatic, you can put chandeliers or pendant lights and position them on top of the bathtub. Just make sure the lights you choose won’t give off a dull color. You want it to look beautiful but it has to serve its purpose – which is to give enough light to help you do your thing in the bathroom easily.

How many lights should a bathroom have?

The measurement is by lumens, not by the actual number of lights you’ll have inside. Basically, you want between 500 to 800 lumens. If it’s a task area like the vanity and sink, you want to ensure that you have more lumens to make the task easier to complete.

Where’s the best option to buy bathroom lights?

When it comes to the best place to buy bathroom lights, you’ve got online and offline options.

For your online options, you have Wayfair and Amazon as your options. You can browse through their websites and order your bathroom lights online. They’ll deliver it to you in no time at all.

But if you want to look at the bathroom lights personally, you can visit Home Depot, Walmart, and even IKEA.

In case you prefer to customize your bathroom lighting ideas, then talk to RC Lighting. We have a reputation for creating the most unique lighting fixtures. There are other benefits that you can get from us.

  • You can ask us for various bathroom lights. We can produce hanging lights, track lights, etc.
  • You can enjoy really low prices for high-quality bathroom lights. This is because we can give you direct-from-factory prices since we manufacture them ourselves.
  • You’ll get a 5-year warranty on every bathroom lighting product you order.
  • You don’t have to worry about any MOQ. You can order 1 unit and we’ll do it for you.
  • You’ll enjoy a fast turnaround for orders. Usually, production takes only 7 to 10 days.
  • You’ll only get bathroom lights that use the best LED lights, chips, and drivers. We only get from the best brands. You can choose your preference and that’s what we’ll use.

If you want to have custom-made bathroom lights, just send us the details of what you want. We’ll send you a fair quotation in no time at all.


Being creative with your bathroom lighting ideas can be exciting. Follow these tips and make sure you remember to mix functionality with aesthetics.

If you need help, we’ve got experts on standby to help you figure out the best bathroom light fixtures to use. Contact us now!

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