5 Tips for Getting Your Bathroom Lighting Right

Whether you consider your bathroom a private oasis or a routine stop on your daily commute, the bathroom is somewhere that you should feel comfortable. There are a lot of factors that play into the comfort of your bathroom and they’re not all about paint, flooring, or the height of the toilet.

Believe it or not, lighting plays a major role in the look and feel of any room, but especially in the bathroom. Did you know that poor lighting can actually make you feel sick?

If you’re designing a new bathroom or remodeling an existing one, follow these tips for making sure that you get the lighting in your bathroom just right.

1. Look out below! Light fixtures should never go above the mirror. “Wait a minute…” Seriously. Never. Not even if it’s installed into the ceiling. What’s the reason? Lighting from above can cast some strange shadows. Do you feel like you always have bags under your eyes and wrinkles that just shouldn’t be there? Your over-mirror lighting may be to blame. Instead of a standard vanity light bar, install task lighting at about eye-level on either side of the mirror. This will illuminate your face in a more flattering way and help you better see what you’re trying to accomplish.

2. Watt, does it matter? Lightbulbs used in task lighting fixtures should be 75 watt or 100 watt lightbulbs. The brighter the wattage, the better you’ll be able to see what you’re doing during your daily routines. If you’re an early bird and don’t always let your eyes adjust before turning on the lights, install the bathroom’s task lighting with a dimmer. Although somewhat nontraditional for bathrooms, the price isn’t much more and it can make all the difference to tired eyes. Dimmable lights will allow you to let your eyes slowly adjust when you get up in the morning and wind down during your nightly routine.

3. Go natural. Incorporate as much natural light as possible into the bathroom. This will help in more ways than one ranging from things like giving you a realistic idea of what you look like when you walk out the door to helping reduce the risk of mold. If you’re in the process of building a home, you have the luxury of being able to pick and choose where and how the natural light can get in. Have you been dreaming of a skylight? They aren’t just for looks. If you’re already in a home or renting an apartment, though, you shouldn’t go knocking holes in the wall but don’t give up just yet.

If you’re dealing with an interior bathroom, you have a couple of options. You can install windows into the walls of the bathroom that face other exterior windows in your home. This will allow the light from exterior windows to reach into the bathroom and lighten things up. If that’s simply not an option, a can of white or light paint can do more than you might think and you can always add to the lighting by using lightbulbs that mimic the natural sunlight.

4. Give them something to talk about. Don’t throw your really cool, vintage, upcycled, ecofriendly, thrift store chandelier out yet! Accent lighting plays a big role in the bathroom. While you don’t want to make it your main source of light, it adds to the overall ambiance and vibe all while contributing to the room’s illumination. Accent lighting isn’t limited to a chandelier or fancy piece of art, though. Candles, lamps, ceiling fans and other fixtures are great additions to the décor and can help light up the corners of the room.

5. Fill it in. Finally, after you’ve taken care of your task lighting and brought in some neat accents, it’s time to fill in the rest. If your bathroom has a high ceiling or some unique corners or architecture that blocks the light from the other fixtures in the bathroom, you can illuminate them with rope lighting, lamps, or other similar pieces. These will help the room feel more open and will play into the rest of the lighting in the bathroom giving you a visible and comfortable space.

With all of the other aspects that go into designing a bathroom, it can be easy to forget about the importance of details like lighting, but don’t underestimate the difference that following these tips can make. Whether you’re building a home or renovating what you have, make sure that getting the right bathroom lighting is part of your to-do list.