5 Great Bathroom Lighting Ideas

Bathroom lighting is an important part of any home’s interior, though it is often overlooked. There are many opportunities for lighting your bathroom as there are in any other area of the house. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding bathroom lights.

How Bright Should Bathroom Lighting Be? 

It is generally believed that bathrooms should have at least 500 to 600 lumens at most in the overall ambient bathroom ceiling lights. With task lighting, no more than 700 to 800 lumens are advisable. This includes lights such as near the sink or shower and the bathroom mirror lights. Only task areas need that much light because those lights are what are used to shave, do makeup and complete other grooming tasks.

Bathroom Lighting Mistakes to Avoid

With the proper number of lumens in mind, you can start working on planning your modern bathroom lighting. Below are a few common mistakes to avoid when planning your LED Bathroom lighting:


  • Not having enough light. You may think that the only Bathroom light fixtures you may need are bathroom downlights, but that isn’t true, especially if you have a larger bathroom. Avoid this mistake by layering the lighting using multiple types of lights. Alongside your bathroom LED downlights, you should also consider adding bathroom wall lights and over mirror lights. You may also consider adding light in the shower and bath areas.


  • Not using dimmable fixtures. At night when you are getting ready for bed, having a bright, blinding light is not going to be all that comfortable for you. On the other hand, when you’re getting ready in the morning, having a lot of light is usually best. For this reason, it is a good idea to have dimmable lights that you can adjust as needed.


  • Not choosing the proper size lights. If you have a tiny bathroom, a giant hanging pendant light can make the space feel cluttered and even smaller. If you have a large bathroom, using tiny vanity lights and small pendant lights will look awkward. Pay attention to the size of the bathroom when choosing the size of the bathroom light sconces. This is true of everything from the Bathroom wall sconces to the ambient lighting.


  • Not considering the colour temperature. Having the right colour temperature in your bathroom is important. Many people choose to go with lights that have a daylight range, while others prefer a warmer, cozier light.


What Colour of Light Is Best To Use in the Bathroom? 

To elaborate a little more on colour temperature, you will need to think in degrees kelvin. Kelvin, often represented by a single “K,” is a rating that determines the colour temperature of a light. A lower kelvin number like 2,700 will give you a warmer colour temperature; a higher kelvin rating like 6,000 will provide you with cooler, clearer lighting.

Many people believe that having 3000k warm white light is the best option for bathroom lighting. It is more comfortable on the eyes, which is important both in the morning and in the evening. It is also more flattering for various skin tones, so you will look better in the mirror. Even though the light is cozy and warm, it is still bright enough to easily see by while getting ready or performing other various tasks in the room.

LED light colour temperature guide

What Is IP Rating and Why Is It Important in a Bathroom? 

Because a bathroom is exposed to plenty of water, moisture is inevitable. Whether through splashes, steam or humidity, the lights are bound to come in contact with water at some point. To ensure that the lights don’t take on damage from exposure, you’ll need lights with a proper IP rating.

IP ratings, or Ingress Protection ratings, indicate the protection that any given light has against moisture and solid objects alike. The first number in an IP rating ranges from 0 to 6 and indicates the protection offered against solid particles like dust. The second number goes from 0 to 8 and indicates the protection level against water. The higher the numbers, the more protection is offered.

The moisture protection numbers are as follows:


  • 0 – Offers no protection
  • 1 – Offers protection from drops of water falling vertically
  • 2 – Offers protection from water drops falling at an angle of 15 degrees
  • 3 – Offers protection from water such as rain at an angle of 60 degrees
  • 4 – Offers protection from projection or splashing
  • 5 – Offers protection from low pressure jets
  • 6 – Offers protection from high pressure jets
  • 7 – Offers protection from brief immersion in water
  • 8 – Offers protection from prolonged immersion in water


Generally speaking, it is best to have IP ratings that are at least IP65 for bathrooms, but other times, you can get away with an IP44 rating. It comes down to the lighting zones and what they require.

What Are Bathroom Lighting Zones? 

The bathroom lighting zones refer to different areas of the bathroom that receive different levels of exposure to water and moisture. Each zone requires a different IP rating depending on the water exposure a light will be subjected to. The zones are as follows:


  • ZONE 0. This zone is inside the shower or the bath. Any light fixtures in this area have to be rated a minimum of IP67. This allows them to be immersed without taking on damage.


  • ZONE 1. In this zone, you will find areas above the bath as high up as 2.25 meters from the floor. It requires an IP65 rating.


  • ZONE 2. This zone encompasses an area from .6 meters outside of the bath’s perimeter to a height of 2.25 meters. You will need a minimum rating of IP44.


  • ZONE 3. Finally, this zone falls outside of any of the above zones. You can usually get away with a low IP rating or no IP rating at all, but it is recommended to have some measure of protection.

Lighting zones for a bathroom

Why Use LED Bathroom Lighting?

From Bathroom LED Wall Lights to wall sconces to task lighting, there are many reasons you might choose LED lights over others.


Because these lights require less voltage to run, they tend to be more resilient to damage from steam and water. They also run at a much lower temperature than other lights like halogen, so they are not hot to the touch.


LED lighting is long lasting, meaning you will need to purchase fewer replacements than other lights. They also have no lead or mercury, making them even safer for the environment.

Long Lasting Life

These lights are often rated 20,000 hours or more, which means you will barely ever need to replace them. This will save you plenty of time and money on replacement lights while also contributing to their eco-friendly nature.

Cost Effective

Since LED lights use less energy, they require less power to operate. This will save you money on your energy bill each month, which can add up to big savings. Since you don’t have to change them out often, you will also save money on replacements.

Various Colour Temperatures

LED lights will let you choose the colour temperature you prefer for your bathroom. Other kinds of bulbs tend to only come in one colour temperature or another, leaving you feeling stuck with whatever is offered.


Below are a few LED bathroom lights to inspire you when planning your new bathroom lighting:


  1. Onyx 6 Watt Black Bathroom LED Downlight Fitting

LDC335 Onyx 5 watt black IP65 recessed LED downlight

Recessed lighting is versatile in that it can be used both for ambient and task lighting. With recessed lights, you can complete your modern bathroom lighting by incorporating minimalism into the look. Since this particular light is a neutral black colour, it won’t clash with your other bathroom decor. This makes it easy to include in any bathroom. The fixture has an IP65 rating and features a warm 3000k colour temperature with 430 lumens, so it works best when paired with other recessed lights.


  1. LWA431 6 Watt Round IP65 Bathroom Wall Light

LWA431 6 watt round IP65 bathroom wall light fitting - Halo effect on walls

When looking for lights to layer in your bathroom, the LWA431 6 Watt Round IP65 Bathroom Wall Light can help. The light has a sleek disc shape available in your choice of black or white to suit any bathroom’s colour scheme. It shines 600 lumens of 3000k warm white light back onto the wall, creating a washing effect. The artistic light has an IP65 rating.


  1. LWA339 12 Watt LED Stainless Steel Bathroom Wall Light

LWA339 12 watt LED bathroom wall light fitting

Add some glamour to your bathroom vanity area with the LWA339 12 Watt LED Stainless Steel Bathroom Wall Light. The Hollywood style light comes with four bulbs that shine a total of 960 lumens, making it ideal for task lighting above the mirror. Its 3000k warm white colour temperature makes it gentle on the eyes but still bright enough to groom by. It has an IP44 rating, so you can place it over the sink with no worries.


  1. LWA345 6 Watt Polished Chrome Bathroom Wall Light

LWA345 6 watt polished chrome vanity lights

Another smart option for task lighting is the LWA345 6 Watt Polished Chrome Bathroom Wall Light. This wall light has a sleek bar shape with rounded ends that looks beautiful in any modern bathroom. It outputs 600 lumens of warm 3000k white light that is easy to see by when performing tasks but still easy on the eyes. This light also features an IP44 rating, making it safe for use above the sink.


  1. LWA194 9 Watt Black LED Mirror Light

LWA194 Black LED mirror light

For something more modern and eye catching, you could try the LWA194 9 Watt Black LED Mirror Light for your task lighting. It features three bulbs in a cylindrical shape that adds an artistic touch to the fixture. Its black hue makes it simple to incorporate into bathrooms of any colour scheme. Thanks to its 620 lumens of warm white light, it is the perfect level of brightness for task lighting. It has an IP20 rating.


Using LED lights in your bathroom can make a huge difference. In terms of versatility, colour temperature options, eco-friendliness and general diversity, they make great choices for any bathroom. Above, we outlined some of the benefits of LED bathroom lights. We also explained lighting zones and IP ratings to help you better find the best lights for your needs.

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