Great Ideas For Modern Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom wall lights, bathroom downlights and bathroom mirror lights all play an important role in the layering of bathroom lighting. A well-lit bathroom cannot only make using the space simpler, but it can also enhance its appearance. Read on to learn more about modern bathroom lighting.


Why Do You Need Good Lighting in the Bathroom?

Modern bathroom light fixtures play an important role in the look and feel of your bathroom. Many people tend to overlook the importance of them, thinking that lighting a bathroom isn’t as important as lighting the rest of the house.

In reality, you likely spend far more time in the bathroom than you realize between hygiene, grooming and getting ready for the day ahead. Proper bathroom lighting can make all of the above tasks easier to complete. Add a modern bathroom vanity light and you even have somewhere dedicated to perform your skincare routine, apply or remove makeup or maintain your beard.

Proper bathroom lighting is also important in terms of safety. Due to the wet nature of bathrooms, people are more prone to getting into accidents there. Help avoid this by making sure the bathroom is well lit by choosing modern bathroom light fixtures to ensure that every inch of the space is easily visible.


What Is Vanity Lighting and How To Get It Right?

In general, modern vanity lighting plays a main role in contemporary bathroom lighting. This type of lighting is light that illuminates the mirror area, often mounted above or to the side of the mirror.

This type of lighting is beneficial for tasks such as:


  • Applying and removing makeup
  • Dental hygiene
  • First aid
  • Going through skincare routines
  • Inserting and removing contact lenses
  • Reading fine print on products and medicine bottles
  • Shaving

The problem with vanity lighting is that oftentimes, it isn’t placed in the right area. This can cause shadows to be cast on your face, making tasks involving it more difficult.


Placement of Vanity Lights


  • OVER THE MIRROR – This is the traditional location for adding vanity lights. It offers total illumination for various tasks and tends to be the only option when it comes to modern small bathroom lighting.

Because the average vanity is about 36 inches tall, it is recommended you centre the lights about 40 inches above the top of the vanity.

  • ON THE SIDES OF THE MIRROR – Placing a sconce on each side of the mirror will further eliminate the risk of shadows. Double vanities that have two mirrors can benefit from a wall light on either side and one above it. They should be placed between 65 and 70 inches from the floor.

When it comes to the illumination produced by modern bathroom sconces near the vanity, it is best if you opt for LED light. This will allow you to choose both the brightness and the colour temperature of the light to ensure it looks and performs its best.

Modern bathroom vanity with LED lighting over the basins

What Options Are There for Bathroom Ceiling Lighting?

Modern bathroom ceiling light fixtures provide the main ambient lighting in your bathroom. In an ultra modern bathroom, there are a few different options to choose from.


  • RECESSED LIGHTS – Modern bathroom lights UK style often include lights that are recessed into the ceiling. These lights sit flush with the ceiling itself and provide a minimalistic look.
  • SURFACE MOUNTED LIGHTING – For those whose ceilings aren’t equipped with the right depth for recessed lights, surface mounted lights are a good option. Using surface mounted bathroom lighting ideas, UK homes without deep ceilings can still enjoy the beauty and benefits of downlights.
  • PENDANT LIGHTING – A pendant light hangs down from the ceiling with the light source located at the bottom, thus giving it its name. This type of lighting adds elegance and style to your room and is a good way to improve upon the overall aesthetic.

Clustering pendant lights can give the bathroom an even more modern look while enhancing its overall artistic aesthetic.


  • FINISHES – Any of the above lighting styles can make your bathroom feel personalised by choosing the correct finish. Metallic, rattan and wooden finishes are among the most popular, giving you plenty of options for decorating the bathroom with light.
  • OVER THE SHOWER – You can install a modern bathroom ceiling light directly over the bath or shower to provide ample lighting while bathing.


How To Use Wall Lights in a Bathroom?

When it comes to bathroom light, modern wall sconces are another way to add layered lighting. They have many uses in the bathroom, including:


  • As a way to highlight special features of the bathroom, such as architecture or art
  • In dark corners that ambient light struggles to reach
  • On either side of a bathtub
  • On either side of a vanity
  • Uplighters along walls to shine upward in smaller bathrooms


Can You Use Any Lights in the Bathroom?

While you can indeed use any kind of light in a bathroom, there are special things to consider before choosing yours. Since a bathroom is a wet location, you will need lights that won’t be damaged by the moisture levels. This is where IP ratings come in.

IP ratings, or Ingress Protection ratings, are there to tell you how well protected a light is from moisture and solid debris. Moisture is indicated by the second digit, while solid matter is indicated by the first.


First Digit – Solids


0  –  Not protected from solid objects

1  –  Protected from objects that are larger in size than 50mm

2  –  Protected from objects that are larger in size than 12mm

3  –  Protected from objects that are larger in size than 2.5mm

4  –  Protected from objects that are larger in size than 1mm

5  –  Protected from most entry of dust

6  –  Dust tight; allows no dust to enter


Second Digit – Moisture


0  –  Not Protected from moisture

1  –  Protected from water that drips vertically

2  –  Protected from water that drips up to a 15-degree angle

3  –  Protected from water that sprays up to a 60-degree angle

4  –  Protected from water that sprays from any and all direction

5  –  Protected from jets of water

6  –  Protected from powerful jets of water

7  –  Protected when immersed  up to 1 meter

8  –  Protected when immersed continuously deeper than 1 meter


Bathrooms have lighting zones that each need different IP requirements. They are as follows:


  • Zone 0 – In this area you’ll find the bath or shower itself. Lights in this area receive the most water exposure, so their rating should be around IP67.
  • Zone 1 – This zone is the area right above the bath or shower. A minimum IP rating of IP65 is needed here.
  • Zone 2 – This area extends 0.6 meters outside of the shower or bath and needs an IP44 rating.
  • Zone 3 – Zone 3 encompasses any area not covered above. Though there is no specific requirement for IP ratings here, it is recommended that you use a minimum of IP20 in this zone.

Lighting zones for a bathroom

What LED Colour Is Best to Use in a Bathroom?

LED colour temperature refers to a cool or warm light. It is indicated by units Kelvin on a scale that runs from 1,000 to 10,000. At the bottom of the spectrum are the warm lights, while the cooler lights sit at the top.

Different environments call for different colour temperatures, and this includes bathrooms. For a bathroom, it is recommended that you use lights between 2,700k and 3,300k. This will provide bright white lighting to easily complete tasks while still being warm enough not to hurt your eyes.

LED light colour temperature guide

What Colour Schemes Are Best for a Modern Bathroom?

Alongside various bathroom lighting ideas, you can also consider the colour you want the bathroom itself to be. This is especially important for smaller bathrooms that you want to make seem brighter.


  • Taupe for a neutral colour scheme that still provides warmth
  • Soft gray for a neutral bathroom that has a modern edge
  • Charcoal for modern bathrooms that need dramatic flair
  • Light blue for contemporary bathrooms that need a bit of brightening
  • Light green for bathrooms you want to have a calming, natural feel
  • Brown shades for a bathroom with natural, earthy hues
  • Black and copper hues for an industrial modern bathroom
  • Light pink for a whimsical and light-hearted bathroom
  • Vibrant yellow and teal for an artistic and fashion-forward look


Interesting Modern Bathroom Lighting Ideas

Below are a few modern bathroom lighting ideas to inspire you:


  • ADD A CHANDELIER ABOVE THE BATHTUB – This will enhance the elegant notes in your bathroom and make it feel like a modern luxury hotel.
  • INDIRECT LIGHTING – Choosing backlit mirrors, cabinets and tubs can create a modern resort-like feel in the bathroom.
  • LOW LEVEL LIGHTING – By adding plinth lighting to cabinets and other forms of low level lighting, you can create a bright and welcoming space that brings illumination from the top down.
  • WALL WASHING LIGHTS – Opt for wall sconces with a washing detail to add artistic detail to your space. These lights shine illumination back onto the wall, offering beautiful indirect lighting.
  • SUBMERGED LIGHTING – Make your bath time feel luxurious when you have recessed lights installed in the tub itself.


What Lighting Can You Use in the Shower Area of a Bathroom?

As mentioned, lighting over the shower will require an IP67 rating to ensure that it does not take on water damage. Any lights that are properly rated will work well in this space. Many people prefer to use recessed lighting instead of surface mounted lighting here. This is because it not only gives a sleeker look, but you won’t have to worry about hitting your head on a pendant light.


Modern Bathroom Lights Ideas


  1. Onyx 6 Watt Black Bathroom LED Downlight Fitting

LDC335 6 Watt black recessed downlight bathroom light fittings

The Onyx 6 Watt Black Bathroom LED Downlight Fitting is particularly well suited for placement near the shower and bath area. It features a low profile that works well in modern bathrooms as well as a black finish that suits the decor styles of any bathroom. This light outputs 430 lumens of 3000k warm white light and has a tilting gimbal that gives you control over its 38-degree beam angle.


  1. LWA431 6 Watt Round IP65 Bathroom Wall Light

LWA431 6 watt round hotel bathroom lights

Enhance the overall aesthetic of your bathroom with the LWA431 6 Watt Round IP65 Bathroom Wall Light. Available in your choice of black or white finishes, this wall light features a rimless, smooth, circular design. From behind it shines 600 lumens of 3000k warm white light that washes back onto the wall through its acrylic diffuser. Its IP65 rating makes it safe for placement anywhere in the bathroom.


  1. LWA337 6 Watt LED Stainless Steel Bathroom Wall Light

LWA337 6 watt stainless steel bathroom light fixtures

Perfect for your vanity, the LWA337 6 Watt LED Stainless Steel Bathroom Wall Light is a gentle wall sconce that takes inspiration from Old Hollywood styles with its round bulbs. The bulbs attach to an oblong metal backplate fashioned out of stainless steel. This light generates 480 lumens of 3000k warm white light and is protected by an IP44 rating.


  1. LBL272 5 Watt LED Globe Bathroom Ceiling Light

LBL272 black outside porch lights

The LBL272 5 Watt LED Globe Bathroom Ceiling Light adds a softer touch to your bathroom with its bulbous shape and opal acrylic diffuser mounted on a black base. From behind the diffuser, 430 lumens of 3000k warm white light are shone. It has an IP65 rating, making it ideal for placement on the ceiling anywhere in the bathroom.


  1. LWA339 12 Watt LED Stainless Steel Bathroom Wall Light

LWA339 12 watt bathroom wall light bathroon light fittings

Sleek and modern with hints of vintage inspiration, the LWA339 12 Watt LED Stainless Steel Bathroom Wall Light makes a great addition to your vanity. Install it over the mirror and enjoy  960 lumens of 3000k warm white light by which to get ready for your day. It features a stainless steel backplate hosting opal acrylic shades over the bulbs and boasts an IP44 rating.


  1. LWA193 6 Watt Black LED Mirror Light

LWA193 6 watt black dressing room mirror lights

Update the look of your vanity with the LWA193 6 Watt Black LED Mirror Light. This mirror light features a short rectangular backplate hosting a long bar that offers two light heads attached to it. The black fixture features frosted acrylic shades holding lights that shine a total of 240 lumens of light. Its IP20 rating makes it ideal for vanities.

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