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Bathroom Lighting Guide

For some people, buying bathroom lighting is not a straightforward process. There are things to know about lighting temperature, what the zones are in the bathroom to avoid a huge problem and whether you should go for cool or warm lighting in your bathroom. Looking at the right bathroom lighting tips can help you to make the right decision on your bathroom lighting!

The most fundamental piece of information that you should know is that electricity and water do not mix. They are not the best of friends and buying bathroom lighting gets complicated when you remember that you can’t just put any old lightbulb into different fixtures in the room.

Buying bathroom lightbulbs is hard because of the safety regulations when it comes to electrics in the bathroom, so this isn’t an easy DIY project. You will need to bring in an experienced electrician for this job, to keep your household safe.

Let’s check out some of the best bathroom lighting tips that you need for your bathroom renovation, from ceiling lights to under-cabinet lights!

What Lighting is Best for Bathrooms?

The lighting that you choose for your bathroom has to be carefully thought out. The vanity area, the shower area and the bathroom itself all require different choices in your lighting. The overall design of the space needs to continue to feel stylish, too, so it’s a delicate balance!

You need white light for the areas in the bathroom where you have tasks to complete, such as makeup vanity spaces and around mirrors. This light needs to cast as few shadows as possible. In the shower areas of the bathroom, you want ambience to be able to relax. Dimmer switches can be an excellent idea for the bathroom, too. Here are some handy bathroom lighting tips:

Ceiling lights

The overall room lighting should be ambient and warm as the light is forced downward onto the top of your head and other surfaces.

Wall lights or sconces

Eye-level lights like these around the vanity are important for applying makeup and using cream and makeup removers on your face. Usually, eye-level lighting doesn't cast shadows!

Chandelier lights

These aren’t a necessity in the bathroom, unless you want a dramatic decor option.

Windows or skylights

If you are able to invite natural light into the bathroom, you absolutely should do it. It’s the best and most accurate type of light for your space as it’s completely natural. You won’t need to turn the lights on nearly as much in the daytime.

What Light Temperature is Best for Bathrooms?

When we talk about temperature for a bathroom, we don't mean hot or cold. We mean the brightness of the colour. Colour temperature is measured in K i-e Kelvin. Neutral white lights in your bathroom is around 4000K, with the ambient warm lights being at 2700K.

Warm lights in a bathroom hide the smaller details of any flaws, whereas a cool bathroom light will show up all the mistakes and issues. Cooler spotlights is great for working out what we look like in the daylight, whereas warm light is best to relax with.

We usually use ambient and task lights in the bathroom, with ambient lights usually used for general lighting and task lights used to see what you need to see (usually fixed by a mirror). It can help to have a balance.

How Bright Should Bathroom Lighting Be?

If you spend time looking at yourself in the mirror to fix your makeup, you should choose to go with cooler light LEDs with a colour temperature of upwards of 6500K. You can use strip or halogen bulbs that can replicate the brightness you need. Warmer lights won’t show up the flaws on your face, which is nice but not helpful when doing makeup.

Think about how you want your bathroom to look. The brighter the bulbs, the brighter the paint on the walls. If you have warm paint colours, choose warm lighting, and the same is true for cooler colours.

Do Bathrooms Need Special Lights?

A resounding YES to this one! Bathrooms are places of water splashes and possible issues. Lighting should be as safe as possible, which is why you need to have safe lights according to the zones in your bathroom. Bathrooms are divided into areas where the lights are given IP (Ingress Protection) numbers. The first number explains how well protected against dust and other particles the lights are from 0 to 9, and the second is that of the degree of protection from water, from 0 to 8.

Choose the lighting that is the best protected from dust and water, and you’ll be choosing correctly.

Your bathroom lighting has to be safe, the right brightness and offers you exactly what you need.