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How to
Light Up Your Bathroom

Great bathroom lighting supports your use of the space and unites the room’s overall style. Whether you want some mood lighting  to unwind in a hot bath at the end of the day, or some bright vanity lights to get ready for the office on Monday morning, we’ve got the run-down of the best bathroom lighting ideas to brighten up your room and your day.


Determine your style: do you want your lighting to be the focal point for the room or blend seamlessly into the décor? Using white fixtures in a predominantly white room creates a clean and timeless look, while incorporating a few fixtures in bold colors creates contrast for an exciting, modern style. Channel your inner movie star and add a little sparkle with a glamorous, oversized chandelier and complete the look with foil wallpaper, metallic accents and antique-inspired accessories. For a trendy vibe that makes your bathroom feel like an exclusive spa, incorporate some LED strip lights and a dimmer control.

Right where you need it: pendant lights are a great choice for rooms with high ceilings because you can hang them right where you need a little extra light. Already have a pendant light? Refresh your look with a new shade. A frosted or white glass shade softens the light and reduces harsh shadows to creating a more relaxed feel. You can also opt for a shade with a laser-cut pattern to create an additional focal point in the room. Just be sure to look for shades that work well with the colors and patterns found around the room to maintain a sense of cohesion.

Get a good look: Positioning a wall-mounted sconce on each side of your vanity balances the light, minimizes shadows and reduces glare from the mirror, making it easier to get ready. If you lack space on either side of the vanity, you can achieve the same effect with a pair of bar lights positioned above and below the mirror instead.

Light up your life: remember to consider the placement of any sources of natural light when planning your lighting layout. Use a mix of different light sources to create a stylish, layered look, and adjust the lighting of your space according to your needs. In addition to your main ceiling light or pendant light, incorporate a few vanity lights and wall-mounted lights for extra brightness whenever you need it. The separate lighting elements let you create a relaxed, intimate environment or a fully lit space to face the day at the flip of a switch.

While your focus may be on creating a certain style, and creating the most functional space possible, do not overlook your local building codes. You may love the idea of an ornate chandelier hanging over the tub, but it may not be possible. In many areas, safety regulations state pendant lights must be a minimum of 8 feet above the tub, so it is impossible to touch the lights while you are standing in water. If you are installing lights for a shower area, purchase fixtures with enclosed wiring, rated for use in damp locations.

Whatever lighting options you consider, introducing one or more large mirrors is a great way to make a room feel bigger and brighter. The mirrors bounce the light, and create the illusion of more space, so your bathroom has an open, airy ambiance. Choose mirrors with an ornate frame for a traditional bathroom, or go for a series of smaller mirrors in an attractive arrangement to create a feature wall with a modern, gallery style.