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Bathroom Lighting

Browse a large variety of bathroom lighting fixtures for your home when you shop from our catalog of light fixtures. Our selection includes recessed lights for the shower or tub, nightlights, and more. You can also choose from LED bathroom lighting, fluorescent fixtures, and other options.

Bathroom Lighting FAQs and Tips

Q) Why is bathroom lighting important?
A) Proper lighting is necessary for adding excitement and character to your bathroom. Excellent lighting with LED vanity lights or other fixtures in your bathroom adds depth and enhances the overall mood. Proper lighting will also bring out the dramatic colors in your bathroom when you choose the best bathroom fluorescent lighting fixtures or LED lights.
Q) How do I provide general lighting in my bathroom?
A) We recommend that general lighting in a bathroom, the level of brightness adequate to perform activities in a space, should normally be provided by some type of incandescent, xenon, or halogen lighting since these types of light sources provide excellent color rendering and can easily be dimmed. They are also available in recessed bathroom lighting or non-recessed fixtures.
Q) Do I need any lighting in my bathroom other than general lighting?
A) Yes. To properly and effectively light your bathroom you should use three basic types of lighting: general lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. A good lighting plan combines all three based on the function and style of the room and provides “layers of light.” You can install all three with a combination of recessed lighting in bathroom fixtures as well as non-recessed fluorescent or LED bathroom light fixtures.
Q) How does task lighting enhance my bathroom?
A) In your bathroom, task lighting is critical, especially around the mirrors where neodymium lights and bathroom fluorescent lighting provides illumination needed for detail-oriented tasks. Task lighting can assist in performing specific tasks, such as applying makeup, shaving, dressing a wound, or performing a manicure. We recommend using neodymium light bulbs for these applications because they provide light that very closely simulates sunlight.
Q) How does accent lighting enhance my bathroom?
A) Accent lighting can add drama to your bathroom by creating visual interest. Well-placed accent lighting in the bathroom can spotlight particular objects that are attractive or interesting such as wall hangings or other art objects. Fluorescent bathroom light fixtures can be appropriate for these uses as well.
Q) How does indirect lighting enhance my bathroom?
A) Indirect lighting provides soft, appealing, glare-free illumination that improves the mood in a space. Coves, soffits, and other concealed locations can be used with low profile xenon light sources or T5 or T8 fluorescent strip fixtures and bathroom recessed lighting options to provide pleasant and effective indirect lighting.
Q) Should I use fluorescent lighting in my bathroom?
A) In bathrooms, fluorescent lighting should only be used if it has a very high color rendering index (85 or even higher) and if it has a low color temperature (3200K or lower). Such lighting is good for all types of light fixtures, vanity fixtures included.
Q) Should I use recessed downlights for vanity lighting?
A) Recessed downlights should not be used to light your face while standing in front of a mirror because the light from these fixtures will cause harsh shadows on your face. Use special fluorescent, halogen, or LED vanity lights instead. Recessed lighting, however, can be used in other parts of the bathroom for general bathroom illumination.
Q) What type of light fixtures should I use for vanity lighting?
A) Instead of recessed downlights, use wall-mounted vanity light fixtures attached either horizontally above the mirror or vertically on both sides of the mirror. To minimize shadows on your face, the two vanity fixtures should be located about 5.5 feet above the floor and about 1.5 feet on either side of the sink. LED bathroom lighting is a good option for these fixtures, and so is bathroom fluorescent lighting, provided that the bulbs mimic sunlight well.
Q) If I am installing recessed bathroom lighting, is there any particular type I should use to protect against condensation?
A) Yes. Make sure to use a shower trim with any recessed lights you install in the bathroom. This will prevent moisture from entering and damaging the light fixture in your bathroom recessed lighting. If you are buying an LED retrofit recessed lighting module (where you can't purchase a trim separately), make sure the retrofit module is “wet location approved.” For more information on recessed bathroom lighting, see our recessed shower light page.
Q) How can I use wall washing effectively in my bathroom?
A) Wall washers, or special recessed downlights in the ceiling that direct light down uniformly over most of the height of the wall, minimize the apparent texture of the wall surface and eliminate light “scallops” and their alternating shadows that are associated with standard downlights and normal recessed lighting bathroom options. Place wall washers no more than 36 inches apart. For the smoothest lighting effect, keep them 24 inches from the wall and 24 inches apart. Try to avoid placing wall washers near doors where they can glare into the eyes of people entering the bathroom.
Q) How can I use wall grazing effectively in my bathroom?
A)Wall grazing provides dramatic illumination by lighting polished surfaces, such as marble, without distracting reflections and revealing textures of special materials, such as the brick and stone. Generally speaking, wall grazing is uneven, bright, and scalloped at the top of the wall. To create the most dramatic effects, try using PAR halogen lamps in small aperture downlights, with the downlights located no more than 12 inches from the wall and separated by the same distance. For less dramatic effects, fluorescent bathroom light fixtures are appropriate.
Q) Why do I need a dimming system in my bathroom?
A) A dimming system is essential for creating a versatile lighting plan in your bathroom. Dimmers not only conserve energy and increase lamp life, but they allow you to vary the mood of the bathroom and adjust the level of light to suit different activities. In your bathroom, a dimmer might be used to create a cozy night light out of an otherwise bright lighting system made up of LED bathroom light fixtures.
Q) What type of lamps should I use in my bathroom?
A) Low voltage halogen or xenon lighting will produce crisp, white light with excellent color rendering capabilities. Low voltage halogen lamps will make crystal, cut glass, polished surfaces, and jewelry sparkle. If you choose low voltage MR16 halogen lighting, we recommend SoLux® MR16 lamps because they provide “the closest thing to natural daylight.” These lamps can be used for a variety of recessed lighting in bathroom applications.
More Bathroom Lighting Tips
We have compiled some of our related articles and blog posts to help you choose your new bathroom light fixtures

Shower Recessed Lighting Trims
LED Night Lights
Occupancy and Vacancy Sensors
Recessed Lighting
Cabinet Lighting
Ceiling Lighting
Indirect Lighting
Wall Sconces
Light Bulbs

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