Bathroom Lighting Tips


Bathroom with ambient lighting fixturesYour choice of lighting can significantly enhance the functionality of your bathroom – as well as the overall look and feel. With so many different types of lighting to choose from, there’s plenty of scope to create a tailored solution that adds the right amount of brightness, personality and ambience to your bathroom.

As leading providers of bathroom fitting services in the Nottingham area, at KNB we take care of every aspect of design and installation – right down to the last detail. This includes providing state of the art lighting that complements your dream bathroom and meets your needs and expectations.

Best Bathroom Lighting Solutions

There are three main types of bathroom lighting; task, accent and ambient. In most bathrooms, choosing bright, guiding lights is highly recommended for making the space as functional as possible for a wide range of needs, such as applying make-up and shaving. However, decorative and accent lighting solutions are just as valuable for injecting a bit of personality into your bathroom, and for creating ambience.

Choosing a variety of lighting sources gives you the flexibility to achieve the specific illumination you desire.

Task Lighting

Bathrooms of all sizes require efficient task lighting, but it’s particularly important when there’s a lack of natural light. Spotlights are great for providing bright, directional lighting. These can be surface-mounted or recessed and fitted into ceilings, walls and floors. Flush lights and semi-flush lights can also be used for task lighting.

When it comes to choosing task lighting, positioning is key. Most people opt for spotlights around the vanity area to add instant brightness. You’ll also need to decide on a suitable wattage for your task lighting. Typically, 75 to 100 watts is a good source of illumination for large bathrooms, while small bathrooms will benefit from 45 watt task lighting.

Task lighting in large modern bathroom suiteAccent Lighting

Accent lighting highlights particular features in your bathroom, allowing you to show off pictures, ornaments, intricate tilework or a luxurious bath tub. Recessed directional lights are best for focused illumination and for adding a layer of personality to your bathroom.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is the base layer that fills the overall space and acts a substitute for natural light. It is usually installed in the form of a central fixture, such as a chandelieror cove lighting (rope lights hidden behind a moulding that hangs a few inches below ceiling height). These fixtures disperse a soft glow around the room. More modern ambient lighting designs include LED light strips which help to create a more romantic, calming and relaxing atmosphere.

Bathroom Lighting Fixtures

Lighting fixtures can form an important part of a bathroom design scheme, so it’s worthwhile spending some time deciding on how you’d like them to look. Built in lights are great for contemporary bathroom schemes, whilst ornate wall fixtures will help to enhance the look and feel of a traditional bathroom. You can also have lighting fixtures installed in medicine cabinets or tucked away behind your mirror to add to the atmosphere.

Bathroom Lighting Tips

Avoid task lighting above the mirror

Bright lighting placed directly above the mirror will cast a strong light on your forehead and cause dark shadows to appear under your facial features. This can make grooming and applying make-up very difficult.It’s far more flatteringwhen the face is lit from either side, so if you can, place lighting fixtures around the mirror rather than above. Make sure you mount lighting fixtures as close to your face as possible to provide maximum illumination.

Install a dimmer switch

A dimmer is a great idea if you want to smoothly transition between task and ambient lighting in your bathroom. Don’t forget, it’s not safe to have wall mounted switches in bathrooms, so a dimmer will have to be fitted on the outside wall.

Divide your bathroom into zones

By organising your bathroom into different zones – based on the different functions – you will be better able to pinpoint what lighting will be best where. For example, for the mirror, brighter, task lighting will be needed to ensure optimum visibility, whereas above the bath you will be better off choosing warm, ambient lighting that’s of lower intensity and helps you to relax.

At KNB we offer a bathroom design and fitting service that includes a range of extras – including electrics. To find out more about our services and how we can help you design your perfect bathroom, take a look at our Fitted Bathrooms page.

Large white bathroom with task lighting