5 Types of Lighting Every Primary Bathroom Needs
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5 Types of Lighting Every Primary Bathroom Needs

Here's your checklist for that perfect bathroom lighting

Good lighting is a plus for any space, but in the bathroom, it’s crucial. 

Not only is the right lighting essential for getting ready in the morning, but it can completely change the look and feel of your space and allow you to create an area that enhances your everyday routines.  

Finding information about lighting can be tricky, but even more so for small, task-oriented spaces like the bathroom. Not to mention the endless options for light fixtures that can make making a decision even more difficult. In this post, we’re breaking down our checklist for four types of lighting we aim to incorporate in every bathroom space we design.  

Whether you’re remodeling your primary bathroom or building from the ground up and looking for some inspiration, here’s your checklist for four types of lighting you should aim for: 

From our AZ Homestead Project

No. 1: Task lighting  

Placing task lights directly above or to the sides of your mirror is essential for having great lighting while you get ready for the day. In smaller bathroom areas, we rely on lighting directly above the mirror. However, if we have enough space, we prefer placing sconces on either side of the mirror to achieve even more flattering light. Either way, task lighting is a must-have for every bathroom! 

5 Types of Lighting Every Primary Bathroom Needs
5 Types of Lighting Every Primary Bathroom Needs

All spaces from our AZ Homestead Project

Flattering sconce favorites

More sconce lighting we love
Venini Sconce
Elkins Double Sconce
Wolcott Sconce
Bryant Sconce
Calliope Bath Light
French Cuff Sconce
Robert Double Vanity Light
Bistro Double Sconce

No. 2: Natural lighting  

Although bathrooms aren’t typically seen as priority spaces for natural lighting, there’s nothing that brings a primary bath to life more than windows. We love placing windows behind a bathtub to allow backlighting from the mirror, but we will add them in showers and smaller bathrooms where we can, too! 

If you have a window in your bathroom already, take advantage of it! In one of our recent remodels for our Netflix projects on “Dream Home Makeover,” our clients had so much natural light blocked by dark window treatments. One of the first things we did was switch the wooden shutters out for light Roman shades, and it made all the difference.  

5 Types of Lighting Every Primary Bathroom Needs
5 Types of Lighting Every Primary Bathroom Needs

A beautiful bathroom transformation from our Open & Bright Netflix Project

When considering window treatments for your bathroom space, opt for pieces like privacy-lined roman shades that you can pull up rather than frosted glass or shutters to make the most of that natural light.

From The McGee Home

No. 3: Overhead lighting 

Balancing task lighting with some overhead lighting is key, especially in a larger bathroom. Overhead lighting can be achieved with recessed lights or a flush-mount fixture for a more decorative look. Regardless of how you incorporate your overhead lighting, just make sure that it is adequate for the amount of space you have. 

From The McGee Home

From our Northridge Remodel

From our Mountainside Retreat Project

Overhead lighting heroes

Pretty flush mounts for distributed light.
Explore more
Danica Flush Mount
Randolph Flush Mount
Nodes Flush Mount
Lettie Flush Mount
Milton Road Flush Mount
Edmond Flush Mount

No. 4: Shower lighting 

It’s easy to forget about lighting in your shower. If you don’t have a window or enough natural light peering into your shower space, wet-rated recessed lights will keep your shower from feeling dark and enclosed. 

From our Mountainside Retreat Project

5 Types of Lighting Every Primary Bathroom Needs

From our SM Ranch House

5 Types of Lighting Every Primary Bathroom Needs

From our Northridge Remodel

No. 5: Statement lighting 

If you’re looking to take your bathroom design to the next level, incorporating statement lighting is a great way to draw the eye in. We love centering a focal point of a free-standing tub by hanging a chandelier or installing a flush mount above the bathtub (just make sure to check with your electrician on the codes is in your area!). If you don’t have a bathtub, you can center a cool pendant in your space or even mount a sconce directly above the mirror; the options are endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative!  

From our AZ Homestead Project

From our Home on The Ranch 

Statement lighting we love

A focal point in the making
Shop more statement lighting pieces
Cornice Large Hanging Lantern
Morris Lantern
Perfect Pleat Hanging Shade
Simple Banded Hanging Shade
Dalston Hanging Shade
Show Comments
Studio McGee
  1. Love all these ideas buuutttt. Would love to know how to cover an ugly ventilation fan/light in my windowless bathroom!

  2. Great post! Can we please get a post about light bulb colors and how to achieve that bright airy look if a bathroom has no windows?

  3. Hi! I’m wondering what the sources are for the sconces in your Promontory project bathroom and the Feasby & Bleaks designed bathroom. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi! THe Promontory bathroom has a designer trade-only sconce from Circa Lighting and we’re not sure the sourcing for other designers work but you could check their site 🙂

  4. All of these lighting solutions and bathrooms look beautiful. What do you recommend for a bathroom that only has lighting above the mirror (no natural light or above the shower), making the shower area a bit dark?

  5. Hey, would you mind letting me know which web host you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at an honest price? Thank you, I appreciate it!

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