How to choose your bathroom lighting

May 04, 2022

Bathrooms and lighting are such an important partnership.

The bathroom is a high-traffic area, so your lighting should have the flexibility to adjust to the task at hand. You will usually need task light for the morning routine and, ideally, softer ambient light for winding down in the evening. Getting this wrong can often mean a bathroom with insufficient light or a missed opportunity to add a beautiful feature that will transform your space.

There is a highly technical aspect to bathroom lighting because of the need to comply with wet areas. Lighting must have an appropriate IP rating and be legally installed by an electrician, so we ALWAYS insist on guidance from your electrician. But loosely, a wet area zone is defined as over the bath/shower and within 60cm of these water sources. The diagram below highlights and defines these areas.
First, you need to decide how you will use the space. Is this where you will apply makeup at the start of the day? Take relaxing baths? Visit during the night? 

Your primary light source will generally be downlights, which brighten the entire space. But the other functional light that needs consideration is your mirror lighting. Ideally, you need a light source that will hit your face directly to ensure no shadowing. This is particularly important for the morning routine when applying makeup, shaving, etc.
Aim to position your functional lighting just above eye level or anywhere on the top half of your mirror. We love opal glass for mirror lighting; it softens and diffuses the light, reduces glare, and offers an even spread of light. Our favourite wall light for a bathroom? The Dott Wall Light. These look great as a pair or on either side of your mirror.

Adding a feature light to your bathroom can instantly upgrade your space. Not many decorative or design lead lighting products have a high IP rating. However, you can still use a feature in your bathroom to create a feeling of relaxation and to illuminate your mirror (think a hanging pendant, a decorative bulb or something with textured glass, such as the Basil or Billie). It will create a spa-like atmosphere for the bath and offer less invasive light during a night visit. 

In summary, your bathroom can have both form and function with the proper guidance.

We chose the images below to help inspire you to create a beautiful tranquil bathroom.