Where Should I Place My Bathroom Lighting?

    Where Should Bathroom Lighting Be Placed?

    You need both ambient and task lighting in a bathroom. In general, you will have the following:

  • Ceiling – recessed or flush/surface mount bathroom lighting,
  • Over Commode and/or Shower – bathroom fan or fan/light combo
  • Above or around Mirror – bath bar(s) or sconces.
  • Lots of Light and ability to brighten and dim are important in bathroom lighting.


Anna Lee, The Lighting Lady, Certified Lighting Expert at Hansen Wholesale

Anna Lee Lights it Up!

By Anna Lee,
the Lighting Lady
Certified Residential Lighting Specialist
at Hansen Wholesale

The Lighting Lady is back to share with you the key to a beautifully lit bathroom. Don’t forget that a beautifully lit bathroom will help you bring out more of your beautiful self! When you light your bathroom, it’s important to do it right. That’s why Anna Lee is back to enlighten you – today, about your bathroom.

Where Should I Place My Bathroom Lights?

January 23rd, 2017

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms of the house.
It serves its “general purpose.”
It creates wars among the inhabitants.
It soothes a weary soul.
It is a tool in creating your fabulous look.

Bathroom lighting is important whether I’m taking a quick shower and need great bright lighting to be clean, quaffed, and make-upped (is that a word? If not I’m starting a trend) and out the door in 15 minutes. OR, if I need to soak in the lowly lit comfort of a steamy mama-needs-a-minute-of-zen bath, mood lighting is important. The lights you choose and their placement in your bathroom can make all the difference.

If you get anything from this tidbit of info remember this:
More Light is Better in the Bathroom.

You can always add a dimmer, but you need the option of good clean bright lighting.

Overhead Bathroom Lighting

This is pretty standard; you are either going to have recessed cans (go with LED, trust me) or a flush/surface mount fixture – you can use dimming fluorescent or LED here. Next, to keep the peace make sure you have a fan or a fan/light combo.

Bathroom Task Lighting

This is where your style and function will come through. You can:

Place a lovely bath bar (or bath bracket) over your mirror. You have your choice to install some bath bars either horizontally or vertically, you have to check the manufacturer’s specs on the fixture. Or you place sconces on either side of the mirror (only if you have ample and true color overhead lighting). Or, do both if you really need that extra boost of light. I suggest you use shielded lighting – not just bare bulbs – or you will have too much glare. Unless you want the Broadway dressing room look, in which case go for it.

Where to place your Bathroom Task Lighting

Make sure the bath bar is long enough to light up the span of the mirror, at least 36″ in length, and mounted around 78″ from the floor. If you have more than one sink, mount lights for each. Or, if you are adding side lights, they should be at least 28″ apart and centered 60″ above the floor. If you want only side lights (sconces or vertical bath bars), use the same measurements. (This is for the average human. If you have basketball genes, then you might need to go higher.)

Does bulb type matter? Yes, yes it does.

Honestly, the best bulb to use in the bathroom for best lighting is still old fashioned incandescent. However, since we can no longer use most incandescent bulbs in the US, let’s talk about other options….

There are fluorescent, halogen, and LED. Many areas have strict codes that may require you to use fluorescent in your bathroom. But don’t worry – the color in fluorescent lighting has gotten much better over the last several years. When you think flourescent, don’t think cold blue or green light, now they have “day light” and “true light.” Halogen gives great bright warmish white light, but these bulbs get very hot. Now, LED is an incredible option; they are making great strides in LED color and brightness. Generally speaking, you want a “warm” or gold toned light in your bathroom rather than a harsh blue light.

I hope this helps a bit… The bathroom is such an important part of our lives and health. Light your bathroom right. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to soak in my beautifully lit zen haven.

I hope I helped to enlighten you!

Anna Lee, the Lighting Lady
Certified Residential Lighting Specialist, Hansen Wholesale

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