Ask An Expert, Ideas + Inspiration

Ask An Expert: What Type of Lighting is Best for the Bath?

Q. My bathroom lighting is outdated and too dim for my space. I’m ready to update. How do I figure out what type of lighting is best for my bathroom?

A. The status of bathrooms has changed over time, and they are no longer just a small white space designed for a quick wash. We all spend more time in the bathroom and, correspondingly, more money on achieving a quality finish. It’s well worth investing the same degree of planning and quality in the lighting, as it can bring the room to life and make it an enriching, positive space.

There are different types of bathroom lighting available to choose from, including many different functions and styles. When deciding on the light fitting from a functional perspective, there are three main categories to choose from–general, task and mood lighting.

General Lighting

Mashiko Round Ceiling Light from Astro Lighting

Provides an overall level of illumination to the room. Some of the different options available are:

  • A ceiling light placed in the center of the room. It is an easy solution for illuminating the entire space, but will not create any real level of mood or interest.
  • Surface mounted spotlights. They should be considered if you want to keep to a central ceiling solution. For example, a triple spotlight can be individually directed onto three different points in the room to provide pools of light where you need it and create a more interesting lighting scene.
  • Downlights, as an alternative to one central ceiling light. Position them close to the edges of the room to create an attractive scalloped wash down the wall. This approach provides very good general lighting, but with a softer ambiance.

Task Lighting

Domino LED Bath Light from Astro Lighting

Should be considered to assist typical bathroom tasks, such as brushing your teeth or applying make-up. Examples include:

  • Wall Lights installed on either side of a bathroom mirror. These effectively illuminate both sides of the face to ensure an even, flattering glow with no shadows. Wall lights mounted directly onto the surface of the mirror using a mirror-mounting kit enables you to fit a mirror cut to exactly the size that best fits the space.
  • Illuminated mirrors, which provide a simple two-in-one solution, combining a mirror with lighting. A magnifying mirror is an example of an illuminated mirror, which is an invaluable aid for shaving and other personal grooming.
Imola LED Mirror from Astro Lighting

Mood Lighting

Can add an element of creativity to the bathroom lighting scheme. Consider some of the following:

  • Built-in niches for display or storage can be brought to life with LED downlights.
  • Recessed LEDs can be installed at skirting height to provide a wash of light across the floor.
  • Small wall-mounted LED lights can be used to illuminate designated spots in the bathroom and provide light up and down the wall. These can offer a gentle illumination at night, rather than a powerful lamp, which would be too strong.
Orpheus LED Downlight Wall Sconce from Astro Lighting

All of the above types of lighting are available in a huge variety of styles and finishes–from classic polished chrome to contemporary matte black, and so you are sure to find a fitting that complements your bathroom design scheme. For more bathroom lighting inspiration, take a look at the Astro Lighting bathroom lighting collection.

Astro Lighting

Astro Lighting

At Astro, we believe elegance and simplicity of design go hand in hand, and that lighting is as much about form, as function. Founders John Fearon and James Bassant came together to create Astro with a shared commitment to British lighting design and a passion for quality and precision.

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