Your guide to choosing bathroom lighting

When planning a bathroom remodel, it’s tempting to think about lighting as an afterthought—something you’ll get to once the vanity’s installed, the shower is finished, and the bathtub is set up. As a result of this line of thinking, many homeowners tend to rush their lighting choices, not thinking about everything fits together.

Lighting is more important than it might initially appear. After all, light influences how we see the world. That’s certainly true for our bathrooms. The right light can bring everything together and make your bathroom feel like a calming oasis in your home. The wrong lighting is harsh and overly bright, making your master bathroom feel more like a dull office building.

In this article, we’ll provide a quick beginner’s guide to your bathroom lighting choices. We’ll talk about vanity lights, ceiling lights, recessed lighting, and more. We’ll even get into some unconventional and relatively new lighting options.

Call the electricians at Wagner

You deserve to have your bathroom lighting installed right. That’s why, here in Albuquerque, you should call the experienced electricians at Wagner. Our friendly team has the tools and skills needed to install any type of wiring needed for any kind of light fixture.

Whether you already know what kinds of lights you want and where you want them, or you’re just starting to put together your plan, talk to us.

Bathroom Vanity Lighting

For obvious reasons, bathroom vanity lighting is very important. Most of us spend at least some time in front of the mirror—even if it’s just to comb our hair—and you need to be able to see yourself. Beyond that, vanity lights provide practical light for washing your hands, brushing your teeth, and more.

Your lighting needs to fit around the mirror. Your options really start there: depending on the size and shape of your mirror, you may be able to place lights around it, or you might be limited to placing lights above it. If you have two sinks with individual mirrors above them, you can fit a light sconce between them, and possibly two more flanking the mirrors on either side. If, however, you have a single mirror pane, you’ll need to buy lights that fit above the mirror.

Vanity lighting has come a long way. You don’t need to go with traditional bulbs and fixtures. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from, from contemporary mounts to classical options that direct the light down onto the mirror. Just make sure your lighting choices complement the overall style of the bathroom. If you have modern stainless steel sink basins and fixtures, you’ll need to pair it with something modern.

Of course, your choice in light fixtures is only part of the equation. Make sure you pick the right bulbs for your vanity. You want a bright light, but not one that’s too white. When you’re having Wagner install your new light fixtures, ask us about what bulbs we’d recommend for your space.

Bathroom Ceiling Lights

Compared to kitchens, bathrooms have limited square footage and wall space for most bathroom lighting fixtures. At least some of that wall space is dedicated to mirrors and a shower, which limits your lighting choices. For these spaces and others, you’ll need to install bathroom ceiling lights. In this article, we’ll discuss three popular options: recessed lights, flush-mount lights, and chandeliers.

Of all the types of bathroom ceiling light fixtures, recessed lights are probably the most popular. Unsurprisingly, these lights look just as good in your bathroom as they do in the kitchen—or, really, anywhere else in your home. Recessed lights are placed in the ceiling and give your bathroom a modern, seamless look. Many homeowners opt for recessed lights in places like their shower, where hanging light fixtures might look especially unwieldy.

Flush-mount lighting has some of the same advantages as recessed lights, without some of the installation that comes with them. Flush-mount ceiling lights with a low profile accomplish the same goal of not getting in the way of your shower or bath area. They’re not as hidden as recessed lights, but they’ll hardly stand out—and that’s the ideal you should aim for with most ceiling lights in this space.

Of course, there’s always exceptions to the rule. It’s your home, and you’re certainly free to do something unconventionally interesting with your bathroom lighting. Some homeowners install a chandelier—like one you’d find hanging in a dining room—over their bathtub. This provides the bathroom with a stately look while also providing practical, non-intense lighting for a relaxing soak.

Watch: Top Bathroom Lighting Tips

Looking for more design inspiration? Watch this video from Lamps Plus for a look at some of the latest bathroom light designs and trends:

Smart Lighting

Both vanity and ceiling lighting can be smart lighting, but we figured we’d break this off into its own category. Smart lights can be triggered by either a voice command or by movement. They’re a great option for modernizing your bathroom and making it more convenient.

One great option is smart lights with dimming features. Using dimmable smart bulbs, you can tell your bathroom to tone down the brightness with a simple voice command. We need different types of lights at different points in the day. You might benefit from full brightness while showering before work in the morning, but then want to dim the lights for a bath in the evening. Smart bulbs and switches make it all possible.

If you’re the type who frequently gets up in the middle of the night to use the restroom—no judgment!—you might want to think about installing motion-triggered light strips that run along the baseboard of your bathroom, or on the underside of bathroom cabinets. This allows you to see where you’re going without having to blind yourself by turning on the lights. Look for ones with a soft illumination—enough brightness to guide your way, but not enough to disturb your sleep for the rest of the night.

Custom your bathroom with our help

No matter what type of bathroom light fixture you’re installing, you’ll want to bring in an experienced and professional electrician to help. It’s important that all the lighting in your home is installed correctly, but the stakes are even higher in your bathroom, due to the potential presence of moisture.

If you’re remodeling your bathroom right now—or planning a remodel—contact our team at Wagner. We’d love to discuss your project with you and work out what lighting you need.