Let There Be Light

How to Choose the Best Lighting for your Bathroom

Double vanity with Zura single handle faucets

When designing a bathroom, we spend hours choosing our faucets, tiles and even our vanities. But there’s one transformative element that you should not overlook, and that is lighting. For anyone who has ever experienced harsh lighting at 5 am or that hot beam of light that creates far too many shadows on your face while you’re getting ready for the day, you know the difference that light can make in a space.

Double vanity using Trinsic single handle vessel faucets

Above: Trinsic® Single Handle Vessel Bathroom Faucets (Photo Credit: @sonorandesertliving) Top: Zura® Single Handle Bathroom Faucets with Touch2O.xt Technology (Photo Credit: @konceptdb)

Here’s what to consider asking yourself before you purchase a light or update the lighting in your bathroom.

What style are my bathroom finishes?

Look around and think about the finishes of your faucets, towel bars and even your shower glass frame. Choosing light fixtures that match the finishes in the space will help the space feel cohesive. Or if you want a more contemporary and bold look, don’t be afraid to mix metals and finishes.

Pivotal wall mount faucet in matte black

Pivotal™ Two-Handle Wall Mount Bathroom Faucet

Should I go for something trendy?

Finding lighting fixtures that have similar lines and designs of the existing fixtures in your bathroom is definitely the way to go. With a cohesive design aesthetic, you can then mix things up with different finishes for a modern look. So go for that gold light if you can’t get your mind off it.

Delta freestanding tub filler

Contemporary Floor Mount Tub Filler, (Photo credit: @efbdesigns)

What are the proportions of the room?

Considering room proportions is absolutely important – size matters in this case. Putting a big lighting fixture into a small space would overpower the room. On the flip side, using small lights in a big bathroom, would not only look strange, but would not provide the right lighting for the space.

Woodhurst bathroom collection

Roman Tub with Hand ShowerBathroom Faucet, and Shower from the Woodhurst™ Collection.

Should I use a dimmer?

While a bathroom may not be the first place you think of to put a dimmer light switch, it can be helpful for how you use your bathroom throughout the day i.e. brighter light in the morning to help you get energized and a low set light for a relaxing bath at the end of the day.

What’s the perfect lighting for my bathroom?

There are so many great bathroom light options for you to choose from these days. Consider installing one or more of the following:

Cassidy bathroom collection

Two Handle Widespread Bathroom Faucet, Cassidy™ TempAssure 17T Series Shower Trim, Cassidy™ Roman Tub with Hand Shower Trim

Chandeliers: They’re definitely an eye catching fixture in the room, so make sure that it is well proportioned. Popular looks are to hang them over a bathtub where it adds that little something extra to the empty space above it.

Ara open spout channel faucet

Ara® Single Handle Channel Bathroom Faucet

Pendant lights: Perfect for bathrooms with high ceilings, not only do they let you add a bit of style and personality to your bathroom, they help to bring the light closer to your level.

Trinsic matte black bathroom

Trinsic® Single Handle Wall Mount Bathroom Faucets, Contemporary Floor Mount Tub Filler Trim

Wall sconces and other accent lights: Often found above or to the sides of bathroom mirrors or cabinets above the vanity, they’re the most helpful for daily grooming such as applying cosmetics and shaving.

Ara shower

Ara® H2Okinetic® Shower, H2Okinetic® Slide Bar Hand Shower, Ara® Diverter Trim, Ara® Roman Tub with Hand Shower Trim

LED and flush mounted ceiling fixtures: These lights are great for low ceilings, and brighten up a room immensely.

Tesla bathroom collection

Tesla® Two Handle Centerset Bathroom Faucets, Tesla® Monitor® 14 Series H2Okinetic® Tub and Shower

How can I properly measure my bathroom to ensure my lights work in the space?

Several things to measure include:

  • The width of your vanity mirror. If you plan to install lights above your mirror, the width of your light fixture should be about ⅓ the width of your mirror, but do not exceed the total width.
  • For those who have a double sink vanity, choosing two separate overheard light fixtures is a better solution than one long one.
  • If you want or need to install scones on the walls at the sides of a single vanity mirror, the space around the mirror needs to be measured as well.

Is there anything I should bring to the store when going to purchase lights for my bathroom?

Make sure to have photos of your bathroom along with fixtures and vanity if possible. As well, come with ideas and photos of bathroom lighting fixtures that you have found online that you’d like to see in person. It is helpful to refer to them as you shop and allow you to visualize them in your space.

It is also helpful to have these to show the customer service representatives, who often deal with a higher volume of design questions on a daily basis. They may be able to point you the in direction of specific lights and brands that would work for your bathroom.


We have a useful bathroom measurement guide available to help you with your planning. And for more bathroom decor inspiration and beautiful ideas, browse through our Inspired Living Blog!