Lighting Tips for Your Bathroom

CU of chandelier wall sconce

Lighting is one of the essential elements in any room, particularly in a bathroom. Lighting designers always recommend a layered approach to maximize ambiance and functionality.

A layered approach means incorporating a combination of lighting options that include:

  1. ambient lighting such as chandeliers, pendants, or flush mounts
  2. task lighting, excellent for applying makeup or shaving
  3. accent lighting, designed to highlight the bathroom’s features and decor.

Here are some lighting tips for your bathroom.


Ambient Lighting

Ambient or “mood” lighting provides a comfortable and even level of light to a space, typically using colour, temperature, and brightness. The most common ambient lighting sources are ceiling lights, wall-mounted fixtures, and recessed spotlights. However, ambient lighting can also be incorporated under shelving, a countertop, or cabinets for a unique look.

A pendant light fixture works beautifully to create ambient lighting in this powder room from our Kingsway reno project.


Our Chapel Park bathroom reno project used recessed spotlights in the shower area and overhead vanity lighting.


For more inspiration on your next bathroom renovation, check out:

Essential Bathroom Tips, Part 1

Essential Bathroom Tips, Part 2

5 Unique Tips to Create the Ultimate Home Spa


Task Lighting

Task lighting is just that – it is a bright directional light that ensures you have sufficient light to do tasks, like applying makeup or shaving, and it typically is near the vanity and mirror area of the bathroom. Wall sconces on either side of a mirror, vanity lights, and track lighting are good examples of task lighting.

Look at mirrored cabinets with integrated lighting as a simple but effective solution in compact areas.

Vertical wall sconces on either side of the mirror were used in this art-deco-inspired bathroom from our Castlefield reno project.


Vanity lighting, recessed lights, natural light, and mirrored tiles provide maximum lighting options at our Melrose reno project.


Accent Lighting

Accent lighting differs from other types of lighting in that its primary goal is to provide a focal point, highlighting a bathroom’s architectural feature or perhaps a piece of artwork. The result adds beauty and drama to a space.

Chandelier wall sconces on dimmers provide drama and elegance to the Rankin Crescent reno project.


Additional things to Remember

In the Fulton Avenue reno project, we took advantage of the skylight.


Layers of light on separate circuits and dimmers will allow you to adjust between bright light for tasks and gentler levels for a relaxed ambiance. When introducing new lighting, always work with a licensed electrical contracting business.

Also, pre-programmed settings are possible with the latest smart lighting controls. Wireless lighting controls are also available, which are installed without cables and may regulate lights, thermostats, security, music, and so much more.

And finally, remember to utilize as much natural light as possible in any room, and a bathroom is no exception. Some experts suggest the best location for a bathroom is north facing because the light from a northern exposure is indirect, resulting in a soft, diffused light. However, to achieve the look of natural light, always use artificial light bulbs labeled “daylight” and which are cool or bright white. Also, incorporating a window in a shower area or a skylight will help bring in natural light and ventilation.  

Lighting a bathroom can be fun, especially when redesigning from scratch. Use a layered lighting scheme that incorporates ambient, task, and accent lighting to create an inviting and functional space in your bathroom. And, if you are feeling stuck or need some advice, give us a call.