10 Illuminating Bathroom Lighting Ideas to Brighten Up Your Space

The right light fixtures can totally shift the mood of any lackluster space. If you’re rethinking your bathroom’s ambiance, we’ve got plenty of bathroom lighting ideas to get you on the right track. From glass pendants to antique sconces, there are a buffet of options to tastefully let some light into your powder room. We spoke to interior design experts as part of our deep dive on bathroom lighting ideas to outline how to select the best accent lighting for around your sink or vanity, and even shared some ways to shop the bathroom light fixtures as seen in the beautiful homes featured in AD. Read on for a comprehensive guide to outfitting your space with luxe bathroom lighting ideas that truly shine.

What kind of lighting is best for bathrooms?

The type of lighting you choose will come down to a couple different factors. According to Becky Shea, the creative director of New York City’s Becky Shea Design, the most important consideration for lighting design is the geometry of the room. When you’re working with a small bathroom that has lower ceilings versus a cavernous space, she believes that a commanding pendant light might not be the best fit among all your lighting options.

Hema Persad, the principal and founder of Sagrada Studio in Los Angeles, shares that thinking about how much natural light you’re already getting will dictate how much artificial lighting you need to bring to the space. Then there’s the type of ambiance you’re aiming to create. Persad notes that a “bright and clinical atmosphere will require a lot of overhead lighting, and if you’re looking for a more relaxed vibe, you’ll probably want more eye-level lighting like sconces.”

How do you select the right shade?

With so many options for lamp shades, you might need a nudge in the right direction to maintain the bright lighting that illuminates your bathroom without ruining the ambiance in the space. Linette Dai, founder and principal of LA’s Linette Dai Design, notes that shades will make a big difference on the mood that emanates from the light source. A fixture with a metal covering that doesn’t permeate light may not be suitable for a bathroom, she explains, because “it will make the light very directional and harsh,” unlike a linen shade that “[creates] a very soft and diffused light.” On the other hand, she explains that you might want to opt for glass over a fabric lamp shade in a small space that gets damp.

Should bathroom lights be warm or bright?

Our design experts agreed that a warmer light is always preferable than a cooler hue in the bathroom. That’s because “anything that mimics natural sunlight is always going to be the most uplifting and flattering,” Persad says.

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