What is the best bathroom lighting?

When it comes to the question ‘what, is the best bathroom lighting?’ there are quite a lot of aspects you need to consider, before you come to an answer. Pretty much every type of light is available, that has been especially designed to be suitable for a bathroom. Today you can purchase recessed bathroom lights, bathroom ceiling lights, bathroom wall lights, bathroom chandeliers, bathroom flush lights & bathroom spotlights that can all be fitted in your sparkly new bathroom. But just because the manufacturers can now make these lights, the question is, should they? Are they worth making?

Bathroom lights can come in a variety of styles and shapes

Four aspects that need to be thought about in closer detail are safety, brightness, the correct type of light & usage cost.

Are bathroom lights safe?

Well, obviously the main threat to a light fitting in a bathroom is water. Bath taps, sink taps & showers all have the ability to spray water over a light and water and electricity do not mix very well. Fortunately, modern bathroom lights have IP ratings which tell you how well they are sealed against moisture and bathrooms are broken down in to zones to tell you where you can and can’t put your light. Our recent blogpost on bathroom lighting zones and IP ratings may be worth a read. Bathroom lighting circuits also tend to be protected on your consumer unit (fuse board) by an RCD, which is designed to cut the electrics in a fraction of a second if a fault is detected. In the olden days, things like recessed downlights were low voltage for safety but this meant you had to have transformers, which were a pain to replace if they failed and were sealed up in your ceiling. Though low voltage is still available it is not as popular and not really necessary with modern technology. When safety is concerned, there isn’t really a better light than another so safety shouldn’t have a bearing on the best type of light in a bathroom.

The zones of a bathroom shown to help you choose a light fitting

The zones of a bathroom shown to help you choose a light fitting


The brightness of a bathroom light is important!

A bathroom is a room in your home that can be defined as a ‘task room.’ Much like a kitchen, the bathroom involves a multitude of different tasks and one thing that is very important in these types of rooms is the correct brightness. Sure, you can lay in the bath and relax, but don’t forget about things like, shaving, applying make-up, brushing your teeth. Brightness plays a massive factor in completing these tasks, so you should always be careful to check how bright your potential bathroom light may be. A flush bathroom light tends to spread light in all directions, so this may be a good choice. Equally a chandelier type ceiling light will also spread light well. Recessed downlights, in a good quantity, will send light down in all directions and light a bathroom well. Traditional spotlights on a bar or a plate, although popular, are not really suitable as a bathroom light. If for example, you are applying make-up in a bathroom mirror and you have a spotlight bar on the ceiling then you will tend to stand in the light and create a shadow, darkening the area you are working in. Illuminated bathroom mirrors are often a good choice to add additional light to a room and may even help if your existing bathroom ceiling light isn’t bright enough.

An example of a Class 2 double insulated light made of metal

A bathroom spotlight, though attractive, will create beams of light that you block when standing in front of them making tasks, such as applying make up, more difficult.

The correct type of light emitted from your light fitting in a bathroom can have a bearing!


For things like laying in the bathtub it doesn’t really matter what kind of light is spread all around your bathroom. Bear in mind however that light tends to be either warm white, cool white or natural white (daylight). Colour temperature of a lightbulb usually indicates the type of light but stick to those 3 definitions and you can’t go wrong. Warm white is the more popular choice normally, but you may want a more clinical look in your bathroom, so cool white may be preferable. Daylight, which is a more intense version of cool white, may be too clinical. Normally you can choose which colour type by selecting the relevant lightbulb to put in your light, but if the light you like the look of is integrated LED and doesn’t need replacement bulbs then bear in mind you can’t change.

An illuminated mirror will add additional light to a bathroom and will normally use a cool white colour of light


Will the light be left on all throughout the night?

If you have small children who require the bathroom light to be left on all throughout the night should they need the toilet, then whatever you choose you will probably want to ensure that it can take an LED lightbulb. There is a massive difference between a bathroom ceiling light left on every night for 365 days a year that is 5W and another, incandescent version, that uses 60W. 12 times the wattage equals 12 times the price for the whole year. Get your choice of bathroom light correct at the start and it can make all the difference in the future.

An LED light will use far less power & cost only a fraction of the price of a halogen or incandescent. Perfect for bathrooms where a light will be left on all evening


To summarise

Whether you are creating a new bathroom or redecorating an existing one I personally think you should be looking for as much light as possible. You can always tone down the amount of light by using lower wattage bulbs if necessary. Steer clear from spotbars and spotlights as they create shadows. Flush fittings and attractive chandeliers will light a bathroom well & a good quantity of recessed downlights will create a modern look with maximum light. Bathrooms tend to stay lit throughout the night so look to use a low energy or LED bathroom light. Ensure that you use the correct type of light by following the relevant rules and you should be fine.


If you would like any more advice on bathroom lighting & what to select, then feel free to contact us on 024 7671 7043. Alternatively, you can message us through our Facebook page where we would be more than happy to help.

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26. April 2018 by ekmwarmmead
Categories: Bathroom Lighting | Tags: , , | Comments Off on What is the best bathroom lighting?

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