Look Beyond the Usual Choices for Impressive Bathroom Lighting

Forget the old fluorescents and take a tour of different bathroom lighting styles that are available today. In fact, virtually any style of fixture can be used in your bathroom, as long as it provides the right kind of light and works with the decor. To properly illuminate your bathroom, you need several kinds of lighting. First, you need light that is bright enough for shaving, applying make-up and other self-care routines. On the other hand, you want the bathroom to feel serene, so you’ll want some ambient or accent lighting too. Here are some bathroom lighting ideas to transform your space.

Wall Lights

Artful wall lights add ambient lighting in a bathroom.View in gallery
Artful wall lights add ambient lighting in a bathroom.

A little mood lighting for the bathroom can be just the ticket for creating a spa-like space. We really like these Tetra wall lights by Émilie Cathelineu for CVL for adding an artful touch as well. The fixtures come in different finishes and can be arranged in a multitude of combinations. The brass triangles can be placed to look like a single fixture or arranged across an expanse of wall for a flowing design. They would be perfect on the wall above a tub or beside the central bathroom mirror.

Sconces are a good choice for the bathroom.View in gallery
Sconces are a good choice for the bathroom.

These molten blobs look as though they were captured mid-movement and attached to the wall. The sconces are by SKLO, a lighting company from the Czech Republic. Crafted from mouth-blown glass, each one is slightly different, adding to the artisan appeal. These fixtures are ideal for adding ambient light in the bathroom. Who needs a nightlight when you can use beautiful, stylish sconces to add a soft glow to the bathroom? This is the company’s Twin Sconce, new for 2018, that was launched at ICFF in New York.

Lighted vanities

Lighted fixtures are dramatic additions to a bathroomView in gallery
Lighted fixtures are dramatic additions to a bathroom

For real drama in the bathroom, how about choosing a lighted glass vanity? This glass countertop has depth and interior texture, in addition to a cool blue light. While it certainly doesn’t add enough light for tasks, it puts off a chic glow that is attention-getting and can serve as a low light source at night when you don’t want bright lights to ruin your sleep. Moreover, glass is smooth and easy to keep clean. We would love to have this in a smaller version for a really awesome powder room that would be the talk of the neighborhood.

Pendant lights

Pendants can serve the same function as sconces by the mirror.View in gallery
Pendants can serve the same function as sconces by the mirror.

Once upon a time, pendants were relegated mainly to the kitchen and dining room, but no longer. These fixtures are a great way to add illumination in the bathroom. This DXV bathroom design uses two pendants to flank the mirror, much as sconces would, adding light to the vanity area. They can also be used without the backlight of the mirror to provide moodier lighting. Also, take note that they are sleek and minimal, not fussy. This makes them perfect for a variety of bathroom styles.

Non-traditional pendants work in the bathroom too.View in gallery
Non-traditional pendants work in the bathroom too.

Pendants can also be used over the vanity in a more traditional arrangement. This bathroom design puts the fixtures off center over the expanse of countertop, where light is most needed. The large, exposed bulb styles are a novel thing to use on the bathroom, but they add a bit of an eclectic touch to an otherwise modern and minimalist bathroom vanity set. They are also a bright counterpart to the backlighting of the mirror, which is becoming more common in today’s bathroom lighting schemes.

Pendants can add warmth and style to a bathroom.View in gallery
Pendants can add warmth and style to a bathroom.

Of course, pendant lighting is not limited to the bare-bulb style. Add some luxurious warmth to the bathroom by choosing a pendant like Fin, by Original BTC from the UK. This pendant is made from bone china formed into an organic shape that has a really appealing glow when lit.  Any style of pendant can be used in the bathroom, from global and organic to modern or industrial. The main idea is to throw out any preconceived notions of what bathroom lighting should be and instead opt for fixtures that are functional and achieve the look you want.

Specialty Design Suspended Lights

Specialty lights are ideal over a bathtub or dressing table.View in gallery
Specialty lights are ideal over a bathtub or dressing table.

Suspended lights and chandeliers can have a place in the bathroom too. While they might not be the style to install over a vanity, they could serve as overhead fixtures or hang above a bathtub. In fact, choosing a statement fixture to hang over a freestanding tub creates a luxurious and relaxing setting for the bathroom. This golden piece is from the Roinn series by Luxi Studioworks of Canada. The Art Deco-inspired pattern is perfect for a bathroom that needs a touch of glamour. If the gold is too bold, the fixture comes in other finishes that are not as shiny but no less stylish.

Modern fixtures can elevate a minimalist bathroom design.View in gallery
Modern fixtures can elevate a minimalist bathroom design.

Bright and modern, this type of fixture would be great in a minimalist or industrial bathroom design. Created by Studio Endo, the Alpine V is a modular style from the Alpine chandelier collection. The customizable arrangement could hang along a wall as shown or be used over a tub or other section of the bathroom. It’s a cool lighting fixture that provides plenty of illumination.

Multifunctional Fixtures

Fixtures you can adjust are good additions to the bathroom.View in gallery
Fixtures you can adjust are good additions to the bathroom.

While a table lamp is not safe for use on the bathroom, these Shutter Lights from A Good Thing are available in a hard-wired version that is perfect for the bathroom wall. The fixture’s LEDs emit a diffuse light that you can control. The lid is the switch for turning the light on and off, but it can also control the amount of light that comes out, as well as the direction. It would be a very stylish alternative to a nightlight because it can be mounted on the bathroom wall near the door and easily controlled.

Ceiling Lights

Make sure ceiling fixtures have style and aren't basic or boring.View in gallery
Make sure ceiling fixtures have style and aren’t basic or boring.

In many cases, you will still need some sort of overhead light in the bathroom. that said, you don’t have to go for the plain and boring sort from the home store. Instead, choose something that reflects the bathroom’s interior design style. For instance, the fixture above has the shape of a basic ceiling light but is glammed up with rows of gems on the bottom as well as the sides. It’s a luxurious touch for a traditional or opulent bathroom design.

If you’re planning a total bathroom renovation, planning is key, and don’t forget to include stylish bathroom lighting in your design.  If you’re simply looking to refresh your bathroom, changing out the lighting fixtures can be a cost-effective means to achieve a current and on-trend feeling in the space. Before you buy, browse lighting of all kinds and be sure that the style and proportions fit the design goal you are trying to achieve. Most of all, have fun with it.