Bathroom lighting ideas: for style and safety

Enhance your room with the right type of fittings in the right place

By Hugh Metcalf | 27 January 2021

Bathroom lighting ideas that cover safety measures, where to place fittings for the best effect and which type to choose to make your room beautiful and a pleasure to use.

narrow bathroom with lighting scheme ideas - grand designs

Downlighters in this bathroom by Day True draw the eye through the space

Safety first

When it comes to choosing fittings, it’s of paramount importance that electricity and water cannot mix. So, choose a design with an appropriate Ingress Protection rating (IP). The rating you need will depend on where the fitting will be in relation to the sources of water. Use the guide at the end of this article to check the most appropriate IP rated fitting for various locations in the room. If in any doubt, refer to your electrician for advice.

bathroom with multiple light sources - grand designs

The combination of Sensio products in this room can be adjusted to create different effects

A layered effect

An effective lighting scheme provides for tasks such as putting on make-up and for setting the scene for relaxation. Ambient lighting provides background illumination, and accent fittings highlight particular features of the room. By incorporating a number of different fittings that all work well together, you’ll create a versatile scheme that adapts as and when you want it to. Include separate circuits and controls for task, accent and ambient lights. Installing dimmer switches also allows for control of the light levels.

Task lighting

Options for functional fittings include wall lamps on either side of a mirror or mirror cabinet. Or a strip light above. This provides crisp, shadow-free illumination. Place wall lamps at eye level to ensure a uniform light across the face. Adjustable fittings offer flexibility for a variety of grooming routines. Extendable, jointed wall lamps may be sufficient. But a supplementary wall-mounted magnifying mirror with integrated LEDs adds extra versatility. Once you’ve identified the best bathroom lighting ideas for your space, you’ll want the fittings to be durable. ‘LEDs last up to 15 years, so shouldn’t require changing very often,’ says Charlie Bowles, director at Original BTC.