A bathroom remodel is the perfect time to get that new freestanding tub or extra-large shower you always wanted.  It’s the opportunity to include customized storage for all your family’s needs so no one has any excuse to drop towels on the floor or leave their toiletries all over the countertop.  You start and finish your day in the bathroom, and you want your bathroom design to be a calm oasis, that allows everyone in the house to co-exist peacefully.

While you are working with your bathroom design expert and making product selections, don’t forget to consider your bathroom lighting needs.  Shaving, putting on makeup, doing your hair, and all the other activities that typically take place in a busy bathroom require an adequate, multi-layered, and integrated lighting design.  This does not mean your lighting scheme must be complex, as often one light fixture can serve multiple purposes, but it must be well-planned.

How do you find the right lighting balance for your bathroom?

Your bathroom remodeling professional will advise you on the lighting requirements for your space, and our bathroom design gallery is a great place to find inspiration.  Start with our guide to bathroom lighting here, and then stop by our Lansing, MI showroom to start planning your new bathroom design.

How To Brighten Up Your Bathroom 2024

What are the main elements of bathroom lighting?

A multi-layered lighting design typically includes the following:

Task lighting is a light source that is targeted at a specific work area, which in the case of the bathroom design is usually around the vanity, countertop, and mirror area where you will be performing delicate tasks like shaving or applying makeup.  Task lighting may also be necessary in the shower. A single overhead hanging light fixture is not enough to illuminate every corner of your bathroom, so light sources must be placed throughout the room where you need them. If possible, avoid relying on only downlights over a mirror, as it creates shadows and makes you look tired.  No one wants to look more tired in the mirror than they are!  Go for lights on either side of the mirror, perhaps combined with overhead recessed lighting or a low-voltage light over the mirror.  Wall sconces are available in a wide array of styles, from traditional to contemporary to industrial, to complement any bathroom design.

bath design with wood look floor tile

Ambient light refers to the indirect lighting that creates warmth and turns the bathroom from a harsh, bright space to an inviting, comfortable room.  Recessed ceiling lights can serve the purpose of task lighting, but also be an ambient light source when combined with a dimmer switch.  Toe kick or under vanity lighting is an excellent source of ambient light and very useful for seeing your way when visiting the bathroom at night, without having to turn on harsh overhead lights.

Bath design with under vanity lights

Accent lighting is strategically placed to highlight specific design features and, while more typically present in kitchens or living areas, could be used in a bathroom design too.  Accent lights may be used to highlight a key focal point in the bathroom design, such as a unique tile feature or even an architecturally interesting freestanding tub.  It could also be used to light up a piece of artwork displayed in a bathroom.

Bath design with lighting strip

Decorative light fixtures offer a light source while also being a design statement itself.  This is often a chandelier or another hanging light fixture but could also be unusual, decorative wall sconces, or even a glamorous table lamp placed on a long vanity countertop or a separate makeup vanity.

Don’t forget to factor natural light sources into your bathroom design lighting scheme, from windows or skylights.  Natural light can have a soothing effect in a bathroom, particularly when you have a beautiful view out your window. Place your freestanding tub near the window or include a window in the shower enclosure and soak up the sunshine while you bathe.

Bath design with wood floor

Go minimal or full-on Hollywood glamor with your light fixtures, depending on your style, but make sure you have factored in sufficient lighting for all the key areas in your bathroom design.  Our bathroom remodeling experts can help you find the perfect light fixtures for your new bathroom.