Lighting is often underestimated as a decor feature. We take it for granted: flip a switch, and its there. But lighting, and lighting fixtures especially, can make a really big difference in the comfort, style and look of your bathroom.
Bathroom lighting serves many purposes: providing you with enough light to do whatever you need to do, even in the middle of the night; as a source of relaxation and calming when taking a bath; activating your mind and body in the morning; to even giving you the enough light to put on makeup.
In any given day, you'll need different lighting and intensity depending on what you are doing. Choosing your lighting wisely, and with an eye for style, is a good investment in time and money for a bathroom that will last you for years.
Why choose bold lighting?
Bathrooms are often understated to the point of being minimalist. Making bold lighting choices can turn a boring space into something visually interesting and with plenty of "wow" factor.
What constitutes "bold" is really a personal choice. It can be really bold, as in a strongly visual choice that attracts attention, or subtly bold, as in lighting that highlights and supports other style elements of your space.
Whichever is your definition of bold, choosing lighting that is both practical and stylish is not that difficult. In fact, here are some bold lighting ideas that you can try in your own bathroom.
Lighting above your vanity mirror is what you’ll use mostly for things like brushing your teeth, styling your hair, and applying make-up.
This lighting type should be bright, and directed down to avoid side shadows. You want your face to be fully illuminated, as if the sun was shining down on it.
A bold choice could be something as simple as a desk lamp-style retro fixture, or something a little more modern, like a textured bronze 3-bulb vanity light.
For the more glamorous bathroom, try crystal LED vanity lights. When it comes to vanity lights, fixtures that stick out from the wall and hang above the mirror will attract more attention than track lights that are flush against the wall.
You can also add interesting vanity lighting that focuses on your bathroom mirror. From strips of LEDs to effective make-up lights, this kind of lighting really boosts the look and practicality of your bathroom.
You don't always need vanity lights to get things done though. Ambient lighting can help you when your cleaning, reading in the bath, or just taking a shower.
Ambient lighting can also use track lights, but they should be installed somewhere other than above the vanity. Instead, choose a darker corner of the bathroom, but not directly above the shower or bath, where some light could help.
Choose a style that enhances the decorative elements of this area---maybe it's a corner shelf filled with bathroom knickknacks, shells and sand bowls. Perhaps you want a nicely lit shelf for keeping your towels. If you like to read in the bath, a directional light that you can point towards the tub is an excellent option.
I really like wall track lighting for its beautiful ornaments. It works great for a more traditional bathroom. A modern wall sconce is perfect for illuminating a dark corner, or for practical lighting when using the bathroom at night. Is your style more industrial? A double track light has just the perfect touch of old school to make your bathroom stand out from all the others.
Shower and bath lighting
It is possible to find lights that you can install within the shower/bath area. This is mostly done with modern walk-in showers, but they can be installed above bathtubs as well.
An interesting choice you can make is integrate the lighting with your shower head. A large square lighted shower head is a great and affordable example that makes it feel like you're standing in the rain---a feeling that more and more showers try to reproduce.
If you actually want a light in the shower, try a light/fan combo that's meant for humid environments and has enough style to bring a little boldness to your bathroom as well.