KBL Design Center

Lighting Your Bathroom

More spacious and multifunctional than ever before, the once-utilitarian bathroom has evolved into a private retreat for relaxation, escape and self-indulgence. The right lighting can make a bathroom even more gracious.

Whether built new or recently remodeled, bathrooms today demand intricate lighting solutions. Task lighting must be bright enough to do its job, but also work well with indirect accent lighting to soften the room's ambiance and provide a warm glow. Decorative and ornate light fixtures and lamps provide elegance and sophistication. Shower light brighten up enclosed stalls. Reading lamps by the toilet provide more focused light.

Lighting Techniques for the Bathroom

For small mirrors, decorative wall fixtures placed on each side of the mirror will provide the even, shadow-free facial illumination necessary for daily grooming tasks. For best results, mount fixtures at least 28" apart and 60" off the floor.

Newer techniques of bathroom lighting even include using small pendants on either side of the mirror.

Photo Credit: Hudson Valley

For large mirrors, a strip of horizontal vanity lights will ensure that each person has sufficient light. Mount the strip 78" off the floor. The best lighting solution is achieved with fixtures that include a shade for each bulb.

Also add a dimmer to your vanity light. You will be amazed at how often you will use it and how much comfort it adds to the use of your bathroom.

Photo Credit: Quoizel


Shower and tub lighting should be bright enough for cleaning, shaving and reading shampoo labels. Choose recessed downlights designed for use in wet areas. Shielded fixtures will protect reclining bathers' eyes from glare.

An adjustable accent light aiming from outside the tub is dramatic, glare-free and great for those who bring books to the bath.

Photo Credit: Nora Lighting


Undercabinet lighting can make middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom safer and easier. Install a low-voltage linear lighting or LED system in the toe spaces beneath the vanities and cabinets.

Consider installing an occupancy sensor wall switch so the lights come on when you need them and switch off when not in use to save energy.

Photo Credit: Armacost Lighting


Undercabinet lighting can make middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom safer and easier. Install a low-voltage linear lighting or LED system in the toe spaces beneath the vanities and cabinets.

Consider installing an occupancy sensor wall switch so the lights come on when you need them and switch off when not in use to save energy.

Photo Credit: Armacost Lighting