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Buying Guide

Best Lighting for Your Bathroom

Placement & Style

One of the most important considerations when installing bathroom lighting is placement – you need to be careful that the lights do not cast shadows when you’re using the mirror.

Middle of the ceiling

  • Ideal for shower, tub, or smaller bathrooms, especially those without windows
  • May cause shadows when using mirror
  • Install strip of lights above mirror to avoid uneven shadows
  • Recessed lights are fixed into the ceiling, making them ideal for bathrooms with low ceilings or installing above your shower

Side of mirror

  • For larger bathrooms, install in combination with shower and overhead lights
  • Installing strip lighting down each side of your mirror will generally minimize the appearance of shadows


  • Provides perfect accent to artwork and other decorations
  • Reduces shadows near mirror
  • Use in combination with overhead lights

Customize your bath with dimmer switches, frosted bulbs and combination bath fan and lighting units. And don’t forget to take into account whether your bathroom has windows.

  • Bathrooms without windows may require more light than those with windows.
  • Small bathrooms may need only one light fixture while larger ones may require different types in different places.
  • Recessed lights, wall sconces and even vanity lights can be practical and elegant additions.
  • Install waterproof light fixtures in shower areas for added brightness.
  • Glass lenses are less likely to yellow than plastic ones when installed over showers.
  • Low-wattage or under-cabinet lights make ideal nightlights.
  • Angle recessed lights to highlight tile work or wall decorations.
  • Hanging lights add style and flare to larger bathrooms with high ceilings.
  • Dimmer switches enable you to customize the level of light you need.
  • Some overhead lights are paired with an exhaust fan for multipurpose operation.
  • Use sconces alongside mirrors to create ideal light for grooming.
Bulb Considerations
  • Choose bright, white bulbs to provide the best lighting from grooming.
  • Softer bulbs are ideal for accenting or providing ambient light.
  • Halogen and fluorescent bulbs provide brighter illumination.
  • Frosted bulbs can reduce glare and shadows compared to clear bulbs.

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