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9 Different Types of Bathroom Light Fixtures (Plus Lighting Tips)

Bathroom lighting fixtures collage.

Your bathroom is the first place you enter right after waking up every morning. It is also the go-to hub for most women and men every time they have to get dressed for going out.

Interestingly, bathrooms are often overlooked when it comes to choosing the type of lighting and light fixtures. They rank very low on the priority list compared to other rooms of the house.

What most people don’t realize is that bathrooms are true luxurious sanctuaries that need to be well-built and well-decorated with proper and balanced lighting. Especially with today’s modern bathrooms transforming into large, extravagant retreats for relaxing and unwinding the self, it is very important to install correct lighting in these safe spaces.

Optimized lighting in bathrooms doesn’t just serve the purpose of illumination, but it also comes off as very aesthetically pleasing.

Related: Primary Bathrooms with Chandeliers | Bathrooms with Pendant Lights | Online Lighting Stores | Types of Light Bulbs | Smart Home Lighting Solutions

How to Perfectly Light Your Bathroom

Modern bathroom with a skylight, windows, ceiling lights, and wall sconces.

Many people struggle with choosing the ideal kind of light fixtures for their bathrooms. It is important to note here that bathrooms have different designs, styles, and sizes and not every type of lighting will suit every single bathroom.

There are certain key tips that all homeowners must take into account when deciding on the type of lights for their bathrooms.

1. Focus On Ceiling Lights

Since bathrooms need general illumination, it is essential that you initially focus on the ceiling lights and then move your way down. Most people prefer using recessed lights or ceiling-mounted lights like drum pendants for their ceiling.

2. Strike a Balance

If you go for a combination of light sources for your bathroom, you must strike the perfect balance. You don’t want the light coming from your drum pendant and the one from your wall sconce to clash together and produce way too much brightness or glare.

3. Moderation Is Key

Many people often end up over-doing their bathroom lighting in their efforts to create the perfect illumination. They pop up a dozen types of different lights that can make your bathroom look really flashy and aesthetically very unpleasant. Try to achieve moderation which will only come through balanced lighting.

Types of Bathroom Light Fixtures

Bathrooms are one of those spaces that require layers of lighting from various different light sources. This is because they are not one-fixture rooms and they need a combination of all three ambient, task and accent types of lights for proper illumination.

This is why there are a plethora of types of bathroom light fixtures for you to choose from. It is entirely up to you if you want to use a single type of light or you want to go for a varied combination. To be able to do that, you must know the types of lights there are in order to make a well thought-out decision for your luxury bathroom.

1. Pendant Lights

Pendant Lights in a Bathroom

Also referred to as a ‘drop’ or ‘suspender’, pendant lights are light fixtures that are mounted to the ceiling. They usually hang in a suspended manner with the help of a metal rod, cord or a chain. They are so called because they hover from the ceiling the same way a pendant hangs down from a necklace.

Pendant lights are most commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, porches and the foyers of the house. There is a wide variety of different light fixtures that are called pendant lights, each with unique features and characteristics. The most common and popular type that you would see in most households is the one with a single light bulb that is enclosed within a globe-shaped cover or often under an open reflector.

Pendant lights look great in bathrooms given how simple and pretty these lights are. They can be easily mounted on the bathroom ceiling, either right in the middle of the bathroom or even over the bathtub. Since they are available in different sizes, you can install them wherever you like.

The best thing about pendant lights is the way they are designed to provide general lighting. They throw some light on the ceiling from where it reflects back down. This way, the warm light spreads all across the bathroom and helps you see more of the entire space.

Modern-day pendant lights often come with fluorescent bulbs or halogen bulbs, both of which help save energy and power.

2. Wall Sconces

A pair of wall sconces in the bathroom.

Wall sconces, as the name suggests, are light fixtures that are fixed on the walls. These lights only use the wall’s support and they do not have a supporting base on the ground.

Sconces come all the way back from pre-modern times during which they usually held torches and candles. Candle sconces were particularly famous in the 17th century where they were often made from silver or brass.

Modern-day wall sconces are more towards the sleek and fancy side and come in various different designs, styles, and sizes. They are commonly used in kitchens, hallways porches, bathroom, dining rooms, and corridors.

Most people prefer installing sconces in their bathrooms. When choosing a bathroom wall sconce, you need to consider the mirror size and the bathroom size.

For instance, if you have a small or medium sized mirror, it is ideal to place a wall sconce on both sides of the mirror. If the mirror is really big, you can fix the sconce right above it.

There is a huge variety of types of sconces that you can choose from according to the size and design of your bathroom. One of the most commonly used wall sconces is the flush mounted wall washer, also known as the ‘half-moon’.

It is small and compact and tightly fixes itself on the wall. It washes the entire bathroom wall with light and creates quite a unique design element.

3. Ceiling Lights

Ceiling Lights in a Bathroom

These are more commonly known as ‘recessed lighting’ that you will find in almost all modern-day bathrooms in today’s times. Other common names for ceiling lights include can light, pot light, and downlight.

These are light fixtures that are installed in the ceiling in a hollow opening. Once they are installed, it looks like there is light or shining coming down from holes in the ceiling.

Recessed ceiling lights are one of the most versatile lighting options for your entire house. They provide excellent ambient lighting wherever they are installed and also greatly highlight furniture, artwork and even the wall itself.

In bathrooms, recessed lights are popularly used in shower stalls since they have watertight lenses. This means that they will keep working even when they get splashed with water. Most people also install these lights on the border of the bathroom ceiling in order to completely illuminate the entire space.

The best part about recessed lights is that they have the ability to kind of ‘shrink’ or hide into the hollow wall openings. This way, the fixtures of the light aren’t visible and they look incredibly pretty up on the ceiling as they spread bright light all across your bathroom.

Another benefit of these lights is that they provide full room coverage. If you place them correctly and spread them out, they provide excellent illumination and cover the entire room.

4. Vanity Lighting

Bathroom with Vanity Lights

The bathroom vanity is often the most overlooked area when it comes to lighting and illumination. It is a very special part of the room and, for some, it is the main hub for self-care routines and grooming.

Both these actions require the right amount of well-placed lighting. This is one of the main reasons why you need to carefully select the type of vanity lighting for your bathroom.

Vanity lighting also requires functional and practical lighting solutions. There is a wide variety of options which you can choose from, including bath bars and vanity lights. Most people prefer wall sconce, a statement chandelier or pendant for bathroom vanities.

Bathroom sconces are commonly installed in pairs and are placed on both sides of the mirror. A pair of sconces help prevent harsh shadows and equally distributes the light.

Another popular vanity lighting option is twin-light fixtures. They provide a great amount of light and are often placed on top of the mirror. This helps cast the light down for enhanced balance and distribution.

5. Mirror Lights

Mirror Lights in a Bathroom

Mirror lights are fancy and special light fixtures that are particularly meant for mirrors in the bathroom or bedrooms. You can either install lights all around your mirror or you can get a bathroom mirror with built-in lights.

Mirror lights are a great way to really transform bathroom spaces. They provide an instant facelift to wherever they are installed and they even make the space appear bigger, brighter and all the more attractive.

There is a massive variety of mirrors lights out there that you can get for your bathroom. A popular type is the LED bathroom mirror light that comes with a white plastic diffuser attached to the bottom of the lighting head.

This helps protect the LED board and while emanating bright and glowing illumination. It typically consists of a rectangle wall bracket that is connected to the main light source with the help of compact fixing arm.

Another great and popular option is the LED five mirror light. This is basically a long, thin rectangular device or structure that has five ball-shaped glass shades attached to it.

These bulbs are placed in a continuous row or series and since they are all lit together at the same time, they provide excellent illumination. You can either place them on top of the mirror or even on both sides.

Many people have more than one mirror in their bathroom. When you install these lights on all the mirrors, they produce enough light to greatly illuminate the entire bathroom.

6. Track Lights

 Bathroom with Track Lights

This is a specialized lighting fixture that is mounted to the wall or ceiling of a room with individual heads or light fixtures in a continuous series. Track lights are basically attached on a tracking device that has electrical conductors.

They can be installed in various different positions or styles including lengthwise down beams or in a crosswise manner across joists. In case of high, vaulted ceilings, you can also hang or suspend them in a downward position with the help of metal rods.

The heads are the main part of any track lighting fixture because that is where the lamps are placed. Each headpiece on the tracking device consists of two metal tabs that are connected to the power point inside the track.

The best part about track lights is that the light heads can be positioned anywhere on the track and they are also adjustable which means that you can change their direction as the way you prefer. This ability to reposition and redirect the light source comes in very handy where accent lighting is needed and the focus of the lights needs to keep changing.

You will notice that many modern bathrooms use track lights and spotlights installed in certain portions of the room. They are popularly used over mirrors so you can easily change the light heads whenever need be.

When installed in bathrooms, the mount heads of track lights reflect off the vanity mirror and shed this light over anyone standing there. This feature really comes in handy when you are doing your hair in front of the mirror or applying makeup, both of which require focused lighting.

7. Chandelier

Luxury Bathroom with a Chandelier

Like pendant lights, chandeliers are light fixtures that are also suspended and made to hang down from the ceiling. They are also known as candelabra lamp or girandole and are commonly mounted on walls and ceilings.

There are three types of chandeliers that you will find in today’s times: classic, contemporary and modern. Classic chandeliers consist of numerous crystal prisms with refracted light that hang from the base structure.

Contemporary chandeliers are more towards the minimalist side and instead of the prism, they shed light directly from the lamps. Modern chandeliers, on the other hand, consist of sleek and classy designs, often sporting a combination of elements of both classic and contemporary lights.

You will find beautiful and extravagant chandeliers in most modern-day luxury bathrooms since they add great beauty and allure along with bright illumination to the room. These light fixtures have emerged from the late middle ages where they were first made with brass and were commonly used in churches.

Soon after that during the 18th century, chandeliers made from silver and gilded wood started to gain significant popularity in France and England.

When choosing a chandelier for your bathroom, it is important for you to first consider the size and design of the room. There are various types of these light chandeliers which you can choose from according to your bathroom.

An excellent option is a caged chandelier in which there is a metal cage with lights in the middle. The light emanates from through the cage and illuminates the entire bathroom.

8. LED Strip Lighting

Luxury Bathroom with Yellow LED Strip Light

These are one of the newest, modern and most versatile types of lighting fixtures commonly found in contemporary households. They consist of a row of lamps on a single strip light. This strip light is often wired internally to almost 3 or 4 main circuits.

LED strip lights are available in different colors from which white is the most commonly preferred color by many household owners. These lights usually consist of incandescent light bulbs that produce a very soft, warm glow with low color temperature.

LED strips lights are an excellent option for bathroom lighting. They look really pretty and bright when placed all around the ceiling and they also provide a great amount of illumination. The light produced by these fixtures lights up the entire space and also equally distributes the light all across the room.

Many people prefer using a combination of LED strip lights with wall sconces, mirror lights or recessed ceiling lights. This results in powerful illumination and greatly transforms the entire look and feel of the bathroom.

9. Ceiling Lamp

A Single Ceiling Lamp in a Bathroom

Ceiling lamps have to be the most common type of lighting fixture in most modern or traditional bathrooms. They are compact, small, and simple and they provide sufficient illumination to light up the entire space. They work very simple and are probably the most reliable source light up your entire bathroom.

Ceiling lamps are typically attached right in the middle of your bathroom ceiling. They come in various different style, sizes and designs from which you can pick the one that perfectly matches the interior of your bathroom.

These lamps are also extremely simple and easy to use. Once they are installed, all you need to do is flip their switch on in order for them to work. You will also come across the fancy kinds of ceiling lamps that are designed in a way they turn themselves on without you having to play the switch. You are likely to see these fancy lamps in modern, luxurious bathrooms.

When deciding on the type of light fixture for your bathroom, always remember to keep it simple, classy and balanced.