Top Trends in Bathroom Lighting Design


The days of dull bathroom lighting are over! Today’s top trends in bathroom lighting design are all about bold accents, layered lighting, and LED lights. Read on to learn what trends are “lighting up” the bathroom.

  • Side-Mounted Vanity Lights. Traditionally, most bathrooms have used vanity lights consisting of rows of lights mounted above the mirror. Vanity lighting is now moving away from single, overhead light fixtures to two wall-mounted sconces on either side of the mirror. Side-mounted vanity lights eliminate unflattering shadows and cast an even light across the face—making it ideal for tasks such as applying makeup.

  • Chandeliers as Statement Pieces. Placing chandeliers (or another type of dramatic light fixture) above a free-standing bathtub is in vogue right now. These bold statement pieces add a focal point to a room that is often devoid of bold lighting fixtures. If you choose to place a chandelier above your bathtub, be sure it meets all local codes. Because of concerns about electricity and water, make sure the light is positioned at least eight feet above the tub and is listed for use in a wet location.

  • Layered Lighting is making its way into the bathroom. Layered lighting uses multiple light sources to “balance” a room while eliminating glare and adding depth and dimension. The three layers include ambient lighting, accent lighting, and task lighting. Ambient (general) lighting provides the overall light in the room. Examples include an overhead light or recessed lights in the ceiling. The next layer is accent lighting, which means using smaller lights to highlight interesting features, such as artwork or a plant. Accent lights might include wall sconces, under cabinet lighting, track lighting, uplights, or picture/art lights. The third layer is task lighting. In the bathroom, these are the lights used above or on the side of your vanity.

  • LED Lights. LED lighting fixtures are an increasingly popular choice in the bathroom due to the vibrancy of the light, excellent energy efficiency, long lifespan, and flexibility. Due to their small size, LED lights can be incorporated into a variety of lighting styles and designs—from bath bars that provide a modern and minimalist look to traditional LED bathroom vanity lights. Regardless of the style or colors you use in your bathroom, chances are there is an LED light fixture that will coordinate perfectly.

  • LED Mirrors. Mirrors that incorporate LED lights—either around the perimeter of the mirror or as a backlight to the mirror—are increasingly popular. This high-end look is often seen in luxury hotels and is available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes—including ovals, circles, squares, and rectangles. The LED lights can go around the perimeter of the mirror or be placed on both sides. If you want to get fancy and have the budget, you can even incorporate a TV into the mirror.

  • Spa-Inspired Lighting. An overall trend in bathroom design is spa-inspired bathrooms, which are characterized by soothing color palettes, clean and tidy appearance, the use of natural materials (such as wood and stone), and luxurious towels. One of the keys to achieving the tranquil and relaxing feel of a spa is low lighting. Using light fixtures with dimmers are critical to achieving a spa-inspired look and feel. Best of all, dimmers allow you to lower the lights when you want to relax and have full light when you need task lighting.

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