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Bathroom Lighting Ideas

Show off your bathroom's best features with great bathroom lighting.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Add Hardworking Lighting

      A pair of wall sconces illuminates a freestanding bath vanity. Their nickel finish and white shades complement the vanity stand and faucet. Mounting bathroom sconces directly on the wall mirror doubles their impact and offers shadow-free task lighting for grooming.

    • Use Ceiling-Mount Fixtures

      Light a walk-in shower with ceiling-mount fixtures -- made for a wet location -- for soft directional lighting. The flush design keeps them from competing with the streamlined style of the shower stall.

    • Install Decorative Lighting

      Make a statement in a traditional space with unique bathroom lighting. The blue hue of the traditional pagoda fixture complements the wall color.

      Overhead bathroom lighting like this provides general or ambient light. Make sure the bottom of the fixture is at least 7 feet above the floor to leave enough headroom.

    • Reflect Light with Mirrors

      Make a small bath feel larger with a large mirror. Install sconces on the mirror to reflect light. The sleek design of the sconces contributes to the contemporary style of the space.

    • Trend Spotting: Lighting

      See some of the biggest trends in lighting for the home and get inspiration for your bathroom lighting!

    • Add Style with Unique Pendants

      A pair of industrial pendants with mirrored shades gives a bath a custom look.

      Be sure to select bulbs designed for vanity illumination. They generate light in the daylight spectrum. Avoid bulbs that are too white or too yellow -- they won't reflect how you look outside the bathroom.

    • Focused Lighting

      Recessed lights in a built-in vanity offer task lighting for grooming. The seamless design doesn't detract from the beautiful built-in wood cabinets. For the best ambient lighting, recessed downlights should be spaced close enough together for their light patterns to overlap.

    • Add a Rustic Accent

      Add a metal vintage-style lantern as a rustic lighting accent in the bathroom. Mix in other sources of light, such as wall sconces and recessed lights, for a room full of light.

    • Include Task Lighting

      An elegant hanging fixture elevates the style of a well-appointed bathroom. The black shades complement the black cabinets. A pair of sconces over the vanity offers task lighting.

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      Boost Style with Traditional Sconces

      A trio of sconces over a double vanity enhances the design of a classic cottage bathroom. Matching shades soften the glare.

      If the fixture normally takes an incandescent bulb, replace the bulb with a compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL) for greater energy efficiency and longer life. Remember that when you flip the light switch, some CFLs require about a minute to reach full brightness.

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      Make the Most of Natural Light

      Large windows fill the bathroom with natural light. A Moravian star pendant light over the freestanding tub is primarily decorative in this bathroom. Connect the light to a dimmer switch to create a relaxing mood.

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      Consider Nontraditional Lighting

      Don't limit yourself to sconces and pendants when choosing bathroom lighting. Here, a pair of candlestick lamps perched on the vanity counter adds relaxed style to a cottage bath.

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      Choose Unique Fixtures

      Dress up a bathroom with a contemporary light fixture. A galvanized-metal barn sconce adds industrial style in a small bath and shines light on the rustic vanity.

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      Decorate with Lighting

      A pretty glass pendant hangs over a sink like jewelry. The glass shade disappears against the large mirror.

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      Enhance Design with Sconces

      Choose lighting that coordinates with the bathroom's design. Silver candlestick sconces complement the hammered-finish mirror frame and the room's elegant style.

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      Make an Impact with Multiple Lights

      Hang a cluster of globe pendants over a vanity to make a statement. The clear shades keep the arrangement from being too busy. Stagger the heights of the fixtures for a layered effect.

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      Go for Functional Design

      Vanity lighting is the most important lighting in the bathroom because it affects how well you can see yourself. If you have a multilight fixture over the mirror, the light should spread evenly over a 24-inch-wide area to illuminate your face without casting shadows under your eyes or chin.

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      Consider Task Lighting

      Sconces hung at eye level on each side of the mirror are ideal for grooming. Other light sources in the room only provide general illumination.

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      Embellish the Shades

      Give wall sconces a fresh look with ribbon trim and a monogram. The black monograms pop against the white shades and tie into the mirror frame and wallpaper, creating a modern lighting look.

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      Clean and Simple Lighting Design

      Unobtrusive can lights let the rest of the bath fixtures stand out. Your bathroom mirror serves as a primary grooming center. Recessed lights over the vanity ensure lighting is even and shadow-free.

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      Classic Lighting Style

      Simple sconces enhance a beautiful white bathroom. A ceiling-mount fixture and a window provide general illumination in the space. If you're remodeling your bathroom, consult an interior designer with expertise in bathroom lighting to help you develop a lighting plan that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

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      Highlight Contemporary Style

      A sleek horizontal sconce hung over the mirror is the finishing touch in a modern bath. Choose a bathroom light fixture that's at least as wide as the mirror to avoid shadows.

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      Layer Light

      In a large bathroom, it's important to include multiple light sources to create layers of light. Sconces beside the mirrors offer task lighting for grooming. Overhead lights fill the space with ambient light, and windows add natural light.

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      Next Slideshow Living Room Lighting Ideas

      Living Room Lighting Ideas

      Whether it's for reading or relaxing, the right lighting helps us do all our living better. Add instant style and function to your living spaces with these ideas for accent lighting, chandeliers, sconces, and more.
      Begin Slideshow »

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