Whether you’re blessed with natural light in the bathroom or live somewhere with a no-windows bathroom, it’s important to make the most of the space you have. Good lighting can make all the difference to a bathroom – making it look bigger, brighter, and often cleaner, too.

There are many different types of lighting available these days, and you may want to utilise these tips as to how to find the perfect bathroom lighting. But remember, what is perfect for one room will not necessarily be good for another – weigh up the options that will work best for you before making a decision.

Lighting zones

If you have a larger room, it may well make sense to light individual zones in the bathroom as well as using a central light fitting. Designated lighting above the areas that we use the most can really transform the space.

Think about the areas that you will use the most in the bathroom – usually this is the sink and the shower. Try spotlights near the shower and over the sink, and a feature light like a chandelier over the bathtub. If you want to go a step further, put them all on separate dimmer switches so that you can relax when its needed.


Spotlights are commonly used in bathrooms and kitchens as they give off bright light, but the bulbs are expensive to replace and can make the place look clinical. Think about how many spotlights are needed – for a small room, two or three might suffice.

If you’re sold on spotlights, zone them, as above, or put them on a dimmer switch so you can control the light. There’s nothing worse than having too many downlights in a bathroom, that make the room too bright and difficult to spend time in.

Feature lighting

For large bathrooms, feature lighting is a must. Whether it’s a large chandelier or statement light fitting, or a lighted bathroom mirror or shower, going all out with the lighting will transform the space and make it more usable.

Be sure to choose something that goes with the style of the room as well as the rest of the house. For example, whilst Victorian style lighting over the bath might look stunning in a period home, choose something sleeker for a modern bathroom.

No natural light

If you’re starting from scratch with no natural light in the bathroom, be sure to fit LED bulbs into your fittings so that you’ll never be left without light. In bathrooms with no natural light, getting your light fittings right is even more vital especially to make sure your bathroom walls, floors, and fittings are shown off to their maximum.

To create the bright, daylight effect, invest in an overhead light as well as spotlighting in the shower and over the bath and sink. Mirrors and shower glass rather than a curtain will allow the light to flow easily around the room.

IP rating

Lights and light fittings for use in bathrooms should have an IP rating. IP stands for Ingress Protection and is representative of how resistant the light is to water. Lights will be graded with two number. The first is the intrusion protection (protection against solids) and the second is the moisture protection (protection against moisture and spray in the air).

For both values, a higher number means more protection. For example, a light fitting with an IP rating of IP65 will be more protected against both solids and liquids than one with an IP rating of IP20. Read up on the IP rating system and make sure you’re getting lights that have high enough protection ratings.