13 bathroom lighting ideas for a quick refresh - Misc. AU
13 bathroom lighting ideas for a quick refresh

13 bathroom lighting ideas for a quick refresh

If your bathroom is feeling a bit tired, a great way to freshen it up is to redo the lighting. For what is typically one of the smaller rooms in the house, you’d be forgiven for thinking lighting won’t change much but it most certainly can. As these bathroom lighting ideas will demonstrate, a few subtle changes here and there can make a world of difference.

Words by Yohei Guy

Bathroom lighting is sometimes overlooked during a bathroom renovation with attention usually directed at the big-ticket items like the bathtub, shower, toilet, tiles and more. Lighting, when done well, can completely transform a space stylistically and improve functionality too. You can also do it in a way that is more eco-friendly and sustainable giving you plenty of reasons to make changes sooner rather than later.

Monterro 3 Light Vanity from Urban Lighting

1. Install some vanity lights

Installing vanity lights ticks many of the boxes that you want for bathroom lighting as a visually appealing form of task lighting. They combine exceptionally well with vanity mirrors which can also themselves be lit.

There are several vanity lighting styles that you can explore, including track lights, recessed lights, pendant lights or even lamps. Each will bring its own character and qualities but all will give you that much-needed boost of lighting to help with your daily cleaning and grooming rituals.

2. Incorporate natural light

The best things in life are free and natural light is a tremendous asset to harness if you’re able to. The size and location of windows are critical to this when starting from scratch, taking into account the direction of the sun where your bathroom is facing.

If renovating, it may be that the type of window could be changed to allow more natural light into the space, especially if the existing frames are bulky. Another thing to consider is installing a skylight which will significantly improve visibility in your bathroom during the day.

Natural light harnessed at McLaughlin Street Additions - Photography: Camille Walsh Photography

3. Use stylish wall sconces

A wall sconce is an amazing option for mood lighting and creating a bit of atmosphere in the bathroom. The wall sconce condenses light so that its beams are concentrated in specific areas.

It can serve as featured lighting or secondary lighting depending on the shape and style of the sconce as well as the power of the light source. These lights are also excellent if you have a large bathroom and want to decorate the entryway adding instant ambience.

4. Go minimalist

Many homeowners opt for a minimalist approach with their bathroom design. This design choice uses the power of simplicity to make your bathroom's most important features stand out.

Some ways that you can incorporate minimalist lighting include small lamps, strip lights and single bulbs. This adds flow to your bathroom and strengthens the purpose and intention of the design.

Related article - The top bathroom trends for 2022

Strip lighting illuminates a minimalist bathroom at King St Townhouse - Photography: Dylan James Photo

5. Think about task lighting

Using task-oriented lighting helps you create focus and purpose in your bathroom. This style of lighting lets you get things done. Most people think this is just about lighting around the basin and vanity but there is so much more that you can do.

For example, adding in and around a free-standing bathtub will not only improve safety and provide greater visibility when cleaning but it will direct attention toward an impressive bathroom feature. You can also do the same with additional recessed lighting above showers for similar impact and effect.

6. Try some ambient lights

A bathroom’s ambience is important because it sets the tone and mood, both of which are crucial. Bathrooms are often where we start our days so you want the mood to be just right to help get you through it.

As the strongest source of artificial light in a bathroom, it needs to be well measured. When using recessed lights be sure not to overdo it which can easily happen, making the room feel overblown with light. In smaller spaces, other types of ceiling lights like dome lights might present a more muted but effective solution.

Lance 24 Flush Mount from Urban Lighting

7. Showcase stunning pendant lights

Installing pendant lights adds both style and personality to your bathroom. They come in a plethora of designs allowing you to find something that is both unique and striking. They can be a fantastic focal point for a bathroom or something that is complementary to your fittings and overall design.

This is a very quick fix that can have quite a large influence on the look and feel of your bathroom as well as its practical day-to-day use.

Related article - 7 dazzling modern pendant lighting choices for your home

8. Install track lights

Track lights are great because they cover a lot of ground when illuminating your bathroom. These lights are often installed in rectangular arrangements though you can find curved stylish designs too.

They are an excellent choice to consider for a bathroom because of the flexibility they offer as you can set each separate light at the angle you want it. This also means you can experiment with different types of lighting styles as your own tastes and preferences evolve.

9. Explore wall light ideas

Wall sconces have already been discussed but there are plenty of other bathroom wall light ideas that you can explore. Up lights are one which are great mood setters with their stylish and focussed beams of light that project up towards the ceiling. These can also help make small bathrooms feel slightly larger than they are.

You can also consider up and down lights which project light in both directions on the vertical creating a great visual feature of their own. These will also help create a sense of depth in your bathroom as a form of layered lighting.

Mini Wall Light by Il Fanale from LightCo

10. Consider different colour options

Don’t be afraid to play around with different hues when thinking about your bathroom lighting. Some people find coloured lighting too garish but there are ways they can be used with a light touch to add a point of difference.

You need not drench the whole room in coloured light but instead use independent light fixtures that emit different shades of yellow, orange, blue or whatever colour may suit. If this still feels too bold, consider trying different temperatures of light to increase or decrease the warmth of your bathroom.

11. Use eco-friendly lighting

As something that should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, eco-friendly lighting lets you match style with sustainability in your house. Lighting makes up 10% of people's housing budget in Australia so you'll also save money by switching to something like LED lights, lights set on timers, and touchless lighting systems. It helps to protect the environment while reducing your bills.

Span 48 Bath Light with LED technology from Urban Lighting

12. Explore vintage options

Vintage lighting options are incredibly trendy at the moment thanks to the number of great qualities they bring. One of these is the uniqueness and personality they bring to a space as rare items seldom seen. They also have so much entrenched history adding depth and substance as well as style.

Vintage pieces are also typically ornate and detailed with undeniable charm making them fantastic assets to be able to incorporate into your design.

13. Boost lighting with mirrors

While not a source of light themselves, mirrors can play a key role in boosting existing light both artificial and natural in a bathroom. While all bathrooms do feature mirrors by default, the key is to think about their positioning and placement in a way that’ll enhance the existing lighting setup.

This might involve repositioning an existing mirror, replacing it entirely with something bigger or adding an additional mirror like a freestanding mirror in a larger space. The impact of all these options can be telling and can really brighten and freshen things up.

Hawthorn Hill Tilting Bathroom Wall Mirrors from The English Tapware Company

Apply these bathroom lighting ideas today

As you can see, these bathroom lighting ideas are, for the most part, very doable and can make a meaningful difference to the appearance and functionality of your bathroom. You can do them as part of a full renovation or independently to freshen things up, improving the day-to-day experience for you and your family.

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