How to light your bathroom

Lighting a bathroom can be a challenge—they are especially prone to shadows and reflective surfaces. But the good news is there’s a vibrant range to choose from, including pendants, downlights, diffuse ceiling lights, sconces, under-cabinet lighting and skylights.

All-in-one heat and lighting unit

Lighting units with heat lamps are a popular choice and are great on those chilly mornings. The heat function also gives a powerful light to help with make-up application. The only downside with these is the heating element uses a lot of energy to run, so it’s best to use this function sparingly.

pendant light

Pendant lights

Pendant lights add warmth and depth to a room, can act as a focal point and they complement most bathroom finishes, including stone, polished and matt. They can be clustered together or spread out to suit your bathroom’s style and lighting needs.

Pendants come in an array of materials, including stone, glass, chrome, bamboo, metal and timber, so finding the perfect light to suit your home’s décor shouldn’t be a problem.

Pay close attention to the height you hang your pendants – too low and they won’t throw adequate light, too high and they may not look right. Find out what to consider when hanging a pendant light.

wall lights

Lighting sconces

When placed either side of a mirror, wall sconces are an effective lighting option. They come in a variety of designs and colours that will suit almost any bathroom’s style.

downlights

Downlights

These lights push light directly down, which can create shadows on your face. Downlights do dispense a lot of light, so the best way to take advantage of this is to position them close to the mirror and ensure the light is angled onto the mirror, helping to reflect the light onto your face. It may also work to position downlights around the sides of the room rather than in the middle.

bathroom cabinet lighting

Under-cabinet lighting

By providing a source of evenly distributed light, under-cabinet lighting creates both ambience and functionality without creating additional shadows.

Diffuse ceiling lights

For white or pale walls, diffuse ceiling lights are the easiest way to light a bathroom. Placing one light in the centre of the bathroom pushes light around the room.

Skylights

Skylights are a great way to introduce natural light and provide ventilation. They’re an energy-efficient solution that let daylight in without sacrificing your privacy. They’re not practical for some wall spaces or multi-level dwellings, but solar skylights may be an option here. For hotter climates, the latest roof windows come with blinds.

lights on either side of mirror

Vertical fluorescent light fixtures

Vertical fluorescent light fixtures are best positioned on either side of the mirror to give significant light without shadows. Use a warm globe for softer lighting or a white bulb to create lighting needed for precision.

Illuminated mirror

Illuminated mirrors, such as backlit LED mirrors, are a great modern addition to any bathroom. Some even have finger-touch control, making them even easier to use.

Still not sure?

For more inspiration, check out our full lighting range.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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