Here's Everything You Need to Know About Bathroom Light Fixtures

If you ask any interior designer, they will tell you about the importance of lighting and why it's seriously something you should invest in. And yes, we're going to say it again: don't put off the lighting plan.

Good lighting has the ability to change a room. When it comes to the functionality of a bathroom, you need to consider how the space will work. Layering ambient with task lighting is vital. While your daily shower might not need an abundance of illumination, a vanity area will need additional task lighting. Of course, you may also want to create a cozy soft glow perfect for indulging in a long, hot soak.

But what's the deal with all of these lighting options? Which ones should you consider to create a cohesive look in your bathroom? Find out with our handy guide to the most popular types of bathroom light fixtures available and the pros and cons of each.

1. Flush Mount Bathroom Lighting

flush mount bathroom light fixture on ceiling with freestanding bathtub and white vanity cabinet
credit: Corney Bishop

Flush mounts are ceiling lights that stay flush to the surface without any cord or chain to hang down into the room.

Pros: Many stores sell flush mount lighting at very affordable rates, and there are a vast variety of styles to choose from. They give a lot of light and work especially well in small spaces, especially those with lower ceilings.

Cons: Flush mounts are pretty typical in most design schemes, with builders and developers opting to install them for ease and affordability. If you're looking for that wow factor, this might not be the obvious choice. Consider the material you choose, as fabric shades can suffer from moisture-related problems.

2. Semi-Flush Mount Bathroom Lighting

semi-flush mount bathroom light fixture with white wall tile and black penny mosaic floor tile
credit: Nune

Similar to the flush mount, semi-flush fixtures hang slightly away from the ceiling. This style of lighting allows you to create a little bit more of a statement.

Pros: Semi-flush mount bathroom light fixtures are also a great option for small spaces with low ceilings. Use these fixtures for ambient lighting throughout the room.

Cons: This fixture won't provide enough light on its own. You'll need to pair it with additional lighting for tasks such as applying makeup or shaving.

3. Wall-Mounted Bathroom Lighting

Not to be Captain Obvious here, but a wall-mounted light fixture is installed directly to the wall — typically around areas such as the bathroom mirror.

Pros: Wall-mounted lights are designed to provide direct illumination on a specific area, and they look pretty, too! There are countless stunning styles on the market, ranging from wall sconces to light bars. This is your chance to add some personality to your space while also providing a functional bathroom light fixture.

Cons: Wall sconces are directional and therefore won't light the entire room. You'll need to combine with other lighting, otherwise things will get a little bit shadowy.

4. Pendant Bathroom Lighting

Pendant lighting is one of the more common types of modern lighting used in a bathroom. This fixture is usually suspended from the ceiling by a cord, chain or rod.

Pros: Pendant lights are extraordinarily versatile. They can be hung at any desired height and come in a range of styles, from boho to industrial. You can go big or small depending on your space. And, you can use them for task lighting near your vanity mirror or ambient lighting in the center of the room.

Cons: Not all pendant lighting will be suited to the moist conditions of a bathroom, so do your research first. Pro tip: Be sure to double check the ceiling height in your bathroom before you start shopping.

5. Recessed Bathroom Lighting

recessed bathroom light fixture with black trough sink and patterned mosaic tile floor
credit: RailiCA

Recessed lights are metal can lights that are installed above the ceiling line. Only a thin part of the light is visible, as the metal canister is hidden within the ceiling.

Pros: Watertight lenses mean that these fixture can handle the humid and wet conditions. Since they are hidden in the ceiling, they look incredibly clean and streamlined.

Cons: The actual light doesn't extend very far, so you you'll probably need a handful of these to make a difference. Also, you'll want to be sure that your recessed lights aren't posing a fire hazard — insulation in the attic can cause issues and some buildings will not allow them to be installed, so double check first.

Where to Shop for Bathroom Light Fixtures:

If you're looking for bathroom lighting, you've come to the right spot. These retailers carry a range of styles for every aesthetic and budget.

Rejuvenation sells classic American lighting that is made to last for years to come. The majority of the hardwired lighting is made to order in Portland, Oregon, and there's a wide range of bathroom options available.

Sister brand to Wayfair, Joss & Main sells a variety of modern bathroom light fixtures to suit every style and budget. Believe us, it's bathroom vanity galore.

Simplicity and beauty are at the forefront of the Feiss approach. Shop here for an extensive selection of designs and styles to bring fresh lighting to your bathroom.


Emma Jane Palin

Emma Jane Palin

Emma Jane Palin is a multi-award-winning blogger and freelance writer with a penchant for design and interiors.