Buying Guides

Buying guide: Bathroom lighting

Buying guide: Bathroom lighting Author: Style At Home

Buying Guides

Buying guide: Bathroom lighting

A bathroom lighting plan should consist of both task and ambient fixtures. Create a serene spa-like atmosphere with the right lights in just the right places.

Photography by Donna Griffith

Try adding a sconce

Sconces provide proper task lighting, making them an ideal choice for personal grooming. Here, sconces mounted on either side of the mirror cast an even light and eliminate shadows over the face.

Tip: Sconces placed at eye level, about 66" to 72" from the floor and 36" to 40" apart, eliminate shadows under the chin, eyes and cheeks.

{1} Hampton Bay chrome, The Home Depot, &50. {2} 1920s Factory, Restoration Hardware, $259. {3} Polished-chrome Margaux, Kohler, $242. {4} Nickel-plated Savern, IKEA, $20. BLIGHT-pendant.jpg
Photography by Ted Yarwood

Pendant lights
Though pendant lights also act as task lighting, they provide a clean, contemporary alternative to the more traditional sconce. Depending on the size of your vanity, you can hang a single pendant at the centre or suspend two or more to provide adequate light throughout the grooming area. Here, cylindrical-shaped pendants flank a round mirror, offering a practical setup with a sophisticated look.  BLIGHT-pendant2.jpg
{1} Arteriors glass Arianna, Universal Lamp, $267. {2} Chrome and opal glass, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $92. {3} Madison Collection brushed nickel, The Home Depot, $56. BLIGHT-Chandelier.jpg
Photography by Virginia Macdonald


Also known as secondary lighting, ambient lighting serves to illuminate an entire space and acts as a substitution for natural light. Since ambient fixtures are more decorative than practical, they shouldn’t stand alone, but supplement task lights. Ceiling fixtures, such as chandeliers or pendant lights, lend a soft glow throughout the bathroom, creating a spa-like atmosphere. A sculptural chandelier also adds an unexpected touch of pretty to the space. BLIGHT-Chadelier2.jpg
Left: Small George II, Elte, $$1,445. Right: Small aged-iron Mykonos, Circa Lighting, $840.You've chosen the right fixture, so now it's time to select the right bulb. These options are top of the line for clean, soft light and energy efficiency.

From left to right: Philips AmbientLED, $25, The Home Depot. For vanity strips or pendants, this bulb has advanced LED technology that will net you more than $75 in energy savings per year. Plumen 001, $30 US, Plumen. For decorative fixtures, this CFL is a modern take on the Edison bulb. It looks fantastic on its own and casts a lovely soft light. Energy smart floodlight, $8, GE Lighting. For recessed or track fixtures, this floodlight is energy efficient and comes in many shades of light, from soft white to daylight to bright white. Philips EnergySa ver Chandelier, $18 per pack of 3, The Home Depot. For wall sconces or decorative fixtures, this CFL is dimmable and turns on in an instant. BLIGHT-Bulb2bis.jpg
From left to right: Reveal 40, $4, GE Lighting. For vanity strips or pendants, this decorator bulb allows colours to show through without a yellowy glow. The bulb looks blue, but the light is clear. Edison Halogen 40, $9, GE Lighting. For wall sconces or decorative fixtures, this halogen bulb has a longer lifespan than other bulbs and offers a very clean, crisp light. Edison-style 1910, $26, Living Lighting. For wall sconces or decorative fixtures, this bulb is a modern recreation of Edison’s original invention. It also looks great on its own. Sparsam Low energy, $8 per pack of 2, IKEA. For vanity strips or pendants, this energy-efficient bulb has a lifespan that’s 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.


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Buying Guides

Buying guide: Bathroom lighting