Did you know that the average person spends about 60 minutes per day in the bathroom, including the time spent on tasks like showering, bathing, doing their hair, applying make-up, and – uh – doing other things? That’s 365 hours per year or some 27,000 hours in the course of a lifetime!

Though you might not think of this room as the most important one in your home, it is indeed an essential space and, as such, it should be well-lighted, especially since it’s often a small room. This involves choosing the right lighting fixtures and placing them in the correct places so that the shower area as well as the entire bathroom remains well-lit. There are a number of ways you can achieve these goals.

Use natural light when possible

Of course, it’s always a good idea to take advantage of any natural light you might have. If it’s an option, especially with new construction, install a large, unobstructed window that brings plenty of sunlight into your bathroom. Instead of curtains or blinds, consider frosted glass, which will offer privacy while allowing more natural light to shine through.

Of course, bathrooms that are inside rooms – which is often the case – won’t have any windows, so you’ll need to work magic with artificial lighting.

Concentrate on task lighting

While most bathrooms may just have a single ceiling light in place, it’s also a nice idea to strategically place lights so they can shine onto the places where you spend the most time, like in the bath or shower or at the sink while grooming.

So, consider some vanity lighting above the mirror or even some decorative sconces on each side, which can add real character to your bathroom. If there are older residents in your home, you might also opt for an additional light in the area of the bathtub or shower to make it easier to see when using that part of the bathroom. About 80% of falls among seniors happen in the bathroom, so this is super important.

It’s also essential to note that the one central light that’s often the only light in a bathroom can cast shadows that can cause accidents amongst individuals with impaired vision, making any additional lighting all the more important.

As a side note, if your interested in lighting your outdoor features, check out our Landscape Lighting service.

Layer your lighting

Of course, the bright lights you want when you’re shaving or putting on make-up may not be the same lights you desire when you’re taking a relaxing, end-of-the-day bath before bedtime. That’s why it’s a great idea to consider different types or layers of lighting in your bathroom.

While you can certainly consult with your electrician about installing different kinds of lights to create some ambience, one of the easiest ways to achieve layers of light is to simply install some dimmers. This way, you can control any kind of lighting with literally just the flick of a switch.

It’s probably best to avoid colored lights for layering or creating mood if you’re thinking about putting them throughout the bathroom. They can create a funky reflection in the mirror that isn’t at all flattering. However, if your bathroom has “zones” and you can install them so that they’re aimed directly at your Jacuzzi® tub or sauna, for example, by all means go ahead and add as much color as you’d like.

Spread light evenly

If you aren’t crazy about the idea of task lighting but also aren’t fond of that single fluorescent light in the middle of the ceiling, consider an option such as recessed spotlights, which can light the entire room evenly while not taking up a lot of space. Make sure there’s at least one close to or over the shower and a few by the vanity. These can also be on dimmers so that you can adjust the level or light you need or want.

How about a heat lamp?

In addition to standard lighting, you might also think about adding a heat lamp to the mix. These can be installed by your electrician and not only provide soft lighting but can also serve to absorb some of the moisture and humidity that gathers in the bathroom. And, of course, you’ll feel warmer when you step out of the shower or bath, which can be a great comfort during those chilly months.


The experts at Stapleton Electric have plenty of ideas to share with you about lighting your bathroom and shower. We can help you determine where lighting is most critical, what kind of lighting and wattages will work best, and how to use lighting to achieve the look you seek. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 778-985-9395.