Small Bathroom Lighting Ideas

The typical bathroom lighting setup consists of a single overhead lighting fixture, a light or two over the vanity mirror and maybe something close by the shower. In a small bathroom, typical lighting can have the effect of creating shadows that make the room look smaller. Effective small bathroom lighting illuminates with comfortable, useful light while creating a spacious feel in the room with a combination of artificial and natural light.

Use Light Colors With Natural Light

The right lighting can make a small bathroom feel spacious.

Small bathrooms have minimum space for lighting so make use of light-colored walls that reflect sunlight back into the room. Light-colored floor tiles also reflect light and help brighten the room and give it a spacious feel.

Natural Light and Mirrors

Use doors, windows and skylights with frosted glass or sheer curtains to let as much natural light into the room as possible. In addition to lighting the room, natural light can make a small bathroom seem bigger, and a large wall mirror over the vanity helps add to that effect. Position the mirror across from a window, if possible, to reflect the most light into the room.

Recessed Lighting

Install recessed bathroom lighting in the ceiling to provide light where it's needed without scattering light and creating glare. Hanging light fixtures make a room seem smaller, but unobtrusive recessed lights remain out of sight while lighting the room and you can direct them to shine light where it's needed. Recessed lights use halogen bulbs to direct bright light to a particular area or may use low-voltage lights for softer mood lighting that illuminates without overpowering accent lighting or creating annoying glare. Shower and bath areas benefit from recessed lighting with directed light that attracts attention to the shower or tub, creating a focal point for the bathroom decor.

Vanity Lighting

Wall sconces placed on either side of the vanity mirror light your face for shaving or applying makeup, but position them so they aren't visible in the mirror. Use strip lighting mounted beside the mirror or a vanity mirror with strip lights built in. Vanity lights are available in a variety of styles to suit your decor and provide extra light where it's needed without creating glare that makes bathroom tasks uncomfortable.

Ceiling Lights

Mount lights on the ceiling to avoid taking up precious space on the walls. Bathroom ceiling light fixtures are good for general lighting of the room but consider mounting a small fixture over the toilet and use a dimmer switch for soft, comfortable lighting when entering the bathroom at night.

About the Author

Ben Sellars has been writing for his personal website for two years and eHow for one year. He is currently working to grow as a freelance writer and achieve a higher standard of writing with Demand Studios.