The Best Light to Buy for Your Bathroom

April 30, 2020 | Starr Tingle

Love Your Vanity Lighting

Buying lighting for your bathroom can be overwhelming, there are so many options. This post will help make sure you get the best light you need for your bathroom.

Investing in bathroom vanity lighting that makes you look your best when you are getting ready for your day is worth putting some time and thought into.  I have purchased thousands of bathroom vanity lights, and from that experience, I have sorted through the pros and cons of each type. 

This post is all about how to buy lights for your bathroom remodel!

In my video, above, I walk you through a bathroom remodel I am currently working on. Last week I did a very simple drawing of the bathroom and placed the shower, toilet, and vanity in the drawing.  If you’d like a refresher or to catch that video, you can see it here.  

This week I’m using that drawing to lay out the electrical plan.  I’m going to mark the locations for receptacles, ceiling lights, switches, and bath – everything an electrician would need to take care of for you on this drawing.  

If you are working along with me on your own bathroom remodel, take your drawing and make a couple of black and white copies of it.  Then, grab a colored pen.  I use Paper Mate Flair Markers ; you can get them here


Receptacles are also known as outlets or plugs. You don’t need too many receptacles in a bathroom, and electrical code works in your favor to help keep you safe in this regard. For example, if you have a tub, your electrician won’t install any receptacles in its vicinity. You need them at your vanity and around a toilet if you are planning for a bidet. Knowing what you want and how you will use the space helps. Maybe you want a towel warmer? That needs to be planned for now. Thinking about the height you want you receptacles off of the floor can save you from being annoyed in the future. 

Can Light

Can lighting is a particular favorite of mine.  Not only are they are sleek and unobtrusive, but they also put out great light and are easy on your budget.  It has been almost 5 years since we completely remodeled our home and we still have not replaced a single can light! I like the look of them, I like the color of light they put off, and the amount of light they put off.  Here is the link to them

Ceiling Light

I often like to incorporate a pretty light in the middle of the bathroom ceiling.  If possible, I like it to be on a dimmer so my clients have some options  – this may be a little extra though…I’ll let you decide.  If your ceilings are only 8’ tall, go for a flush or semi flush mount light, see examples below.  Unless you have very high or vaulted ceilings, stay away from placing a light that hangs down over your tub, chances are it will not pass electrical code. 

Flush Mount Lighting
Semi-Flush Mount Light

Bath Fan

I’m a big fan (haha!) of Panasonic bath fan products.  They are very quiet, they have options with lights, heat, humidity sensors, and they have larger fans that pull more CFM’s for larger sized bathrooms.  The fan that I’m linking has a built-in condensation or humidity sensor.  This means there is no switch on the wall for the fan, it runs when it senses that the humidity is high and shuts off when it senses that the humidity has been removed.  


My word of advice on switches is two fold:  be sure to avoid any pocket doors and wet areas like a tub or shower and second, keep it simple.  My preference is to have my vanity lights on one switch and my celing lights on another switch.  

Vanity Lights

I talked a lot about choosing vanity lights in my video, but I’ll give you a quick recap here:

  • I usually center the light 84” off the floor to leave plenty of room for the mirror.
  • I prefer a light that has three bulbs per sink.  
  • I try to only by light fixtures that take an A19 or medium base bulb.
  • I prefer soft white, 60 – 100 watt,  LED bulbs.  2700 -3000K 
  • I try to stay away from light fixtures that have a clear glass or solid metal shades like these (watch the video for explanation).
Clear Glass Shades
I do NOT recommend these clear glass shades. The naked bulb is too hard on your eyes!
Metal Shades
I do NOT recommend these, they cast a shadow on your ceiling and make your bathroom moody and dark.
  • White glass shades put off the best light.  Here is my favorite:
My Favorite Bath Light
This is actually a light I use often when working on a traditional or transitional bathroom design. It checks all the boxes!
  • Always have your electrician hang your light with the bulbs facing down, not up toward the ceiling.
Lights installs facing up.
This is wrong. Insects, dust, and hair spray make this a hot mess to clean.
Shades facing down.
The same light, installed with the shades facing down. Perfect!
  • I try to choose light fixtures that allow easy access to the bulb.
These, while really nice, make changing the bulb a real pain. You have to undo those little screws to completely remove the shade.


In my video, I mention a night light.  I think they are a great addition to a bathroom for all ages and I’ve found a really sleek one that I highly recommend.  You can grab it here.

This post is all about how to buy lights for your bathroom remodel!


Free Resource

Download the checklist I use for every bathroom remodel to make sure I’ve selected every component in a bathroom – it’s completely free! If you have a super ability to create checklists, make one yourself, but please start a master checklist for the project!




Wrap Up

Laying out the plan for the electrical work you need and want to be done in your bathroom remodel can take some time and patience, but it’s not that hard, I know you can do it!  

If you have questions about the cost of a bathroom remodel, take a look at this post where I broke everything down. For VERY valuable help planning your bathroom remodel, go here to download my free guide!

I’m committed to educating homeowners on the process of remodeling their home, and I believe taking time to really think through your electrical plan is one sure fire way to  achieve your remodeling goals.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook @Sanctuary Homes, Instagram at @sanctuaryhomes, and Pinterest at Sanctuary Homes. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME!! Chow for now!