Bathroom Lighting Trends

When you’re in the bathroom getting ready for work or ready for bed, you likely have multiple lights on at one time. The vanity lights above the mirror are on so that you can see as you shave or take off your makeup, and the overhead light is on to provide general illumination for the rest of the room. If you’re taking a shower or bath, then the lights above the tub or shower stall are on so that you can see as you get clean. For those nice long soaks at the end of a long day, you might dim the overhead lights to create the perfect ambience.

At Dulles Electric Supply in Sterling, we know how important proper bathroom lighting is, whether you’re in the master bathroom, guest en suite, or powder room. If you’re looking for new fixture options for one of your bathrooms, our showroom experts can help you find the ideal lights that will look great and work perfectly for years to come.

Vanity Lighting

Many bathroom lighting designs begin with the vanity fixtures, since they provide the lighting needed for everyday tasks such as brushing your teeth, putting on makeup, and shaving. Many homes have vanity lights above the mirror, which are effective at providing bright, functional lighting; however, they can also cast unflattering lines and shadows on your face.

If you’re looking for something different in terms of vanity lighting, consider placing wall sconces on either side of the mirror. These sconces will shine light across your face, making it easier to see as you stand in front of the mirror at the start or end of your day. If you have a double vanity, such as in the master bathroom, put a sconce on the outside of each mirror, and one in the space between the two mirrors.


Shower Lighting

You and your family members use the shower almost every day, and it’s important that you’re able to see what you’re doing while you’re in the shower. A dimly lit shower stall or tub can be a nuisance, which is why it’s important to have the proper lighting in place. Recessed lights are often a good choice, or you can go with a dedicated shower light that has an exhaust fan built into it for adequate moisture control. Whichever light you choose, it’s best for it to be on its own switch or dimmer, so you can control it as needed when you’re using the shower.

For any lights in or near the shower, they need to be rated for use in a damp location. With the chance of water or moisture coming into contact with the fixture, you want to be sure any light that’s installed inside the shower stall is suitable for damp locations. Our team can help you find the right fixtures and answer any questions you have about shower lighting!

Bathtub Lighting

For bathrooms with separate bathtub and shower areas, such as the master bathroom, you might have ideas of placing an elegant hanging fixture above the tub. You enjoy a nice long soak at the end of a hard day, and with the tub in its own spot in the bathroom, you might have the space for a small chandelier or pendant light. A hanging light can add a touch of elegance to the bathroom, giving it that spa-like feel you’ve always wanted.

As with most bathroom lights, you’ll want your new hanging fixture above the tub to be on its own switch. If you want to be able to lower the lights so that you can create the perfect ambience for your time in the tub, we can help you find the right dimmer switch. We’ll also recommend bulbs with the right color temperature for your new bathtub fixture.

Toilet Lighting

For toilets that are next to the sink or the tub, there’s usually not a need for a separate light fixture. However, if your master bathroom or guest bath has a water closet, then it’s important to add lighting so people can see as they use the toilet. Recessed lighting can be a good choice, but if you want something different, consider a semi-flush light or a wall sconce for the water closet.

Designing the Bathrooms in Your Home

We’ve looked at the different areas in a bathroom, but it’s also important to consider which bathroom you’re designing and what you need in each space. Whether it’s the master bathroom, guest bath, or powder room, you’re going to need different fixture options so that you have the ambient, accent, and task lighting necessary for each bathroom.

The Master Bathroom

The master bathroom is often a focus for homeowners, regardless of whether they’re building a new house or they’ve just moved into an existing house. The master bath may have a double vanity, separate shower and tub areas, and a water closet, and each of these spaces will need the right lighting.

Ambient lighting can be provided by a main ceiling fixture, such as a chandelier or large pendant, as well as the vanity lighting. Recessed lights can also provide ambient illumination, but you don’t want them to be the only source in the room. The vanity lights will, of course, also function as task fixtures, since you’ll have them on every time you’re standing in front of the mirror. Accent lighting is provided by any sconces or other wall-mounted fixtures you add to the room, as well as base cabinet lighting, such as LED strips that illuminate the toe kick of your vanity cabinets.

All in all, your master bathroom should have a balanced combination of ambient, accent, and task lighting. You use this bathroom every day, so having the right lighting can make all the difference in how comfortable and functional the space truly is.

The Guest Bathroom

Many guest bathrooms are a three-quarters bath, meaning it has a sink, a toilet, and a shower stall. For these bathrooms, you won’t need as many lights as the master bath, but the same ideas apply when it comes to choosing your fixtures. The guest bath likely has a single vanity, so go with two wall sconces — one for either side of the mirror. Your overhead lighting can be a flush or semi-flush mount fixture, along with a few recessed lights. Since there’s just a shower stall and no bathtub, recessed lights are probably the best choice for the shower area. As with many bathrooms, you will need an exhaust fan to prevent mold and mildew.

As for the lighting style for the guest bath, you can tie the fixtures into the design of the guest bedroom or go with a completely different look and feel. The guest bathroom may not get used as often as the other bathrooms in the house, but it should still have lighting that’s up-to-date and works properly. When you do have people come to stay with you, it’s important that they have a bathroom that’s bright, functional, and comfortable.

The Powder Room

The powder room is often located near the front of the house, where visitors can use the toilet, check their makeup, and freshen up when they arrive or before they leave your home. You might use the bathroom as you leave or enter the house, since it’s more convenient than going to the master bath or another bathroom. A powder room often has just a sink and a toilet, but there are still opportunities for lighting that makes the space feel complete.

A single overhead light can suffice for ambient illumination, and you can choose a hanging pendant or a semi-flush mount fixture. The height of the ceiling will play a part in which fixture you go with, but having a fixture that casts light upward, downward, and outward can make the powder room feel bigger than it actually is. Wall sconces on either side of the vanity mirror can help eliminate those unflattering face lines as people are using the sink, and you might have the space to add another sconce or two around the bathroom. With the right lighting design, your powder room can be as inviting and functional as any bathroom in your home.

Find New Bathroom Lighting Today

Proper lighting is key to making every bathroom look and feel how you want it to. It’s essential to have the right ambient, accent, and task fixtures in each bathroom so that you can accomplish the things you need to get done, such as shaving or showering, while also enjoying the relaxing atmosphere of the room. At Dulles Electric Supply, our team can show which bathroom fixtures we have in stock, and they can answer any questions you have about bathroom lighting design, installation, and more.

You can visit our showroom in Sterling or browse bathroom fixtures in our online catalog. Looking at the catalog can provide ideas and inspiration for the bathrooms in your home, and when you come to the showroom, you’ll already have a vision of what you want your master bath, guest bath, or powder room to look like once it’s been updated. Everyone has their preferences when it comes to lighting. We can show you which styles and trends best fit your vision.

Whether you need ceiling lights, sconces, recessed fixtures, or something else, we can supply you with a variety of choices that match your desired aesthetic and align with your budget. We’ve worked with countless homeowners across the greater D.C. area, and we can suggest the best options for any bathroom, old or new. Visit us today to see how you can improve your bathrooms with the latest lighting options.

We look forward to seeing you soon!