Live Brighter

Ideas and Inspiration

Sep 13, 2018

Bathroom Lighting by Room

Shining a Light on Your Bathroom Refresh

If you take a few seconds to look at bathroom trends in 2018, one thing will become immediately clear: drab, dark, sad schemes did not make the list. Modern homeowners want the features of a luxury spa in their bathrooms, and that wish has become increasingly attainable. While a full renovation might seem a bit daunting, purposeful bathroom lighting can provide a shortcut to the transformation you’re looking for.

Hudson Valley 5228 Zariah 28 Inch Wide 8 Light Chandelier

Today’s bathroom light fixtures use creative designs, innovative frames and impressive materials to keep pace with modern styles and trends. With statement lighting that adds flair and function, a bold bathroom refresh could be a much easier task than you expect.

What, Where and How?

How can a few bathroom light fixtures transform the space? What little bulb makes that big a difference with your bathroom décor? When you relinquish your attachment to traditional vanity lights, which can be lovely but oh-so limiting, the possibilities become almost limitless.

Perfect Pendants

A pendant makes sense above a dining room table or over a kitchen counter, but bathroom pendant lighting? Surely that’s too far a reach.

If this is how you feel about pendants, it’s high time you learned the truth. A contemporary bathroom deserves modern bathroom lighting, and that means bold diffusers hanging over wide bathtubs and unique bulbs suspending near full-length mirrors. For the most part, people step into the bathroom for a specific task, and you should hang and mount lights with those activities in mind. If you marry yourself to the idea of a row of small lights on the wall above the sink, you miss out on useful illumination and decorative appeal only a pendant can provide.

Orion H206701S-PN

Striking Statements

Light bulbs will soon celebrate their 150th birthday. People have had plenty of time to get accustomed to and bored by the traditional glowing piece of glass, and today’s bathroom lighting calls for a little more excitement in your design.

How you achieve this depends on the style and situation of the room. Bathroom trends in 2018 include open spaces, elaborate tile displays, intriguing wallpaper and sprawling showers. To balance a statement piece with the existing elements, you can use a central chandelier or a semi-flush mount that boasts its own design without adding clutter to an already busy section of the room. Any bathroom can make a statement with its lighting, you just need to match the right style with the right location.

Corbett Lighting 205-43 Enchanted 32 Inch Wide Foyer Pendant

Spectacular Sconces

Vanity lights, long the cornerstone of luxury bathrooms, now watch from the sidelines, wishing they had the appeal of a bold and elegant sconce.

Modern sconces outpace traditional vanities in many ways, including versatility and style. This makes them ultra appealing for bathroom décor, creating functional light while maintaining the classy, understated appearance associated with those lighting strips that once seemed so practical. One- and two-sided sconces brighten areas without overwhelming the room and still provide a stylish enhancement. Whatever type of aesthetic you prefer, contemporary sconces make for beautiful bathrooms.

Mitzi H212102L Gwen 15 Inch Wide Wall Sconce

The Heart of the Matter

It’s easy enough to identify a lighting fixture you like the look of. More effort is required when it comes time to figure out which light – and type of lighting – makes sense for your home. You might fall in love with a certain finish or bulb shape, but you’ll get much more out of your bathroom lighting display when you use fixtures with the right intention.


You can’t fake it and you can’t downplay its importance – mood lighting matters and takes a little bit of planning in order to accomplish successfully.

Fortunately, LED bathroom lights level the playing field for those working with delicate spaces. By staggering your light sources to control the amount of general light and create a layered effect, you avoid an overpowering glow that ruins any attempt at ambient lighting. Modern style tends toward a more natural look, and well-balanced light helps you achieve that. Layering also improves light quality, so keep the geography of the room in mind while inspecting bathroom fixtures that catch your eye.

Accent Lighting

The goal of your bathroom lighting isn’t just to see, but also to show. Strategically placed bathroom pendant lighting allows you to display intricate tiling, highlight smooth countertops and influence the overall tone of the room. In addition to promoting certain areas and accessories, accent lighting helps create the aforementioned layering. Blending your general illumination with task and accenting lighting provides a richer, more textured, more natural appearance.

Pro Tip: Do It With Dimmers

If only you could make the chandelier a little more subdued and boost the lumens coming out of the sconce above the sink. Oh, wait. You can.

Ask every lighting and interior designer for their opinion about dimmers and they’ll start nodding before you’ve finished the sentence. The option to dim gives exceptional control over lighting schemes and settings. The perfect fixture might light too brightly when you see it on display, but when you put it on dimmers in your bathroom, everything comes together.

Getting Specific

Ready to move past the talk and get to the action? Here are some prime examples of lights that make bathroom modernization instantly attainable.

Varaluz 262P01 Gymnast 10 Inch Wide 1 Light Mini Pendant

1. Varaluz Gymnast Mini Pendant

Oversized pendants don’t always work in bathrooms, whereas an understated piece can absolutely thrive. The Gymnast Mini Pendant by Varaluz accomplishes so much within its minimalist frame, making it an awesome accent piece. Matte Black has a firm hold on today’s bathroom trends, and the strong features of the Gymnast combined with that finish make it a very stylish piece. This type of pendant has classy, modern appeal while providing the perfect amount of light.

Hudson Valley 5228 Zariah 28 Inch Wide 8 Light Chandelier

2. Hudson Valley Zariah Chandelier

The long reign of recessed overhead bathroom lighting may not be over, but its days are numbered. With the Zariah Chandelier by Hudson Valley, you get quality lighting from an appealing structure. An impressive statement piece with French Empire inspiration, the Zariah infuses elegant design into a detailed modern frame. Your bathroom gets a boost in both ambient lighting and class without losing too much aerial square footage.

Mitzi H105102 Stella 7 Inch Wide Wall Sconce

3. Mitzi Stella Wall Sconce

You already know sconces make great bathroom light fixtures, and the Stella Wall Sconce by Mitzi offers an exquisite example. Bold diffusers and an understated frame give the piece exceptional functionality, while the graceful design makes the sconce a very appealing fixture. The glass shades add style while increasing that all-important ambient layering throughout the room.

Little Effort, Big Changes

With all due respect to generations past, you can’t get by with your grandparents’ bathroom anymore. Bathroom trends in 2018, especially with regard to bathroom lighting, require some renovations if you want to keep up. While that may alarm you initially, getting modern fixtures installed takes relatively little work and the changes brought about by a new chandelier or a set of sconces can be completely transformative.

If the idea of a bathroom refresh has you in panic mode, hit the reset button. A couple changes to your lighting design could be the beginning and end of the entire process.