The Ultimate Guide to Perfect Lighting and Mirrors

June 27, 2023

When planning a bathroom design, there are many factors to consider. While you may be focused on your ideal walk-in shower, vanity cabinet storage, or deluxe freestanding bathtub, don’t forget the significant role bathroom lighting and mirrors play in completing your design. 

Today’s bathrooms are more than purely functional spaces. They are the place where you retreat for a soothing bath, get inspired for your day ahead, or get ready for a big night out. Quality materials, customized storage, and a sophisticated color scheme help set the stage for the ideal bathroom design, but lighting transforms your space.

A multi-layered lighting scheme with stylish fixtures that accent your design, plus lighting options that take you from bright task lighting to soft ambient light, is essential. Pair it with mirrors that not only offer space to see your reflection but also bounce light around the room and enhance your bathroom’s style.

Our guide to bathroom lighting and mirrors will help you start planning, but a visit to our Gainesville, Florida showroom is a must. Stop by to browse our extensive lighting and mirror displays and speak to a member of our experienced team!

What do you need to know about bathroom lighting and mirrors?

Lighting provides essential illumination for key tasks in a bathroom, such as shaving and applying makeup. It can be critical for middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom especially if your household includes older family members or children. 

A multi-layered lighting scheme also lets your bathroom go from a brightly lit space where the glam squad gets ready for a night out to a spa-style relaxation zone. Dimmer switches, smart lighting controls, and softer light sources all fill this requirement in a bathroom design. 

Lighting and mirrors work together in a bathroom remodel to create a bright, welcoming space where you can get ready and relax. Pair your lighting with bathroom mirrors that reflect light, make your space appear larger, serve the essential task of letting you see yourself clearly, and also accent your style. 

Planning is essential to create a lighting design that meets all these requirements and more. Start by looking at your available space, your family’s individual needs, and your remodeling budget. If you have a young household with small children or a multi-generation home, you might want to focus on clear lighting with easy-to-control switches. If you are creating an on-trend spa-style master bath retreat, make sure you include soft light sources that let you set the tone for this soothing space. Decide what you want and need first, and then cater your design to your requirements.

What are the key types of bathroom lighting?

Luxury bathroom design with brown cabinets and large lighting!

Whether you are creating a kitchen design, a new living room style, a home office, or a bath remodel, lighting plans are important. In any space, there are several essential types of lighting to consider, and often one light source can serve multiple purposes. Before considering which light fixtures are right for your bath design.

Let’s explore the key types of lighting:

  1. Task lighting: Targeted task lighting provides light exactly where you need it to perform key tasks such as shaving or applying makeup. In a bathroom design, it is essential to choose light sources that work together with your bathroom mirror and do not leave your face in shadow or with a glare. Make sure you install task lighting in the shower and around the vanity area. Vanity lights could include sconces on either side of the mirror, lights over the mirror, or even a backlit mirror. 
  2. Ambient lighting: These are the softer light sources that create a warm and inviting ambiance, transforming your bathroom from a clinical feel to a relaxing space. Recessed ceiling lights, wall sconces, and other light sources can become ambient light sources when carefully planned, particularly when paired with a dimmer switch or smart lighting controls. This allows you to change lighting levels depending on how you plan to use the bathroom and on your particular needs. Cabinet lighting and backlit mirrors can also serve as sources of ambient light.
  3. Accent lighting: You’ve planned your bathroom design with care and attention to detail, and accent light fixtures allow you to highlight your favorite features to show them off! Use your accent lighting to showcase architectural features, tile details, artwork, or carefully chosen contents of floating shelves. Spotlights, wall-mounted picture lights, and LED strips strategically placed are ideal choices to show off your favorite design features. 
  4. Decorative lighting: bathroom lighting is essential but that does not mean your light fixtures are solely functional. Just like in any other room, bathroom light fixtures can also become a bath design feature. There is a wide range of statement light fixtures for bathrooms that can create a design focal point or draw attention to a particular part of the bath design. Classic chandeliers, modern bold pendants, and architectural light fixtures all fit in a bathroom design when carefully chosen and placed to accent your room’s style.

Modern and clean bathroom oasis with gold accents.

What else do you need to know about bathroom lighting?

In addition to the key types of lighting used in bathroom design, there are other factors to consider when creating a cohesive lighting plan. The placement of windows for natural light, technology that allows you to easily control light levels, sustainable choices, and a safe space for candles to provide soft light while relaxing in the bathtub are among the many factors you may want to include in your lighting plan. 

An experienced bathroom design expert can walk you through your individual needs and find the perfect lighting design for your space. Here are a few of the additional factors you may want to consider:

Reflect Your Style with the Perfect Mirror

Luxury master bathroom with black and gold accents.

Mirrors are almost as important in a busy bathroom design as your bathroom lighting. Bathrooms are the places where we go for personal grooming and for one last glimpse at how we look before heading out. This requires light as well as appropriate mirrors to see yourself clearly and perform tasks like shaving or styling your hair. 

Mirrors also serve other purposes in a bath design, including making your space feel larger and reflecting light throughout the space. They can also be decorative accessories for bath designs, particularly when paired with a stylish frame. Here are some of the options to consider when choosing the perfect bathroom mirror:

LED illuminated mirrors

These styles are more popular than ever, with LED lights either around the edge of the mirror or behind the mirror for a backlit style. This makes your mirror appear to float. This style is ideal for seeing yourself clearly when getting ready, but can also give any bath design a stylish effect. 

LED mirror within a luxury bathroom.

Frameless or Framed

Mirrors can come in either frameless or framed versions, and which you select depends on your style. Frameless mirrors fit any bath design style and give your space a sleek appearance. This minimalist style is usually mounted straight onto the wall and can be cut to fit any space. When you select a large, frameless mirror that fills the wall above your vanity cabinet, it has the effect of giving your bathroom visual depth. This makes the space appear much larger. 

Framed mirrors, on the other hand, can be framed to match the tile, vanity cabinet, and other fixtures. They can also become a style focal point when framed in an unusual material that stands out from the rest of your design. 

Mirrored Medicine Cabinets

These hidden treasures double as mirrors and essential storage. They are ideal for keeping medicine, face products, and makeup organized and ready to use. This cabinet storage is perfect for items you need within arm’s reach. They can be equipped with shelves or with more customized storage options to hold all your essentials. For a truly sleek look, consider a recessed medicine cabinet that provides the storage you want without sticking out from the wall.

Go for an Unusual Shape

We typically think of a rectangular or oval shape when it comes to mirrors, but don’t be afraid to change this up if you want to create an eye-catching focal point. Round mirrors have grown in popularity, particularly large, round mirrors with a frame that accents your design style. Asymmetrical or irregular shapes are also becoming more prevalent to give your bathroom a personal flair with an eye-catching style statement.

What are the other options for enhancing your bathroom mirror?

There are many options to customize your mirror’s style and functionality to enhance your bathroom design. 

These and other options let you get the look, feel, and style you want to enhance your bathroom design. 

Choosing the Ideal Mirror and Lighting for Your Bath Remodel

Bathroom lighting and mirrors work together to create a space where you can get inspired. Whether you are getting ready for the day ahead, a night out, or simply winding down at the end of a long week, a bathroom is an important space in a home.  They change the mood of your space and enhance your design’s style. Start at the bathroom design planning stage and choose lighting and mirrors that fit your space, requirements, and personal taste. 

This could be a large frameless mirror that makes your bathroom appear larger and offers plenty of room for everyone to see. Or you could choose to include more than one mirror. A stylish framed mirror, or an asymmetrical shape that stands out as a design focal point. 

Create a lighting design that works with your space and pairs with your chosen mirror. Wall sconces work well around smaller mirrors where there is space to place them on either side of the mirror. While a large mirror might require lights overhead instead. By choosing a backlit mirror, you may eliminate the requirement for other lights around the vanity mirror. Include stylish lighting accents like a bold pendant or classic chandelier, and enhance your style with the shape, color, and texture of your light fixtures. 

Our Gainesville showroom is the only place you need to visit to find everything for your new bathroom. In addition to plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, and tile, we also offer a wide range of light fixtures, mirrors, and accessories to complete your bathroom remodel. Our experienced bathroom designers are ready to help you turn your design vision into reality. Get ready to find the perfect products to complete your dream bathroom. Stop by today!