15 Stylish Bathroom Lighting Ideas, from Sconces to Chandeliers

published Oct 22, 2023
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Great lighting is a bathroom dream come true. There’s nothing better than a sink space that’s illuminated just right for midday touch-ups and getting ready in general. But the options can often feel overwhelming, with vanity lights, bathroom bar lights, chandeliers, and so on to pick from. 

It’s also important to consider bathroom square footage when choosing the right lights. A giant pendant might overwhelm a closet-sized powder room, while bare-bones sconces may feel stark in a large master bath. To help inspire your own space, I rounded up 15 bathroom lighting ideas that range from modern to whimsical to classic to avant-garde. Whatever your aesthetic, there’s a bathroom light style to brighten up your look. 

Credit: Lula Poggi

1. Pare it back.

Some bathrooms call for more minimalist lighting additions. Take this stunning Barcelona home, for example, where a slender, vertical white light looks barely visible against the white walls, making the orange countertops pop. 

Credit: Erin Derby

2. Use above-mirror wall space.

If your bathroom skews small, like this 320-square-foot New York studio, then the best (er, only) place for light may be above the mirror. Try choosing a fixture that matches the tiling or faucet, though, for a cohesive and calming result. 

Credit: Ivan Sorokin

3. Think unconventionally.

There’s no such thing as boring in this 410-square-foot apartment, even when it comes to bathroom lighting. A pink wire-cage pendant lamp illuminates the small space, making it feel like a fun, decorative addition to an already-unique home. 

4. Add some color.

The bathroom in this Philadelphia rental calls for out-of-the-box lighting solutions. Two peach-colored recessed lights, plus one red-tinted version, work with the already-vibrant design scheme and bring a bright ambience. 

5. Go vintage.

Every object in this creative couple’s Netherlands apartment looks whimsical and lovely, including the floral-inspired light that hangs in their bathroom. Alongside the squiggle mirror, it’s proof that even uniquely shaped, vintage-inspired accents can stand out in the bathroom.

6. Dust off the chandelier.

This small Buenos Aires home touts a bold black-and-red tiled bathroom, complete with a chandelier. The result is somehow both charmingly classic and refreshingly modern. You don’t need an ornate, high-contrast design to pull this off, though — a chandelier adds a timeless touch to any bathroom, no matter the size or style.

7. Keep it simple.

Because the design in this Atlanta rental is anything but simple, the lighting is decidedly minimal. There’s just a white wall mount with a simple bulb attached. Making this choice allows the DIY mirror and paint mural to stand out. 

Credit: Erin Derby

8. Consider your light a piece of art.

There’s no shortage of colorful art and vintage luxury in Kate Pearce’s 1910 Long Island home. The bathroom exudes serenity and whimsy and the overhead light steals the show. The gorgeous sphere with gold details comes from The Hudson Valley Lighting Group

9. Think in threes.

Sarah Crowley’s bright Chicago bathroom feels like a time capsule. Instead of hiding its art deco elements, though, like the pink tile and tissue box cut-out, Crowley embraces them by styling a three-light fixture above the mirror. The tiling limits drillable wall space to begin with, but the functional placement further illuminates the bathroom’s existing details. 

10. Choose a pendant.

Play around with pendant shades and cord designs, like actress, musician, and comedian Riki Lindhome did in Los Angeles. She opted for a simple clear glass light with pink details. This unexpected pop of color adds visual interest, without overloading the intricate tiling. 

11. Have a disco party.

Who says disco balls don’t belong in the bathroom? They might not actually diffuse the most light, especially in the nighttime, but as this maximalist Australian home proves, they do provide a ton of joy. 

Credit: Lula Poggi

12. Find a simple sconce.

A simple sconce brightens up the orange-hued bathroom in this modern Barcelona remodel. The spherical shape blends nicely with the curved counter, round mirror, and circular sink basin. 

Credit: Petra Ford

13. Combine the lights and mirror.

Having lights applied directly to a mirror, as seen in this old Chicago church-turned-home, is a smart, space-saving way to amplify and reflect light — especially if the glass runs the full length of your bathroom wall. 

14. Go off center.

There’s something charming about the asymmetry in this hand-crafted Australian home — especially with the unique over-the-tub lighting placement. This modern black wall lamp works with the vintage-looking wall accents, while the window near the mirror supplies natural light.

Credit: Abe Martinez

15. Find fun light bulbs.

Laid-back vibes abound in this Berlin apartment, which carries over into the bathroom where simple wall-mounted lights frame the circular mirror. The bulbs themselves are silver-coated, like these from Schoolhouse, which elevate the minimalist look.