Tips for Lighting a Bathroom
Recessed fixtures can be a valuable addition to a bathroom, when used correctly.
 
I like your “triad” rule for lighting a bathroom vanity. We were planning to fill the ceiling there with recessed downlights, but I also want to have wall-mounted lights to help with shaving and make-up. However, for the ceiling light, do you recommend we install the surface-mount fixture in addition to canisters, or should we dispense with the canisters completely in the vanity area and save them for the toilet, entranceway, etc.?

If you install a surface-mounted fixture in the ceiling, the recessed fixtures are unnecessary, except for wet-label-rated ones that could go over the tub/shower area. If it is a master bath or a powder room where you have a piece of art that you might like to illuminate, then adding a recessed adjustable fixture would be a valuable addition. A recessed fixture over the toilet is okay for light reading, although you have to kind of lean back so that your head doesn’t cast a shadow onto your Sports Illustrated.

Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Lastest from ask randall

Yes, four recessed downlights are a terrible way to light the two-story space. Just changing out the light bulbs will not do much to improve the... read full story
The official answer is yes. The fixture was not tested with the replacement glass. If the house burns down they will not honor the claim. On the... read full story
You don't know how many times I get asked this question. The bottom line is that you can't legally sell light fixtures in the United States that don'... read full story
My recommendation is not to have the lighting above the mirror. It only lights up your forehead and then casts uncomplimentary shadows into your eye... read full story

Webinars

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2-3 p.m. EDT Register for this free CEU webinar by clicking here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0 Learning UnitIDCEC (IIDA/ASID/IDC/... read full story
Sponsored by Bock Lighting, CSL, Fanimation, Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and USA LED Lighting Solutions.   Wednesday, June 10, 2-3 p.m. EDT This free CEU webinar has... read full story
Sponsored by Emerson, Ferguson and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. This free CEU webinar has already taken place, but you can watch the archived presentation on-demand by... read full story

RL Tweets!