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Your guide to buying bathroom lighting

Choosing the right bathroom lighting

Getting your bathroom lighting right can transform the ambience of your bathroom – turning a cold,hard and sterile space into a warm, luxurious and comfortable sanctuary. Here at Homebase, we offer a huge range of different bathroom lighting options - lighten up your life and find the perfect lighting for your bathroom with help from our expert guide.

What are the different types and styles of bathroom lighting available?

There are three main types of lighting available: ambient, task and accent. Getting the right combination of lighting is the key to creating your desired look and feel. Here’s an overview, along with some tips on how you can use them effectively:

Ceiling lights

For ambient lighting, ceiling lights are a great option, and a single feature ceiling light can provide you with a great focal point, and the main illumination for your bathroom. At Homebase, we stock a variety of flush light fittings, from traditional and antique inspired designs, to modern and contemporary fittings complete with frosted glass and chrome, so you’re sure to find something that matches your style.

Recessed lights/down lights

Recessed lighting (also known as can lights) are perfect for modern homes and contemporary interior designs, helping you to create a bathroom with clean, straight lines, and enabling your chosen fixtures and fittings to really stand out. They’re also a good move for smaller bathrooms,helping you to maximise available space without cutting into the room itself.

Down lighting is great for accent/task lighting, providing focused light to help you accentuate specific features of your bathroom. You can also find down lights for bathrooms that are protected against condensation and moisture damage, and are available in a variety of styles to match your home.

At Homebase, we stock a full range of white, chrome, brushed chrome and brass finishes so you’ll definitely find something you love.

Wall lights

Wall lights are really versatile, diffusing the light gently and naturally, helping you to achieve a calming, peaceful and relaxing mood in your bathroom. With wall lights, the bulb is coved by shades or bowls, creating soft, soothing light. At Homebase, we stock wide variety of wall lights in many different styles, so you’ll be able to find something that fits in perfectly with your décor.

Wall lights can be wired into the bathroom in two ways: through the mains or independently – which means you can turn them on and off via a pull-cord or switch, helping you to change the mood in your bathroom in an instant.


Spotlights are ideal for both task and accent lighting, and are especially useful if positioned over a mirror to help illuminate your daily grooming or make-up routine.

Alternatively, you can also space them throughout the room to add ambience, as they provide softer lighting than bright ceiling bulbs. Spotlights are also known for their long lifespan and energy-efficiency, which makes them another smart choice for bathrooms.

Over mirror or shaver lights

Over mirror fittings are a really useful, practical option for lighting up your morning/evening routine, as they provide lighting over a concentrated area. Generally, these lights fit length ways above the mirror and have a small cord so you can turn the light on and off as needed.

Discover our entire range of ceiling and wall lights

What should I consider when choosing bathroom lighting?

What safety precautions do I need to take into consideration?

Water and electricity don’t mix, and any electrical appliance in a bathroom can be dangerous if it isn't installed correctly – so it’s vital that you choose the right products, and take all the necessary safety precautions.

Always ensure that lighting isn’t installed too close to your water supply and that all your fittings are sufficiently covered and protected against water. Light switches should always be positioned away from the reach of the shower and sink due to the risk of wet hands touching electricals.

On a more practical note, you need to be able to see what you’re doing, so ensure that you’ve got enough lighting to prevent slips and falls.

How do I choose the right light bulb?

Choosing the right light bulb can be difficult, especially if you are unsure of what you are looking for. There are many types of bulbs available:

Halogen bulbs

Designed to mimic sunlight, halogen bulbs tend to be a little more expensive than other bulbs, because they are made from more expensive materials. However, they are also 20% more efficient and have a longer shelf life, providing good value in the long term. There are two types: main voltage and low voltage.

Energy saving bulbs

Energy saving bulbs are typically 80% more efficient that other light bulbs, and as a result are a great deal cheaper to run. The bright white light they provide makes them ideal for both kitchens and bathrooms.

LED bulbs

LED bulbs are the most efficient lights available today, using 90% less energy than ordinary bulbs.

Unlike other energy saving bulbs, they instantly reach their full brightness, and you can also get dimmer switch versions to help create your perfect mood.

Incandescent bulbs

These are the ‘traditional’ bulbs and are now being phased out, and replaced by the more efficient ECO Halogen.

Get more information on choosing the right lightbulbs 

Buyers tip

When choosing your perfect bathroom lighting, it’s important to think about the overall look and feel you’re going for, so choose something that fits with the décor of the room.

 There are a huge range of styles and shapes, so whatever you’re going for, you’re certain to find something that matches your bathroom design.

In most cases, using a combination of different ambient, accent and task lights will be the most effective option, helping to add depth and ambience to your room, and making it more practical for you and your family.

Before you start buying lights, it’s also a good idea to plan out your lighting scheme, so you know exactly what you need, and don’t overdo it.

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