How to use LED lighting in a bathroom

LED lighting is ideal for water-prone spaces because they’re highly water-resistant. Of course, it’s best to check the product details when buying your lights to make sure they’re suitable, but in most cases, LED lighting works incredibly efficiently in even the steamiest conditions – making them perfect for bathrooms and wet rooms.

There are many things to keep in mind when it comes to bathroom lighting, such as safety, ambience, and of course, style! If you want the best lighting possible for your designer bathroom, it’s important to consider each area of your bathroom separately and light them accordingly.

Different types of bathroom lighting

Understanding the different types of area lighting, and the IP rating needed to ensure the safety of the space, will make it easier for you to strike that perfect balance in your space. So, before you start adding lighting into your bathroom, it’s first best to make sure you’re familiar with the different categories and the functions they fulfil in your space. These include:

Task lighting

  • Lighting for practicality versus aesthetics
  • Brightest of all lights in your bathroom
  • Helps you see your reflection in the mirror without the obstruction of shadows
  • Helps you to complete complex tasks

Accent lighting

  • Highlights specific areas of the bathroom
  • Focused illumination on certain features
  • Purely for aesthetic purposes

Decorative lighting

  • Offers more options, stylistically
  • Adds a personal touch to the space

Ambient lighting

  • Mostly filler light
  • Creates relaxing atmosphere

Now you have a good understanding of what the different types of lighting are and how they fit into your bathroom, here are some of the locations in which they are best used.

Lighting the 5 key areas of the bathroom

It’s wise to consider your lighting choices carefully if you don’t have access to natural light from a window so you can get the most out of your space. When it comes to lighting your bathroom with LEDs, typically it’s split into 5 key areas, which are as follows.


Depending on the size of your space, ceiling lights can make use of task, ambient or accent lighting. You can use all kinds of lighting in your bathroom ceiling, however, it’s best to incorporate some task lighting for safety purposes.

A great task lighting option for the bathroom ceiling is GU10 LED 3000K. The K in 3000 stands for Kelvin, the scientific measure for the colour of light. LED’s at 3000k provide a bright white light that will allow you to see clearly. If you’re also looking to install some ambient lighting into your ceiling, some dimmable downlights are also great options.

Wall lights

Similar to ceiling lights, wall lights can make use of either task or ambient lighting, but what you need mainly depends on the size and shape of your bathroom. If the task lighting in your ceiling provides all the lighting practicality you need, why not use your wall lights to create a greater sense of ambience? You can get creative with fun or design-centric fixtures that can really add personal touch to your space. Just make sure they’re water-resistant if they’re going to be exposed to hot steam.


Mirror lighting is important because it helps you to see yourself while you perform your daily tasks like washing, shaving your face, brushing your teeth and putting on makeup. So it’s important that these lights are bright enough to be true to life. For optimum lighting, use task lighting above your mirror. It’s also a good idea to incorporate some vanity-style lighting around the side to better illuminate your face from all angles, eliminating any shadows. This could be in the style of bulbs or LED strip lighting – the choice is yours!


If you make use of cabinets in your bathroom and they’re quite large, it might be worth considering lighting the inside to better help you navigate the contents. This is easily achieved with some strip LEDs, and you can customise the look by opting for some in a colour or shade of your choosing.


Lastly, it’s crucial to consider the lighting in your shower area so you can see clearly while bathing. The shower needs to be task lighting, purely for functionality reasons, as you don’t want to be slipping because you can’t see! For optimum safety, bright waterproof IP65 lights generally constitute the best choice for the shower.

Pay close attention to the IP rating when choosing your lights

The Ingress Protection (IP) rating is one of the most important things to consider when choosing your lights. The IP rating helps you choose the correct lighting for specific environments such as wetter or steamier ones – like in the bathroom. The first digit indicates the level of protection against solids like dirt and dust, while the second indicates the level of protection against water. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the digits, the greater the level of protection. Wetter areas, like bathrooms, need lights with a rating of IP65 for safety purposes.

That’s all the essentials covered! If you’re looking for inspiration on how you can spruce up bathroom lighting, why not check out our gallery of customer bathrooms? We have plenty of stunning examples that are sure to spark some ideas!

Lighting is one of those features that can really make all the difference when it comes to the atmosphere of your bathroom, and who doesn’t want to kick back and relax in the bath? If after reading this, you’d still like a little more assistance choosing a lighting style that’s right for you and your bathroom, get in touch with us here at NPM Bathrooms! Our experts are available via phone on 01282 697717 or by email at info@npmbathrooms.co.uk. When it comes to designer bathrooms, we’re always on hand to help!

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