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Article: How to Choose The Right Pendant Lighting for Your Bathroom

How to Choose The Right Pendant Lighting for Your Bathroom

Written by Henry Phan Update

"Why should we care about lighting in the bathroom?" someone might ask. And is a pendant light really a suitable choice, considering it's not typically seen as a compact option for a bathroom? After having worked with numerous clients, we often encounter these questions.

Many realize the importance of lighting only after incorporating a pendant light into their space and experiencing how it can create a wonderful, comfortable, and relaxing atmosphere while also adding a focal point to the bathroom.

To choose the right pendant lights for each bathroom, let's explore this article together with Rowabi. We'll discuss various approaches and specific fixtures that will complement your home.

How to choose the perfect bathroom lighting

Designing ideal bathroom lighting involves considering more than just aesthetics. We must focus on the right type of lighting, its quality and direction, appropriate fixture sizes, and factors that can affect lights like moisture levels.

Here's a detailed guide to help you select the perfect lighting for your bathroom:

Shed the right light

To shed the right light in your bathroom, begin by determining the primary purposes of your lighting. One tip is to incorporate task lighting for grooming, ambient lighting for overall brightness, and accent lighting to highlight specific features.

balance light sources effectively in bathroom lighting choices
Knowing how to balance light sources is essential when choosing lights for the bathroom. Source: Foyr Neo [1]

Nowadays, people often use a combination of these lighting types to achieve not only beautiful illumination but also to cater to different functions within the space.

Design variety

When it comes to exploring various designs for bathroom lighting trends, there is a wide range of options to consider, and each one serves a different function.

  • Bath bar: Bath bars, also known as vanity light strips, are designed to provide even and bright lighting across the width of the mirror. They are ideal for tasks like applying makeup or shaving.
  • Ceiling lights: They can be used for ambient lighting, especially when placed strategically to create a soft and inviting glow in the bathroom.
  • Wall sconces: Wall sconces are excellent for task lighting, especially around the vanity area. They provide focused light to illuminate the face for grooming tasks.
  • Flush-mount fixtures: Flush-mount fixtures provide general ambient lighting and are suitable for bathrooms with lower ceilings with limited space.

It's crucial to coordinate the design of your lighting fixtures with other bathroom elements, such as faucets, hardware, and mirrors, to ensure a cohesive and harmonious look.

Light quality

When selecting light fixtures for your bathroom, prioritize high-quality illumination by choosing the right color temperature measured in Kelvin. Opt for warm white (2700K-3000K) to create a cozy and inviting ambiance, or select neutral white (3500K-4000K) for a brighter, more vibrant atmosphere.

Additionally, consider choosing LED fixtures for their energy efficiency, long lifespan, and superior light quality compared to traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.

Light direction

Pay attention to how light is cast from fixtures to avoid harsh shadows. Consider using adjustable fixtures such as wall sconces with swivel heads or directional recessed lights that allow you to customize the light direction based on specific needs.

understand ip ratings to choose appropriate lightsaconsider light direction and fixtures for optimal placement
Identifying the light direction for placement and finding suitable light fixtures are key considerations. Source: Kichler Lighting [2]

There are three types of lighting that you should pay attention to in order to ensure that the light direction from the fixtures complements each other and does not conflict.

  • Ambient lighting is the primary source of overall illumination in a room, creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Common fixtures for ambient lighting in bathrooms include pendant lights, flush-mount fixtures, chandeliers or natural light.
  • Task lighting: is focused illumination designed to facilitate specific activities, such as grooming or applying makeup. Wall sconces positioned near mirrors or vanity areas provide targeted task lighting for grooming tasks.
  • Accent lighting: is used to highlight specific features or areas of interest in the bathroom, adding depth and visual interest to the space. Recessed lights, track lights, or LED tape lights are popular choices.
  • Decorative lighting: enhances the aesthetic appeal of the bathroom and contributes to its overall design theme. Decorative fixtures such as decorative pendant lights, ornate chandeliers, or unique wall sconces

Light size matters

When selecting lighting fixtures for your bathroom, it's important to consider their size in relation to the space. Avoid choosing oversized fixtures that may overwhelm smaller bathrooms or undersized fixtures that may not provide sufficient lighting for larger spaces.

You should measure the available mounting space carefully and choose fixtures that fit comfortably without obstructing movement within the room.

Moisture ratings for bathrooms

One tip is that the lighting fixtures you choose should be suitable for the bathroom environment by prioritizing moisture-resistant options. Look for fixtures with appropriate IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, such as IP44 or higher, which provide protection against water splashes and steam.

Additionally, select fixtures made from materials like stainless steel, brass, or plastic that are resistant to corrosion caused by moisture.

understand ip ratings to choose appropriate lights
Understanding the IP rating helps you choose suitable lights. Source: Value Lights [3]

Best types of pendant lights for your bathroom

In today's market, there is a wide variety of pendant light types to choose from, each offering unique aesthetics and functionalities:

Downlight pendants

+ These pendants direct light downward, making them ideal for focused task lighting over bathroom vanities or mirrors.

Inverted or bowl Pendants

+ As the name suggests, these pendants feature a bowl-shaped shade that offers softer, diffused light, adding a gentle and traditional touch to the bathroom.

Linear pendants

+ Linear pendants have a sleek and modern design, providing even illumination over larger vanity areas or tubs without taking up much space.

Cluster pendants

+ Cluster pendants have multiple lights grouped together, creating a statement piece and offering ample lighting in larger bathrooms.

Encased pendants

+ Encased pendants feature a shade surrounding the light source, providing controlled and glare-free illumination suitable for various bathroom settings.

Exposed bulb pendants

These pendants suit minimalist and industrial interior styles by showcasing the light source itself, offering a raw, unique, and characterful appearance.

Chandelier pendants

+ Chandelier-style pendants bring elegance and sophistication to larger bathroom spaces with their grand size and luxurious design.

Globe pendants

+ Globe-shaped pendants provide a classic and versatile option, offering diffused light that works well for general illumination in bathrooms.

combine exposed bulb and geometric pendants in the bathroom
Exposed bulb pendants and geometric pendants are used in combination in this bathroom. Source: Riverbend Home [4]

Choose the perfect bathroom pendant lighting style

Not only the type of light but also the style of the light affects the overall look of your bathroom. Here are some popular and trending styles that Rowabi want to highlight:

Coastal pendants

Coastal-inspired pendant lights often incorporate natural materials like rope, rattan, or weathered wood. Rattan pendants, in particular, have gained significant popularity recently due to their raw, natural appearance, that is both meticulously crafted and beautiful.

They evoke a seaside aesthetic with a relaxed, casual vibe, ideal for creating a tranquil and beachy atmosphere in the bathroom.

radiant rattan pendant light blends coastal essence with modern flair
The Radiant Rattan Pendant Light captures the natural essence of coastal decor while adding a modern touch. Source: Rowabi

Contemporary pendants

Contemporary pendant lights typically feature sleek and minimalist designs. They often include metallic finishes, such as polished chrome or brushed nickel and showcase geometric shapes and clean lines. These lights are well-suited for minimalist or industrial bathroom designs.

Craftsman pendants

Craftsman-style pendant lights emphasize craftsmanship and natural materials. As more people appreciate handcrafted items, these pendants have gained prominence. They exude a cozy and gentle vibe, with each pendant being unique in its own right despite sharing similar shapes.

Farmhouse pendants

Farmhouse-style pendant lights often display distressed finishes, exposed bulbs, and vintage-inspired designs. They may incorporate elements like mason jar shades, galvanized metal, or barn-inspired details.

Farmhouse pendants offer a rustic charm and nostalgic vibe, perfect for rustic or cottage-style bathrooms.

Glam pendants

Glamorous pendant lights are characterized by sparkling crystals, polished metals like chrome or brass, and intricate decorative elements.

However, they are not suitable for every bathroom due to their potential impact on space and functionality. They work best in spacious bathrooms with high ceilings.

Traditional pendants

Traditional-style pendant lights feature classic designs with ornate details and warm finishes like bronze or antique brass.

You'll often find timeless elements such as glass shades or candelabra-style bulbs, sometimes with unique variations to give them a fresh look.

Traditional lighting is one of the easiest styles to adapt. Source: Pinterest [5]

Transitional pendants

Transitional pendant lights blend elements of traditional and contemporary styles. They are popular for their versatility, ease of application, and balanced approach that doesn't stray too far from traditional or contemporary aesthetics.

Rustic pendants

Rustic pendant lights embrace natural materials like wood, metal, and distressed finishes. They often feature organic shapes and textures, creating a rugged and earthy charm that complements farmhouse or industrial-inspired bathroom decor.

Simple 'rules' for choosing bathroom lighting fixtures: Do & Don’t

When selecting lighting fixtures for your bathroom, it's crucial to follow these key principles to ensure you make the right choices:

traditional lighting is easy to adapt
Consider the following do's and don'ts to avoid making any mistakes: Source: Decorilla [6]


+ Consider functionality

Determine the specific lighting needs of your bathroom. Most bathrooms require ambient lighting for overall illumination and task lighting for specific activities like grooming. If you have decorative elements to highlight, consider incorporating accent lighting.

+ Choose moisture-resistant fixtures

Prioritize fixtures designed to withstand moisture, such as those with appropriate IP (Ingress Protection) ratings. This ensures longevity and safety in wet environments like bathrooms.

+ Select appropriate fixture sizes

Opt for fixtures that are proportionate to the size of your bathroom. Avoid oversized fixtures that overwhelm smaller spaces and ensure adequate illumination with properly sized fixtures for larger bathrooms.

+ Coordinate with bathroom style

Select lighting fixtures that complement the overall style and decor of your bathroom. Consider factors like finishes, materials, shapes, and design aesthetics to create a cohesive look.

+ Prioritize safety and quality

Invest in high-quality fixtures from reputable brands to ensure durability and safety. LED fixtures are recommended for their energy efficiency and long lifespan, reducing maintenance and energy costs.


+ Overlook installation

Many people overlook the importance of installation and positioning, but this is a misconception. Proper placement and height are essential for enhancing the beauty of the lighting fixtures and the room overall.

If positioned too high, they can be overshadowed, while if placed too low, they may interfere with activities.

+ Overcrowd the space

Avoid cluttering the bathroom with too many lighting fixtures. It's best to stick with 1-3 fixtures that share similar characteristics, such as material, color, or shape.

+ Compromise on style for function

While functionality is crucial, don't sacrifice style, as it can make or break the appearance of your bathroom. Look for fixtures that seamlessly blend functionality and aesthetics, exploring modern options like rattan pendant lights.

7 essential tips for selecting bathroom lighting that you shouldn't miss

Shape and style of the lights have been discussed, and do's and don'ts have also been covered. Below, Rowabi will share 7 helpful tips for choosing bathroom lighting that you should pay attention to:

Take side-mounted sconces into account

Side-mounted sconces are becoming increasingly popular due to their convenience and effectiveness in providing task lighting.

follow these do s and don ts to avoid mistakes
Sconces are typically placed beside mirrors in the bathroom. Source: Veneto Bath [7]

Typically placed on either side of a mirror, these lights ensure even illumination for activities like grooming, minimizing shadows on the face to provide detailed visibility of oneself and surrounding objects.

Ensure layered lighting in your plan

We've emphasized throughout this article that combining ambient, task, and accent lighting is key to creating the best atmosphere.

Therefore, it's important to plan ahead to determine the appropriate light colors, directions, and brightness levels. Always plan ahead to know what you need and what you don't need.

Maintain consistency in finishes

If you prefer consistency among furniture pieces and decor, keeping the finishes consistent is crucial. This consistency will impact the overall look significantly.

It's not just about matching light fixtures with each other but also considering how the finishes of the fixtures complement or contrast with the bathtub, sink, or other decorations.

Don't forget about illuminating the tub area

The bathtub is a place where everyone in the family goes to relax, soaking in a bath bomb after a long, tiring day.

Therefore, having some ambient lighting in this area will facilitate relaxation and comfort, as desired. Avoid placing lights too low in this area and opt for bulbs that are dimmable.

Opt for brass or chrome for their versatility

Brass and chrome are two finishes that stand the test of time and pair perfectly with various decor styles, including modern, contemporary, traditional, industrial, and transitional.

If you're not confident in mixing and matching but still want to diversify materials and finishes, consider these two options.

Pay attention to the size of fixtures

When choosing lighting fixtures for your bathroom, it's essential to consider the size of the space. Using fixtures that are proportionate to the size of your bathroom helps avoid issues like overcrowding or inadequate lighting.

For smaller bathrooms, you should choose compact fixtures that provide sufficient illumination without overwhelming the space. In larger bathrooms, you can incorporate larger fixtures that effectively fill the area without appearing disproportionate.

place sconces beside mirrors for optimal lighting
Fixtures need to be carefully chosen in terms of size to enhance the bathroom space. Source: Bee Ridge Lighting [8]

Consider pendants as an alternative

Pendant lights offer a stylish alternative to traditional vanity lighting in bathrooms. There is a wide variety of pendant light styles and designs available, with some notable trends emerging in 2024. Popular trends include globe lights, sculptural fixtures, and rattan pendant lights that embody nature-inspired designs.

Today, you can find pendant lights in a range of sizes, from compact options that emphasize intricate details to larger statement pieces that enhance the overall aesthetic of your bathroom with their meticulous craftsmanship.

Faqs: How to choose the right pendant lights for the bathroom

Can dry-rated pendant lights be used in a bathroom?

  • Dry-rated pendant lights are not recommended for bathroom use due to the high moisture levels. Look for damp- or wet-rated fixtures designed specifically for humid environments.

How low should you hang bathroom pendant lights?

  • Bathroom pendant lights should typically be hung at least 8–10 inches above the tallest person's head to ensure sufficient clearance and avoid obstruction.

How can I choose the right lighting for my bathroom remodel, and what types of fixtures should I consider?

  • Always consider a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Fixtures like vanity lights, sconces, and ceiling lights can enhance functionality and aesthetics.

How do I choose the right color temperature for bathroom lights?

  • Select a color temperature for bathroom lights between 2700K-3000K (warm white) for a cozy feel or 3500K-4000K (neutral white) for a bright and vibrant atmosphere.

Struggling to buy modern bathroom light pendants, where do you guys buy them?

  • Explore modern bathroom light pendants from reputable retailers like lighting stores, online marketplaces, or specialty home decor shops. At Rowabi, we offer a diverse selection of rattan pendant lights and other contemporary lighting fixtures.

How to choose pendant lights to provide enough lighting?

  • To ensure pendant lights provide enough lighting in your bathroom, always take into consideration their size, placement, and brightness level first.

Are pendant lights good for bathrooms?

  • Pendant lights can be suitable for bathrooms if they are rated for damp or wet locations and properly installed to ensure safety and functionality.

How big should bathroom pendants be?

  • Bathroom pendants should be proportional to the size of the room. Generally, larger bathrooms can accommodate larger pendants, while smaller bathrooms benefit from smaller, more compact fixtures.

What lights look good in a bathroom?

  • Lights that look good in a bathroom include vanity lights, wall sconces, recessed lights, and decorative pendant lights.

Are bright or soft lights best for the bathroom?

  • Soft lights (warm white) are generally preferred for bathrooms as they create a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere, ideal for unwinding and grooming tasks.

Are LED lights good for bathroom vanity?

  • LED lights are excellent for bathroom vanities due to their energy efficiency, long lifespan, and ability to provide bright, even illumination for grooming tasks.

Where do you put bathroom pendants?

  • Bathroom pendants can be placed strategically above vanities, freestanding tubs, or in alcoves to enhance functionality and aesthetic appeal while ensuring proper lighting.


So we've covered the essentials for choosing the most suitable lighting fixtures for the bathroom. Rowabi hopes that you'll be able to quickly find the perfect fixtures to upgrade your home's aesthetics and create the most relaxing moments in your bathroom sanctuary.

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