Bob Vila Radio: The One Detail You Don’t Want to Forget in Your Bathroom Renovation

Find the best lighting for your bathroom with this brief guide.

When upgrading your bathroom, don’t forget to think beyond backsplashes and vanities to consider what lighting elements would best assist in your morning routine.

Bathroom Lighting Guide


Listen to BOB VILA ON BATHROOM LIGHTING or read below:


Light fixtures play one of three roles in a bathroom— ambient, task, or accent lighting—and the best lighting schemes incorporate a mix of all three to keep the entire room well-lit.

Soft ambient lighting, usually from a recessed or flush-mount fixture, acts as the main source of illumination in a bathroom. Task lighting like a pair of wall sconces will direct the brightest illumination to a small area to help you perform for detail-oriented tasks like applying makeup or shaving. Finally, accent lighting features architectural details or showpieces.

As you select bulbs to go in each, pay attention to the color temperature. To capture your skin, hair, and outfits in detail and with a similar color accuracy as in daylight, you’ll want to opt for incandescent, LED, or CFL bathroom light bulbs described as “Cool White,” “Bright White,” or even “Daylight.”

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!