There are several things to keep in mind when choosing bathroom lighting. At the top of the list is safety and functionality. Because bathrooms are small, it is especially important that bathroom lighting fixtures are water-tight and a safe distance from showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilets. All outlets in the bathroom should have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), too. If you choose to plug in a flame-less candle or small lamp on your vanity, make sure you use an outlet with a GFCI.
You will also want a dimmer since the intensity of light you will need for dressing and grooming will be much brighter than the light you will want for relaxing and unwinding. A good idea is to put ceiling lights and vanity lights on different circuits so that you can turn on whichever lights suit your needs at the moment.
Light placement is also an important consideration. While over the mirror lights are very effective for lighting up the bathroom, they tend to cast harsh and unflattering shadows on your face when you are trying to dress and may give you the impression that you look tired and wore out. A much better bathroom lighting choice for grooming would be to install bar lights on both sides of your mirror so that the reflection you see looks more like what others will see out in the light of day.
The most flattering light is soft sunlight and you can achieve very similar light in your bathroom even if you don’t have a window. The trick is to choose the right bulb. The three main types of bulbs are incandescent, fluorescent and LED. Although incandescent bulbs are being phased out, they are still available and you may still be using them. Make sure that you choose the types with “withe” color and a color temp of 2,700K to 3,000K. Although it is true that not all compact fluorescent lights work to show you in your best light, if you choose one Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 90 or above, it will provide illumination similar to soft sunlight. LED lights are the most recent choice available. If you choose LED bulbs of 450 lumens you will have an intensity similar to a 60 watt bulb. Again you will need a CRI of 90 or above and a color temp between 2,700K and 3,000K.