Episode 85: Bathroom Design Essentials – Bathroom Lighting

Frances welcomes guest James Lambrou from Est Lighting to the podcast for this episode of Your Forever Home. Together they chat about Bathroom Lighting and key considerations to think about to ensure your bathroom not only looks fabulous, but is also functional.

They also discuss functional and aesthetic lighting, and how to use both to light up a space – including colour, temperature and side lighting.


Good bathroom lighting shows consideration of  elements- functional, mood, and time of day. Bathroom lighting needs to balance shadow and mood for functionality.  

You also need to consider bathroom fittings as it forms part of the overall design look and feel as they can add personality to a space

Natural Lighting

Natural Lighting is the best lighting in a bathroom. It’s a core consideration when designing bathroom spaces It’s important to think about window placement, the size of the windows and how your window is going to provide good lighting.  

Artificial Lighting

Wall lighting 

You can achieve a relaxed mood in your bathroom by using wall lights. When looking for wall lighting, you need to consider if it gives off an indirect or direct light 

Direct lighting is more practical as it provides a good amount of light on your face which is handy for getting ready in the morning – especially for putting on makeup or shaving! 

Other considerations: 

  • Custom joinery lighting-  direct lighting works best on custom joinery pieces with mirrors, incorporating low glare diffuser such as led channels or milky lens.  This will give you a beautiful amount of lighting covering the whole area of your face. On a separate light switch, it could double up as mood lighting 
  • For practical use, place the led lighting vertically, 8-14 mil width.  Placing it below will not give you functionality but will give you more overall ambiance and aesthetic.  
  • Layering of lighting will give you the ability to be able to dial it up or dial it down.  


Downlights are fine if they are not used as the sole light source in space. To prevent shadows, avoid putting downlight in front of the basin but rather put it behind you and then add another light source. If it’s not possible, place it slightly in front of you so it lights up the space – and your face!  

If you have a shower space that needs a lighting solution, it is best to remove any downlights and just add an IP 67 led strip within the cavity to the corners of the wall. This will give you a good amount of light which will highlight the textures and materials of the shower tiles.  


  •  Create a great aesthetic 
  •  Nowadays they are much smaller and less intrusive 

Types of downlights:

  • Recessed  
  • Beam angle 

Types of Lighting Placement

  • Uplighting -a beautiful way to light bathrooms 
  • Lighting from below- ideal for showers that have textured walls to accentuate the materials and texture.

Frequent go to

Recommended Brand  

XAL- an Austrian manufacturer of high-quality LED lighting systems. They have plenty of off-the-shelf surface-mounted strip lights to choose from.  


  • Recessed LED strip- mimics natural lighting as it provides light across the whole room.  

Articolo Lighting – offers beautiful decorative lighting that gives you a good warm blast of light. 

Information on IP rating regulations

  • IP 44- A product that has a rating of IP44 means that it is protected against solid objects and water splashing from all directions. Thus, IP 44 is suitable for bathroom fittings.  
  • Non IP rated-  should be placed at the far corner of the bathroom, at least two meters away from any running water. It will also depend on the discretion of the installer if they would allow a non-IP-rated product.  
  • IP 67- You don’t need an IP 67 in a bathroom, but if you are thinking about adding lighting in the shower or around the bath, IP 67 is the safest option.  
  • IP 55-  downlights must be at least IP 55 because they can withstand direct water contact. 

Make sure: 

  • The electrician signs off  on the installation and fitting 
  •  Any fitting must be a minimum of 60 cm away from  any water flow 
Cool vs Warm light

For bathroom lighting, the main go-to for warm spectrum lighting is the 2,700 Kelvin Light  and for cooler lighting, the 4,000 Kelvin Light would be a good option.  

  • Be mindful of choosing the colour temperature for bathrooms as it needs to match the colour tone of the space. (I.e Greys=Cool, Beige= Warm) 
  •  It is a good idea to have a separate switch for each colour temperature. For instance, you can use 2,700  Kelvin Lights during the night for the warm ambiance and 4,000  Kelvin Lights during the day for practical use.  
Key Considerations
  • Switching – being able to switch the light from warm temperatures to cool temperatures is an advantage 
  • IP rating 
  • Bathroom space- look at the space from a three-dimensional and holistic viewpoint. Start by looking at the space from the ground then move your way up – including the sides. 
  • The colour tone of the bathroom 
  • Position and placement of your lighting  
  • Functionality 
  • An opportunity to add personality into the space 
  • Light fittings 
Important links mentioned in the podcast:

EST Lighting  

Est Lighting is about balancing practical lighting tools with thoughtfully selected decorative pieces to arrive at a balanced lighting design for any space — solutions that sit comfortably and work in unison with the chosen environment. Visit their website here: https://estlighting.com.au/ 


EST Lighting Showroom 


479 Bourke St 

Surry Hills NSW 2010 




14 Willis St 

Richmond VIC 3121 



Services at White Pebble Interiors

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