We’ve all seen examples of bathroom lighting designs that don’t work as well as they should. Poorly-planned bathroom lights can make everything–and everyone–look harsh and washed out. They may also not provide adequate illumination to other parts of a large bathroom. With effective lighting that actually works however, you will have enough light for whatever you need to do in there, and you get to look good while you do it as well!
For bathroom lighting to actually work in its intended role, you will have to define what your most common bathroom tasks are, and where and how you will do them. You will need adequate lighting over the sink of course, but make plans to have adequate lighting over a standalone bureau as well if you have one. You should also plan for enough lighting over the other essential areas of the bathroom such as the bath/shower area and the toilet.
Depending on the size of your bathroom and its design, single overheads may or may not work, or produce the most flattering effect. A single overhead light tends to be much harsher than an array of smaller, softer lights strategically positioned for maximum effect. You may also find that an overhead or two augmented with a few wall lights is the best way to go.
Consider the design of your bathroom as well. Even a fairly limited space can have shadowy corners that can be dealt with by installing a few well-positioned lights. Even if you don’t actually need it, a spot of light or two may help provide a unifying effect that ties in the rest of the elements.
Bathroom lighting is just as much about aesthetics as it is about function. Find a good balance between these two factors and you can have a totally functional bathroom that actually looks good as well.