What Is The Best Color Temperature For Bathroom Lighting?

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When it comes to a bathroom’s aesthetic, color temperature is everything. So, you are probably wondering what color temperature is best for bathroom lighting. Look no further; we have done the research all about bathroom lighting for you.

The best color temperature for bathroom lighting is somewhere between 2,7000K to 3,000K. This is most commonly achieved through using warm white lighting. Because warm white lighting is calming and relaxing, it is best for bathrooms. A Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 80 or above is preferable to best be compared to natural sunlight.

Don’t stop here. Keep reading to learn more about accent lighting, whether white or cool white is better for bathrooms, how bright a bathroom light should be, whether or not LED lights are good for bathrooms, the best bathroom lighting for putting on makeup, and where bathroom vanity lights should be placed.

Bathroom in New Luxury Home with Two Sinks and Dark Blue Cabinets. What Is The Best Color Temperature For Bathroom Lighting

Warm White Versus Cool White Lighting

Nowadays, bathrooms are a place to relax. When you consider grooming, getting dressed, putting on makeup, or bathing, you want your lighting to be functional. With that said, you also want it to be somewhat soothing.

Some people make the mistake of thinking you should have one main light in the bathroom. The key is to have multiple sources of light so that your lighting is harmonious. You want to choose lighting with a Color Rendering Index of 80 or higher to achieve lighting similar to what natural sunlight provides.

Skylights are a fantastic addition to consider utilizing as a natural source of lighting in your bathroom. Natural lighting complements skin tones best.

Master bath with glass shower, warm white vs cool white

Is warm white or cool white better for bathrooms?

The answer to this question varies due to personal preference. When choosing the lighting for your bathroom, first consider the main tasks at hand. You need lighting that is the right color of white light dispersed to light up the entire room and reflect off of surfaces at the best angle.

The difference between cool white and warm white lighting is that cool white is brighter and gives off a hint of a blue hue. Warm white lighting provides a calmer, more relaxing feel. If you do not feel the need for bright lights in your bathroom, warm white lighting makes more sense for you. 

Some of us choose brighter lights because we get ready in the bathroom and utilize lights around bathroom mirrors. Whether you fix your hair in the bathroom or put on makeup, you may prefer brighter lights, so cool white lighting is better for you. 

In reality, the best answer for which lighting is better for a bathroom is actually both! Layers of light allow for less glare and shadowing, more precise lighting, and a balance.

Accent Lighting

Accent lights are an alternative for creating a relaxing atmosphere. They make it so that you can benefit from both style and practicality. Accent lights are great for illuminating a specific space, such as a floating shelf with decorations on it or a piece of artwork on the wall.

Accent lights work for achieving a balance when it comes to lighting. They can help you choose the right color temperature for your bathroom while giving you an additional source of decor. In turn, this gives your bathroom more depth and uniqueness.

For those of you who have more than one bathroom, it is a good idea to put cool white lighting up in the ensuite. This is where most people get ready in the morning in preparation for the day.

For your main bathroom, use warm white lighting to give off a relaxing vibe. Soft light is more calming than bright light. This is why you want dimmer lighting in the room where you bathe in the evening.

How bright should a bathroom light be?

How bright the bathroom should be varies depending on what you need the lighting for. A color temperature between 2,7000K and 3,000K is ideal. This means you should look for bulbs marked soft white or warm white.

Warm Bright

Warm white light is typically between 2,700 and 3,000 kelvins. It is most commonly used for lamps in order to give off a calming feel for whatever room it is in. Warm white lighting is more visually appealing in the bathroom than cool white light.

When you see people taking a bath in the movies, they often have candles lit around the bathtub. This is because the light is calming, much like warm white lighting.

Cool Light

Cool white light is between 5,000 and 6,500 kelvins. It is used for spotlights, plinth lighting, and LED strip lighting. Cool white lighting is significantly brighter than warm white light.

If your bathroom is primarily where you put on makeup, you will want to have brighter focused lights such as an LED light strip. These are available with dimmers as well.

How to Make Your Bathroom the Ideal Brightness

Unique tile and colors in bathroom shower

In order to achieve the desired brightness between 2,700K and 3,000K, incandescent or halogen bulbs are best. Incandescent bulbs are 2,700K, and halogen bulbs are 2,850K.

A bulb appears warmer when the kelvins are less. Both incandescent and halogen bulbs can be dimmed, which makes them about 2,200K or less.

Halogen or incandescent light bulbs are great for providing a warm white light that is bright enough to be functional while still not too bright.

Click here to see this light fixture on Amazon.

Dimmers are a great way to make it so you have warm white light when you want it as well as cool white light when you need it.

Are LED lights good for bathrooms?

LED lights are versatile. They are perfect for bathrooms as a highly energy-efficient alternative to incandescent bulbs. LED lights last longer too!

LED strip lights are great for vanity lighting in the bathroom. They give you the opportunity to brighten up the room when you need more light while still allowing warm lighting to be used for the main lights.

For areas that are damp such as above the shower, you need to use wet-rated lights. These are necessary for anywhere that has direct exposure to water. Wet-rated lights have waterproof seals to protect them from moisture.

If you would like to have colorful lighting while taking a bath, you can incorporate LED strip lights with the capability of changing either by way of an app or remote. Be sure to keep the remote put away safely away from all water sources.

Click here to see this vanity LED on Amazon.

What is the best bathroom lighting for putting on makeup?

Shot of an attractive young woman going through her morning beauty routine in the bathroom

The best lighting for putting on makeup is warm or natural light. Natural lighting gives the best representation of what your face actually looks like. It makes it so that you can easily tell if your makeup is not properly blended.

When applying makeup, you need brighter lights that are still similar to what the sun naturally gives off. This is important because you want to see what your makeup will look like when you walk out of the room.

If you put makeup on with warm lighting, your skin tone may appear to be a completely different shade outdoors. The CRI is crucial for this reason. LED lights are great for makeup applications because they emit even lighting. 

Lighted mirrors are a fantastic option for the lighting needed when putting on makeup. LED lights are preferable for makeup lighting. They provide bright enough light for you to see what you’re doing while not being so bright that it is bothersome or blue.

Click here to see this LED mirror light on Amazon.

Where should bathroom vanity lights be placed?

Bathroom vanity lights should be placed along the top of the mirror or on both sides. This is so that you get lighting that is easily dispersed.

Vanity light fixtures that are mounted above the mirror should be attached about 78 inches from the floor. These are usually pointed downward to better light up the mirror and surrounding area. 

Vanity lights that are mounted on each side of the mirror should be placed about 60 inches from the floor. How far apart they are is dependent on the width of the mirror between them.

LED lights work well as vanity lights. If they are dimmable, that is a bonus!

Click here to see this light fixture on Amazon.

In Closing

Cool white lighting is bright while warm white lighting gives off more of an orange hue than a blue hue. The best color temperature for a bathroom is between 2,700K and 3,000K. The CRI should be 80 or higher. This range allows for lighting that is perfectly balanced.

LED lights can be used when applying makeup but natural lighting is preferred and recommended. Vanity lights should be mounted above the mirror or one on either side of the mirror to provide adequately balanced light.

Before you go, check out the following links all about bathroom lighting:

Best Recessed Lighting For Bathroom By Type And Size

11 Bathroom Recessed Lighting Ideas

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