What is the Best Lighting for the Shower?

Last Updated on April 2, 2020 by The Tutor

best lighting for the shower

What is the Best Lighting for the Shower?

What is the Best Lighting for the shower?

Choosing the best lighting for the shower can be an easy but you can also easily make the wrong decision. The shower is a place where you are not only accomplishing a task, but it also is a place to relax and the lighting will help to provide that relaxing atmosphere in the shower.

The basic elements when choosing the best lighting for the shower are:

  • Type of shower light fixture
  • Existing shower vs new construction
  • Shower Light Color Temperature
  • Cost of shower lights

Type of Shower Light Fixtures

There are essentially two types of shower light fixtures that you will need to be have a full understanding before selecting the best lighting for the shower. Having an understanding of these two types will not only help you to make the right decision, but also any type of lighting where moisture may be a factor.

Damp Rated Fixtures – A damp rated fixture is one where the fixture will be exposed to moisture but may not be directly exposed to water. An example of this would be a porch light that is covered. That fixture will see humidity and higher moisture levels during periods of rain, but rain and snow may not enter the fixture since the porch is covered. Make sense?

Although your shower head may not be directed at your shower light fixture, there is a good chance that water will be splashed up onto that fixture. In addition, the humidity levels in a shower are extreme to the point where water could condense within the fixture creating water droplets inside. It is for this reason that a damp rated fixture is not recommended for the shower.

Wet Rated Fixtures – A wet rated fixture is one where the fixture may come in direct contact with water. This is often an outdoor fixture that is completely exposed to the elements. They are sealed to prevent water from entering and they also are made from components that will not rust.

Wet rated fixtures are the best lighting for the shower. This is my recommended we rated shower fixture. It is wet rated, comes with a 2700k bulb, installs easily and is also air tight. It comes in both a 4inch and 6 inch size depending upon your needs. Check the price for the Torchstar LED Recessed Light on Amazon  You really cannot go wrong with this one. I forgot to mention that it is also dimmable, and you know how much I love to have a dimmer on all of the light fixtures.

recessed shower lighting

If you already have a we rated recessed lighting can and just want to go with a different trim, then you can shop for shower recessed lighting trim here.

Existing Shower vs New Construction

If you have an existing shower, then you are likely just looking at replacing the fixture that is already installed. Maybe you prefer a different size light fixture which would possibly require some light construction to the ceiling or ceiling tile.

Existing shower fixtures can be altered slightly just by replacing the trim and lens. These accessories have the ability to be added to existing fixtures as many are universal. Doing this plus swapping out your bulb may be the optimal way to go if you are looking for an inexpensive face lift.

If you are building new construction or are completely remodeling your bathroom, then you could consider adding a whole lighting scheme to your shower area.  With the walls exposed, you would have the ability to run the necessary wires and install the fixtures needed to develop some innovative lighting in your shower. Here are some ideas when choosing the best lighting for the shower:

Add multiple recessed shower lighting fixtures. Using this tactic could enable you to use much smaller recessed lights along the outskirts of your shower which would not only provide enough light but would add indirect light down the sides of your shower walls.

shower recessed lighting

Add lighting to your shower niche is something that looks great in the decorative photos like the one below. However, keep in mind that these shower niches usually contain half used bottles of shampoo that are dripping with soapy residue. Make sure this area really is something that you want to have accented or illuminated.

shower niche lighting

Add indirect lighting in your shower ceiling to cascade along and down the walls of your shower. This strategy can be used as a way to also eliminate the recessed lighting in the center of your shower ceiling. The atmosphere or mood this will bring to your shower is extremely relaxing. Just make sure you keep those tile walls clean or the OCD in you will be focused on the soapy spots on the walls.

shower lighting

Add a shower sconce to the wall if you want to truly be unique. We do not see this used too often but it is an option for you to consider.

shower sconce ideas

Shower Light Color Temperature

Selecting the right kelvin color temperature for your shower is almost as important as selecting the right fixture. We talked about how the shower can be a relaxing place but the wrong color temperature can ruin that experience for you.

For the shower, the warmer the temperature the better. I prefer a temperature of 2700k or 3000k at the most and the decision between the two will depend upon the color of your tiles. If you have browns, beiges and earth tones then go with 2700k. If you have tiles that are white, blue or grey in color then go with 300k.

Below you will see a side by side of a 2700k light in one bathroom ceiling, then a 4000k light in another. You can see the contrast between the two.

shower light color

Cost of Shower Lights

The cost of your shower light fixture should not be something that will drive your decision, and this is especially true if you are simply replacing one recessed lighting fixture. In this instance, a shower lighting fixture including the bulb and trim should cost you no more than $60. This is also a job that you can absolutely handle yourself without having to hire an electrician.

If you are going to add some of the other shower lighting options mentioned above, then you could spend hundreds of dollars on an entire lighting design concept in your bathroom with about 50% of the cost coming from your fixtures with the other 50% being tied to labor.

What is the Best Lighting for the Shower – Recap

We hope this gave you a good basic understanding on how to choose the best lighting for the shower. As mentioned in the beginning, this is not a difficult decision and if all you are doing is replacing the single recessed lighting fixture in your shower, you can always make another change later.

Related Questions

What color light is best for the bathroom?
The bathroom will require various colors depending on the room and what you are trying to accomplish. We just talked about how the shower should be 2700k – 3000k. The main bathroom area should be closer to 3500k and around your mirror for applying makeup, you will likely need at least 4000k there.

Can I put a recessed light over a shower?
Recessed lighting in the shower is probably the most common way to add lighting to your shower. You just need to make sure the fixture in your shower is wet rated.

Can I put recessed lighting over a tub?
Recessed lighting can be added to the ceiling over the tub. If you have just a tub below the light, then you can use a damp rated recessed lighting fixture. If you also have a shower over the tub area, then you should use a wet rated recessed lighting fixture.

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