Ideas & Advice > Lighting Ideas > Bathroom Lighting Ideas > Bathroom Recessed Lighting Ideas

From Functional to Fantastic: 15 Bathroom Recessed Lighting Ideas

Bathroom lighting is an essential part of creating a useful and comfortable bathroom. Recessed lights are a popular option for bathrooms since they cast light over a wider area and can be used for illuminating key areas like showers and baths. However, there are so many ways to use these lights that it can be a daunting process to create a bathroom lighting plan with recessed lights. Fortunately, we have created a guide of bathroom recessed lighting ideas and guidelines to inspire you.

Purposeful Placement

There are many ways to place recessed ceiling lights so that they look aesthetically pleasing and add the right level of lighting. Instead of filling this entire room's ceiling with recessed lights, this designer elected to place the lights at the end of the room above the tub. This placement works since there are other wall sconces that provide illumination to the vanity and the mid-portion of the room. In addition to that, limiting the recessed lights to above the tub highlights that area as unique and creates a natural focal point for the tub and rear windows.

Minimal Presence

At first glance, the recessed light at the back of this room is hardly noticeable. That is perfectly alright! Not all lighting fixtures have to stand out as a unique work of art or accent. With that mentality, you can exercise greater freedom in choosing the room's primary accents with the tiles, fixtures, vanities, and other lighting fixtures as you see fit.

Maximizing Impact

One trick to making a room feel larger and brighter is by using mirrors and glassy, reflective surfaces. This obviously comes easier in bathrooms, which tend to feature at least one mirror over a vanity. When you use reflective surfaces along with recessed ceiling lights, you can improve the flow of light and create a bright, warm bathroom.

Get inspired by more Bathroom Mirror and Lighting Ideas!

General Lighting

Recessed ceiling lights can act as the primary task lighting of the bathroom or they can provide general lighting to the room as a whole. In this contemporary bathroom, the vanity lights act as the main task lighting while the recessed ceiling lights provide general illumination to the rest of the room. This placement allows the vanity lights to act as primary accents and the rest of the ceiling lights to fade into the background. Along with that, the placement of recessed lights improves the general ambiance and utility of the entire bathroom.

Tucked Away

Bathroom layouts are truly diverse. With that, there comes a need to create your own lighting scheme that suits your one of a kind space. In the case of this bathroom, the shower is tucked away in a corner far away from the tub's chandelier and the vanity's lights. In order to light that space, this room features a single recessed light above the shower. Not only does this provide essential lighting to that area, but it does so without detracting from the other lights.


The direction of your lighting is a key part of creating practical task lighting and general ambient lighting. This bathroom uses illuminated mirrors to cast a soft light at that level, but if the room didn't have the recessed lights above the mirrors, then the upper portions of the room would be cast into uncomfortable shadow. The downlighting of the recessed ceiling lights helps bridge the gap between the ceiling and the mirrors to properly illuminate the entire room and leave no area in shadow. Whether you use lighted mirrors or not, consider how recessed ceiling lights can fill in the gaps to brighten every area of the room.

Explore Farmhouse Bathroom Lighting Ideas!

Primary Accents

When designing a bathroom, it is important to consider how the lights will balance with your primary accents/decor. In the case of this modern bathroom, the hanging plants act as a primary focal point with their placement and pop of color. Since they are the main draw, it's only natural to use a recessed ceiling light that does not compete with these decorations. Whether you use plants as your primary accents or not, it is still vital to establish what you would like your room's focal points to be and how a light can complement these elements.

Discover more Small Bathroom Lighting Ideas!

Luxury Ceilings

Modern homes are adding unique design elements to bathroom ceilings. In this room, the ceiling is finished with tile or another marble respectively. Since these finishes have so much detail on their own, it is wise to use a simple lighting fixture to complement these elements. Recessed lights are an ideal option, since they provide essential lighting with very minimal impact on the room's overarching aesthetic.

More Recessed Lighting Ideas!

Lighting Temperature

Assuming your bathroom has more than one lighting type, it is important to consider lighting temperature along with the style of each light. The lighting temperature defines the intensity of the light along and creates warm, natural, or cool lighting. Even if your room features recessed lights along with another lighting type, you should have a consistent lighting temperature in all the room's lights. This consistency will create a cohesive tone throughout the room and unify the room's overarching aesthetic.

The Grand Design

Whenever you choose lights for your bathroom, it is important to consider the entire room's lighting scheme and design. Perhaps vanity lights are enough to illuminate a half-bath or small bathroom, but in large rooms like this, they surely wouldn't be sufficient. That is why this room uses multiple vanity lights, recessed ceiling lights, and a bathroom chandelier to create a comprehensive lighting scheme. Do not be afraid to use multiple lighting types and fixtures to finish your bathroom; as this room shows, multiple lighting fixture can work together to create a beautiful luxury bathroom.

Explore additional Bathroom Ceiling Lighting Ideas!


This modern shower uses square and rectangular shapes in all its primary features. Between the small wall tiles, larger wall tiles, square shower head, and generally square area, this space is keenly focused on that shape. Because of that very focused design, it's only natural that the recessed ceiling lights are square as well. Square recessed lights are a common option that can transform the tone of your space and blend well with the other shapes/lines of your bathroom.


Recessed lights are truly diverse with different sizes, shapes, and placement options. This master bath shows how small recessed lights can be paired with a lighted mirror to create a well-defined vanity. Aside from these small lights, there are larger recessed lights used elsewhere in the room. This room is merely one example of how different sized recessed lights can easily be paired and not disrupt the room's general flow.

Adequate Spacing

Whether you are illuminating a large or small bathroom, it is vital to consider the placement of your recessed lights. This grand traditional bathroom features two lines of recessed lights to illuminate the other side of the room. The size and placement of your lights is important in creating the proper lighting balance and tone in your room. In general, 4 inch recessed lights should be at least 4 feet apart and 6 inch lights should be 6 feet apart. However, each bathroom has unique lighting needs and layouts, so you must judge your own space to determine what is best.

The Purposes Of Lights

While the LED bathroom wall sconces do provide plenty of light, the addition of recessed ceiling lights helps create an even more practical space. Their presence expands the lighting scheme of that area so that it is both practical and ambient. Bathroom lights should serve multiple functions in terms of functionality, practicality, and tone. With that in mind, you can see how recessed ceiling lights can impact these areas positively and create the proper tone and functionality in your bathroom.

Neat and Tidy

Placing your recessed lights in a straight line is a great way to create a neat, tidy design. Even in situations like this where there is a division between the shower lights and the light above the toilet, you can still observe how the straight line of lights positively impacts the tone and functionality of the room.

Bathroom recessed lights can be used in many areas of the bathroom. Whether you are using the lights to illuminate a tub, shower, vanity, toilet, or general area of the room, these lights can be used in many different ways. Their versatility and diversity make them idea for any bathroom. So, no matter what style or size bathroom you are designing, you can easily outfit the room with recessed ceiling lights and other beautiful bathroom lights.


Your discount code is on its way.