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How Much Does Bathroom Lighting Installation Cost?

Bathroom Lighting Installation Costs

Bathrooms may be small, but they are where people get ready to face the world. As a result, bathroom lights are not only a design element, but also highly functional. To make sure you appear in the best light, it's important to put some thought into your bathroom lighting plan. This buying guide explains what you need to know before buying bathroom lighting in addition to how much the project should cost.

Bathroom Lighting Considerations

Lighting Types

In the bathroom, four types of lighting prevail: ambient, task, accent, and decorative. Ambient lighting is the primary light source that lends overall brightness to the space and allows people to move around safely. There's also task lighting, which is turned on to assist with particular bathroom duties such as shaving and showering. Accent lighting is similar to task lighting, but is meant to illuminate certain design features rather than preparation spaces. A final option, decorative lighting, creates a specific design effect through the use of eye-catching fixtures. Be sure to layer bathroom lighting in order to avoid a flat or sterile setting.

Lighting Placement

Bathroom lighting is placed either on the ceiling or the wall. Overhead ceiling lights can be flush-mounted, recessed, or something more elaborate, like a mini-chandelier. Wall-mounted lighting presents even more options, including wall sconces, vanity fixtures, and so-called Broadway lights (multi-light fixtures).

Lighting Colors

The color of the bathroom and the effect you want to create therein are also important considerations. Although people may not think of light as having a color, when you look more closely, you realize that light either has a white or a yellowish tone. White lighting tends to be brighter and harsher, while yellow light has more of a soothing effect. Depending on the ambience you want to create in the bathroom choose yellow or white light (or some combination of them) that accords with the bathroom paint color. And don't forget to consider the effects of natural light on your bathroom.

Lighting Design

The style of your bathroom lights may fit into your overall home decorating scheme, or else can be used to create a distinct design space. Whatever the case, you have plenty of styles to choose from, such as colonial, mission, rustic, Victorian, contemporary, and classic fixture designs in materials that include nickel, chrome, brass, bronze, stainless steel, gold, iron, pewter, and platinum.

Note: If all of these choices seem overwhelming, consider consulting with an interior lighting designer.

Bathroom Lighting Average Costs

The actual cost of bathroom lighting depends on a host of factors, including your location, the number and types of products selected, and the complexity of the installation.

  • For new bathroom lights, expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $40 for a single sconce to $400 to $500 or more for a multi-light fixture (although $50 to $200 per light is a more reasonable estimate). Customized fixtures made from gold and other high-end materials could cost $1,000+.
  • The cost to install new lighting might be $50 to $250 per light, depending on the type of light and whether there is already a fixture in place (read more about home lighting installation here).
  • An interior lighting designer will cost your $75 to $150 per hour.