The Best Light Bulbs for Bathrooms of 2022 (2022)

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When shopping for bathroom lighting, striking the perfect balance between bright and flattering is tricky. Not to mention, with so many different products on the market, choosing light bulbs can be overwhelming. Even the language surrounding them is confusing. Shoppers can easily get caught up in trying to decipher all of the numbers and terminology on the side of the box. It can be confusing to ponder whether watts or lumens matter more when it comes to brightness or if LEDs really last for 30 years. In this article, learn more about how to choose the best light bulbs for bathroom spaces.

  1. BEST OVERALL: GE Relax 8-Pack 60 W Equivalent Dimmable Warm White
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: OHLUX Smart WiFi LED Light Bulbs (No Hub Required)
  3. BEST FOR VANITIES: Sunco Lighting 10 Pack G25 LED Globe, 6W=40W
  4. BEST FOR VINTAGE LOOK: Ascher Dimmable Vintage LED Edison Bulbs, 6W
  5. BEST INCANDESCENT: GE Incandescent Light Bulbs, A21, 150-Watt, 6-Pack
  6. BEST CFL: Sylvania 13W CFL T2 Spiral Light Bulb, 60W Equivalent


What to Consider When Choosing the Best Light Bulbs for the Bathroom

Before you shop for bathroom light bulbs, weigh some key considerations. Though it would be easy to assume that all light bulbs will deliver a similar result, keep these factors in mind when shopping for the best light bulbs for your bathroom.

Bulb Type

  • LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have quickly taken over the market because they’re eco-friendly, energy-efficient, and ultimately help save money on electricity bills. They also last about 25,000 hours—or more than 30 years. Their brightness is measured in lumens, and modern LEDs can produce a wide range of color temperatures. They’re becoming increasingly affordable, and when you consider the fact that each bulb costs an average of $1.19 per year to run, they’re actually an economical choice.
  • Incandescent lights are becoming less popular because they require more energy to produce the same amount of light as LEDs. Much of the energy they use is wasted in producing heat. Because of that, they each cost about $7 per year to power. Incandescent lights typically have a lifespan of approximately 1.5 years. One advantage, however, is that they tend to have a flattering effect on the skin, making them a good choice for vanity lighting around a bathroom mirror.
  • CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) have a coiled design and are a middle ground between LEDs and incandescent lights. They’re significantly more energy efficient than incandescents and have a lifespan of 10,000 hours, or 14 years. The downside is they don’t render color as well as LEDs and tend to emit a harsh, sterile light. That makes them less desirable in bathrooms.

Fixture Compatibility

Every light fixture has a maximum wattage rating, and it’s important to ensure that the bulb chosen is compatible with the fixture. If a fixture has a maximum wattage of 60 watts, using a bulb that requires more energy risks causing the fixture to overheat. Luckily, this is only a concern when dealing with incandescent lights. Because CFLs and LEDs use energy so efficiently, there are very few instances where their wattage will exceed the maximum rating.

Brightness and Color Temperature

When it comes to LED lights, brightness is measured in lumens rather than watts. In a bathroom, it’s ideal to have 75 lumens per square foot for task lighting. Once the size of the space is calculated, establish how many cumulative lumens would work best.

The color temperature of the bulbs is a matter of preference. Light temperature is measured in Kelvins (K). The higher the number, the cooler the light will be. A bulb with a 5,000K color temperature will give off a brighter white hue, while 2,700K bulbs emit a warmer, orange glow. Warmer lights are more flattering for most skin tones, so they’re a good choice if you need a confidence boost before starting your day. Cool-toned lights, on the other hand, give a room a clean, crisp feel.


Choosing dimmable lights for a bathroom offers several advantages. The strongest setting is ideal when bright light is required for shaving or applying cosmetics, but they can be dimmed for middle of the night bathroom visits. Dimmable bulbs also save energy in the long run if they’re frequently used at lower brightness levels. If there’s a dimmer on the light fixture, it’s important to choose compatible dimmable bulbs.


There are countless different light bulb shapes, but the ones most often used in bathrooms are A-series, globe, and Edison bulbs.

  • A-series bulbs are the classic light bulb shape that is most popular for home use.
  • Edison bulbs have exposed filaments and typically produce an ultra-warm light temperature of between 2,200K and 2,400K. They have a vintage look and provide an antique aesthetic.
  • Globe or G-series bulbs are suitable for decorative fixtures where the bulb will be on display, making them a great choice for bathroom vanities.

Smart Technology

Smart light bulbs are a great way to introduce smart technology into the home. By connecting them to an app, they can be controlled from the phone or by using voice commands, allowing users to turn off the light while away from home—or from the comfort of the bed or couch. Some models change color, allowing users to create different lighting aesthetics depending on the mood they want to set. Smart bulbs take a little more effort to set up than standard bulbs. After they’re screwed in, individuals must link to an app in order to get the most out of them, so they’re great for tech-savvy users.

(Video) Top 5 Best Energy Saving Light Bulbs for Bedroom, Outdoors, Bathroom, Garage Review in 2022

Our Top Picks

The following recommendations take into account all the above-mentioned considerations, including type, brightness, color temperature, and shape. This list includes some of the best light bulbs on the market.

Best Overall


GE Relax 8-Pack 60 W Equivalent Dimmable Warm White



These 60-watt replacement LED bulbs from GE only use 8.5 watts of energy to produce 800 lumens of brightness. They come in a pack of eight dimmable A19 bulbs and feature an E26 base, which is compatible with a wide variety of fixtures. They emit a soft white light that registers 2,700K, providing a flattering effect on the skin. Those who prefer a cooler-toned option could consider GE’s Refresh bulbs, which offer a 5,000K-color temperature.

GE estimates that the user will save $84 on energy costs per bulb over its lifetime compared to a 60-watt incandescent bulb.


  • Energy efficient
  • Dimmable
  • Soft white light


  • May flicker during voltage fluctuations

Best Bang for the Buck


OHLUX Smart WiFi LED Light Bulbs (No Hub Required)



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Smart LED bulbs are becoming increasingly popular, but their high price point is prohibitive for many shoppers. Luckily, these WiFi-enabled bulbs from OHLUX offer the benefits of smart technology at an affordable price. They’re compatible with Alexa and Google Home and are a 60-watt equivalent when it comes to brightness. They’re the perfect solution for those struggling to choose between warm- and cool-toned lighting because they allow users to change the color using voice commands or through a mobile app. They offer a range of 16 million colors from which to choose, have an E26 base, and require a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection.


  • Compatible with most smart-home technologies
  • Multicolored
  • Voice or app controllable
  • Affordable compared to other smart bulb brands


  • More complicated to install

Best for Vanities


Sunco Lighting 10 Pack G25 LED Globe, 6W=40W



Decorative globe lights are ideal for bathroom vanities where exposed bulbs are part of the fixture’s aesthetic. This 10-pack of LED lights is a 40-watt equivalent while only requiring 6 watts of power. Each bulb produces 450 lumens, which might seem low, but when many are paired together on a vanity fixture, they’ll provide plenty of illumination. Their color temperature is a neutral soft white at 3,000K, which offers proper lighting for applying cosmetics while still being flattering. They have E26 bases and are dimmable from 10 to 100 percent. Each bulb has a diameter of 3.15 inches and a height of 4.46 inches, including the base.


  • Sleek round bulb design
  • Great color temperature for applying makeup
  • Perfect for vanities


  • Multiple bulbs required for high brightness

Best for Vintage Look


Ascher Dimmable Vintage LED Edison Bulbs, 6W



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Vintage-style Edison bulbs have become wildly popular over the last decade, and while earlier versions lacked modern features, these by Ascher are both dimmable and energy efficient. The LEDs provide an antique look and come in a pack of four. They’re 60-watt equivalents while only using 6 watts of energy, giving them a lifespan of 20,000 hours. Users can choose their preferred color temperature among three available options: Daylight White (4,000K), Warm White (2,700K), and Amber Warm (2,300K). They have standard E26 bases and, at full power, have a 700-lumen brightness output.


  • Popular Edison style
  • LED bulbs last 20,000 hours
  • Multiple color temperatures available


  • May start to flicker over time

Best Incandescent


GE Incandescent Light Bulbs, A21, 150-Watt, 6-Pack



Those who haven’t yet come around on LEDs and prefer the visual effect that incandescents provide should consider this six-pack of GE bulbs. They use 150 watts of power to give an ultrabright 2,680 lumens of brightness. This makes them a great choice for bathrooms that only have a single light fixture and are short on illumination. They have a soft white color temperature of 2,800K. GE estimates these bulbs each cost $18.07 per year to operate.


  • Very bright
  • Single bulb can light entire bathroom
  • Affordable


  • Can get quite hot
  • Higher energy consumption

Best CFL


Sylvania 13W CFL T2 Spiral Light Bulb, 60W Equivalent


(Video) HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT LIGHT BULB | Light Bulb Moments with Eleanor Bell


Those shopping for CFL bulbs should find that this six-pack from Sylvania fits the bill. They’re 60-watt replacements, using 13 watts of energy, making them more energy efficient than incandescents but using more power than LEDs. CFL bulbs have a hard time reproducing warm color temperatures, but these offer a soft white hue at 2,700K. In terms of brightness capacity, they offer 850 lumens. They have an estimated lifetime of 10,000 hours, and it’s important to note that they are nondimmable. Finally, these CFLs feature a T2 spiral shape.


  • Soft white hue
  • Long lifespan
  • Ideal brightness for bathrooms


  • Not dimmable

Our Verdict

For a simple yet effective bulb to light your bathroom, consider the GE Relax Dimmable Warm White Light Bulb and enjoy the soft white light and dimmable feature. For shoppers looking to add some style to a vanity, the Sunco Lighting LED Globe light bulbs are a great choice with contemporary globe-shaped bulbs.

How We Chose the Best Light Bulbs for Bathrooms

The best light bulbs for a bathroom can provide enough illumination for users as they go about their business, casting a pleasant color temperature that is not too harsh, yellow, or blinding. Our list of recommendations features a wide range of styles, shapes, brightnesses, and color temperatures to suit multiple style choices. We made sure to provide options for shoppers looking for simple no-frills lighting with dimming capabilities for added convenience. We also included high-tech options for those looking to upgrade their home to function with their smart-home devices such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

We’re aware that energy efficiency is always high on the list of priorities for shoppers, so our top picks all boast excellent energy saving characteristics. Plenty of LED options are available as well as CFL bulbs and an incandescent bulb option for users who still prefer the traditional lighting style.


Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about bathroom lighting.

Q. What kind of light bulbs should be used in a bathroom?

Look for dimmable LED bulbs with a color temperature between 2,700K and 3,000K.

Q. What color light is best for the bathroom?

The best color temperature for bathroom lights depends on preference. Warm bulbs are more universally flattering, while cooler bulbs are ideal for shaving and applying cosmetics.

Q. What wattage bulb should I use for the bathroom?

The brightness of modern LED bulbs is measured in lumens rather than watts. The rule of thumbs is to have 75 lumens of light per square foot in the bathroom.

Q. Which light bulbs are best for makeup?

Natural light is best for applying makeup, so the next best thing is a light bulb that accurately mimics sunlight. Look for a neutral color temperature between 2,700K and 3,000K.

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What bulbs are best for bathroom lighting? ›

As a rough guideline, bulbs labeled “daylight,” which generally have a color temperature of 5000 Kelvin to 6500 Kelvin, or bulbs labeled “cool white” or “bright white,” with a color temperature of 3500 Kelvin to 4100 Kelvin, are best for the bathroom.

What color light is best for bathroom? ›

Bathroom lighting experts often recommend sticking to the warm white light, as shown in the color/temperature breakdown below. (Hint: Try warm white 2700-3000 kelvins (K) for the most flattering bathroom lighting).

Is soft white or daylight better for bathroom? ›

Warm white is great for bigger living spaces where you would like to give the room the ambiance of warmth, and an inviting sense. However, for bathrooms where you want the space to look and feel clean, there has been lengthy research conducted that says 'daylight' LED lighting is more preferable.

What is the best wattage for bathroom lighting? ›

For the master or guest bathrooms, 75-100 watts is recommended. For small or medium-sized bathrooms like half-baths and powder rooms, 45-60 watts are acceptable. Higher wattage provides more brightness and light intensity which can be blinding for smaller spaces, making 45-60 watts ideal for the average bathroom.

What light bulbs do interior designers use? ›

Years ago, you only had the option of incandescent bulbs. Then came Compact Fluorescent or CFL bulbs (which we interior designers hated). Now, LED or Light-Emitting Diode bulbs are the bulb of choice for most fixtures in the house due to their great color quality, high efficiency, and decreasing price.

Should I put LED lights in my bathroom? ›

Is LED lighting good for bathrooms? Yes, LED lighting is good for bathrooms, especially those lacking in natural light.

What is the latest color trend for bathrooms? ›

Warm earth tones are one of the biggest 2022 trending bathroom colors as a result of these two design shifts. You can't go wrong with wood-look and stone-look tile in these shades. Instead of cooler neutrals such as whites and grays, try out cozier earthy tile tones such as cream, beige, terracotta, and taupe.

What colors make a bathroom look bigger and brighter? ›

So what colors make a bathroom look bigger? According to basic design principles, light colors such as white, crème, pastel blue, gray or yellow will visually expand a room, while dark colors such as a deep red, green or brown, will make a room feel smaller.

What is the most popular color for a small bathroom? ›

Classic White. "Lighter colors reflect light easily, which gives the room a bigger appearance," says Piercy. Unsurprisingly, a classic white paint is the perfect choice when it comes to creating the illusion of a bigger bathroom.

What color temperature is best for bathrooms? ›

Additionally, look for a color temperaturebetween 2700K and 3000K from your light source. Color temperatures in this range offer a perfect, flattering warm-white illumination ideal for bathroom tasks. Note – avoid selecting color temperatures above 3500K for your bathroom lighting.

How do you brighten up a white bathroom? ›

How to decorate a small white bathroom 1. Use colourful accessories
  1. Use tiles to add depth and dimension to the space. ...
  2. Consider your flooring. ...
  3. Add hints of darker tones to contrast the white paint. ...
  4. Choose the right mirror for a bigger and brighter feel. ...
  5. Try all-white glossy finishes for a modern look.

Do I want daylight or soft white? ›

Daylight offers better brightness and energy. Soft white on the other hand offers better coziness and warmth. Keep in mind that the lighting of the room can actually change your mood. Size of the room –Often the size of the room decides what type of light you require.

Is 3000K or 4000K better for a bathroom? ›

For a welcoming feel, try using warm color temperatures between 2700K and 3000K. This way, you'll give your bathroom a soft, yellowish glow that evokes comfort. On the other hand, if you're looking for a more modern, sleek look, go for a color temperature between 3500K and 4000K.

What is a bathroom rated light? ›

When it comes to bathroom lighting, the requisite IP rating is determined by measuring its proximity to a water source or receptacle. Spaces directly above a shower or bath are considered “Zone 1” while those within 60cm of a water source are “Zone 2”; both require a rating of at least IPX4 (so IP44 is acceptable).

Is 5000K too bright for bathroom? ›

BATHROOM – Unlike the bedrooms, CFLs and LEDs with color temperatures in the bright-white to daylight range (5000K – 6500K) are ideal for true color accuracy and clarity.

Which light bulbs are being phased out? ›

The EU is not only phasing out CFL bulbs from 1 September 2021, the regulation also applies to three other light sources: R7s halogen bulbs with a luminosity over 2,700 lm (in about 140 W). Low-voltage halogen bulbs: GU4, GU5. 3 and G53 with reflector and a beam angle of more than 10 degrees.

What light bulbs make you look younger? ›

LED light bulbs can make you look Younger.

What bulb is closest to natural light? ›

Halogen Lights

Halogen bulbs are a type of incandescent that gives a close approximation of natural daylight, known as "white light." Colors appear sharper under halogen light and the bulbs can be dimmed.

What are the disadvantages of LED lights? ›

One disadvantage of LEDs is the high initial cost per bulb. Over time, however, LED lights will pay for themselves through energy savings and incredibly long lifespans. Bulbs from various manufacturers may appear noticeably different in terms of their white light hues, so choose a well-known brand.

When should you not use LED lights? ›

Avoid LED lights above 3000K and/or labeled "bright white," "neutral white," "cool white," or "daylight white" as these lights will generally have a crisp, stark white color. LEDs with this light color contain a significant amount of blue light in their spectrum. Choose a bulb with a high CRI.

How many lumens do I need in a bathroom? ›

Bathroom: 7,000 to 8,000 lumens. Home office: 6,000 to 8,000 lumens. Dining room: 3,000 to 4,000 lumens. Kitchen: 3,000 to 4,000 lumens.

What are the new bathroom colors for 2022? ›

According to top interior designers, modern blue, light green, and warmer neutral bathroom color schemes are popular in 2022. These are a continuation of 2021's best bathroom color trends in many ways. In a similar fashion, shades like taupe, all-white bathrooms, and warm natural undertones are also trending this year.

What colour is trending in bathrooms 2022? ›

Expect to see a lot more of green hues in 2022. Pastels, tinted shades, emerald, green, sage greens and more. Green is a brilliant way to refresh a bathroom without overpowering, additionally it's really nice hue to introduce that can encourage positive wellbeing. Bringing you back to nature with pops of colour.

What is the trend for bathrooms in 2022? ›

Another 2022 bathroom trend that ties into bringing personal style to this utilitarian space? Vintage elements. Designer Heather Weisz of HW Interiors says she's seeing a mix of vintage pieces (including unique light fixtures, lighting, and more) incorporated into more modern, clean-lined bathrooms.

How can I make my small bathroom look luxurious? ›

11 tips for making a small bathroom look elegant
  1. Add some warmth. ...
  2. Paint the tiles. ...
  3. Float your vanity. ...
  4. Open the vanity. ...
  5. Go for glass. ...
  6. Install dimmer lights. ...
  7. Don't forget the little touches. ...
  8. Update your fixtures.

What colors make a bathroom brighter? ›

Typically, lighter hues bring a sense of light and airiness to enclosed spaces like bathrooms, especially if windows are small or non-existent. But don't feel confined to white or off-white paint. Complement these bright neutrals with a bold contrast color, including black, pink, yellow, gray, and blue-green.

What is the most popular color for bathroom vanity? ›

Traditionally, white has been the most popular bathroom vanity color for years. It never really goes out of style, and there are many different kinds of white, not just “paper” white.

What colors are best in bathrooms? ›

Our Picks for the Best Bathroom Paint Colors
  • Taupe.
  • Soft Gray.
  • Bright White.
  • Charcoal.
  • Light Blue.
  • Light Green.
  • Creamy White.
  • Pistachio.

What shade of white is best for bathrooms? ›

"Crisp and fresh yet subtly warm, Farrow & Ball's All White is one of my favorite white paint colors to use in a bathroom," Katie Hodges says. "Because it lacks the colder, blue undertones of many whites, it beautifully reflects light without feeling stark.

How do I make my white bathroom look cozy? ›

By lining your floors with a cozy white bath mat or a textured white rug, you can make your bathroom cozier, while cementing your all-white palette.

How do I get my yellow shower white again? ›

Hydrogen Peroxide: fill a spray bottle with 3-percent hydrogen peroxide. Let the solution sit for 10-15 minutes and then wipe the tub down with a damp sponge. You can repeat these steps until the yellow staining disappears.

Which light bulb is white not yellow? ›

Bulbs which are emitting warm white color will be yellow labeled and bulbs which are emitting cool white color will be labeled as white. Yellow indicates mostly 2700K-3000K temperature range; white indicates 6000K-6500K temperature range.

Where should you use daylight bulbs? ›

Daylight bulbs are a good choice for kitchens, bathrooms and home offices. Additionally, daylight LED light bulbs can brighten windowless spaces like basements that don't typically get natural light. This color temperature can enhance cool color schemes featuring blues, greens, blacks and greys.

What light bulbs make room brighter? ›

In bedrooms and living rooms, you want Soft White (2,700 to 3,000 Kelvins, a measure of color temperature); in kitchens and bathrooms and brighter spaces, Warm White (4,000K to 5,000K). Ignore anything higher.

Is 4000K too bright for bathroom? ›

3000K or 4000K for a Bathroom? Both 3000K and 4000K are suitable for bathroom applications. In fact, they sit right in the sweet spot of not being too warm (yellow) or too cool (blue).

Is 4000K too yellow? ›

The 4000K color temperature range for LEDs is neutral white. This color range produces a balanced color tone, not too blue and not too yellow. This creates an environment that can keep employees alert through the day.

What is the best Kelvin for a bathroom? ›

The best color temperature for bathroom lighting is 3,000-3,200 Kelvins, which provides bright, crisp light. This light is good for bathroom tasks like styling hair, shaving, or applying makeup. Warmer light, around 2,700 Kelvins, is flattering and creates a better ambiance for bathrooms that are only used for guests.

Which is brighter 3000K or 5000K? ›

5000K is surely brighter than the 3000K warm white light.

It's closer to broad daylight and that's why it's suitable for parking lots, large outdoor venues, and industrial lighting installations. In fact, the blue light emitted by a 5000K LED can appear to be colder than the room itself.

What lights are safe for bathroom? ›

Lights rated IPx7 will provide total protection when immersed in water.

What is better 4000K or 5000K lighting? ›

4000K vs 5000K Lighting – Comparison & Differences

4,000K Lights have a slightly warm color tone while 5,000K Lights have neutral white with a hint of blue. Beyond 5,000K, the blue tint dominates the light and hence, we do not recommend going above 5,000K for reading or working for long hours.

Do you need special light bulbs for bathroom? ›

Still wondering if you need special lights for bathrooms? Unless you're installing an LED shower light or wiring fixtures in close proximity to your shower, you can use dry-rated lights for most bathroom locations.

How many lumens do I need for a bright bathroom light? ›

Lumens Quick Guide

Kitchen work areas: 7,000 to 8,000 lumens. Bathroom: 7,000 to 8,000 lumens. Home office: 6,000 to 8,000 lumens. Dining room: 3,000 to 4,000 lumens.

Is 2000 lumens bright enough for a bathroom? ›

The bathroom is the space where you need the most light possible. You want to make sure you have enough visibility when you shave or you brush your teeth! For this space, it is recommended to have between 2000 and 4000 lumens. It can be only one light source or many, depending on your preference.

How many lumens is considered bright? ›

80 lumens is considered bright enough for most walkways — including commercial properties. For garden lights used as accent lighting, 50 lumens is generally sufficient to add safety, dimension, color and interest in your yard.


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