Shadows on the face, insufficient brightness and harsh glares — these are the dreaded lighting problems we would all like to avoid, especially when we're grooming ourselves in the bathroom.
Bathroom lighting usually cannot be changed once renovations are complete, as wiring and light points would be fixed.
For a well-lit bathroom, it makes sense to give some thought to not only what types of fixtures you'd like, but also where you'd install them.
BESIDE THE MIRROR
If possible, go for this as it gives the best lighting — both task and accent — while minimising shadows. Fixtures, such as wall sconces, should be installed on both sides for design symmetry and even illumination. Position them at face-height.
ABOVE THE MIRROR
Align the diffusers with the centre of the mirror. This helps to reflect the light evenly and minimise shadows on your face. It's best to choose a fixture that is white or neutral-coloured for the most clear and bright lighting. Pick a diffuser with a translucent or frosted shade (whether with an open or closed design) rather than one with clear glass, so the bare bulb doesn't cause a harsh glare.
ON THE MIRROR
This surface-mounted style is good for more minimalist looks and keeps the walls clear. Just ensure that the fixture is positioned such that it does not block your reflection. The light should also have a nice finishing throughout, and not just in front, as its back will be reflected in the mirror.
This is integrated into the ceiling and creates flattering ambient lighting, but is not great as task lighting (for applying make up, for example) because of the downward-cast shadows. Rather than having the light centred above the vanity, position it close to the wall and above the mirror to minimise shadows on your face. Align and space out more than one light, to help even out the illumination.