Best Light Bulb for Bathroom Illumination: A Guide

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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High-quality light in your bathroom is essential, especially for your post-shower routine before leaving the bathroom. You can wear your make-up seamlessly, remove blackheads, style your hair, or shave without missing a patch. The best light bulb for the bathroom should give you a crisp, neutral light that feels like the sun.

Bathroom lighting can take many forms, including shower, vanity, and overhead. Therefore, when choosing bathroom lighting, consider their brightness, energy efficiency, longevity, and color rendering index (CRI).

The best light bulbs for the bathroom are dimmable, offer great contrast, and look attractive. Consider LED light bulbs because they are damp-rated, more energy efficient, and last longer than traditional bulbs. 

The best light bulb for the bathroom we reviewed is the GE LED Reveal Light Bulb. Its light mimics daylight and produces a color contrast with no yellow overtone. The second best light bulb for the bathroom is the SHINESTAR Vanity Light Bulb for Bathroom which is safe for the entire family as it does not contain mercury.

The third best light bulb for the bathroom is the Philips Halogen G25 White Decorative Globe Light Bulb which produces an unobstructed, clear, bright light.

Review of the Best Bathroom Bulbs

Here are some high-quality bulb options that are energy-efficient, stylish, and durable.

1. GE Lighting Reveal LED Light Bulbs

Sale
GE Lighting Reveal LED Light Bulbs, 9 Watt (60 Watt...
  • GE LED light bulbs cost dollars 1.08 in energy per year. These...
  • GE energy saving LED light bulb only uses 9-Watts and is an ideal...
  • GE high-definition chandelier light bulbs offer rich, warm light...
  • GE's Reveal light bulb is the best choice to filter dull yellow...
  • GE Reveal LED light bulb illuminates your home with clean,...

I was looking for a bulb that could produce light that emulates the natural sunlight. The GE LED Reveal Light Bulb offered everything I was looking for. This bulb emits light that mimics daylight and has a CRI score of over 90, giving you good color contrast that does not have a yellow overtone.

Everything in your bathroom looks as true to its color under natural sunlight. This makes your grooming and beauty routine easier and more enjoyable.

Image Credits: Gelighting.com

This GE LED light is energy-saving and uses only 9 watts, equivalent to 60 watts of power of the standard bulbs. This high-definition chandelier bulb gives you warm, rich light and lets you see your bathroom with great color contrast and boldness. This bulb is dimmable, so you can lower the brightness anytime. It can last up to 13 years. 

Pros:

  • Energy-saving
  • No yellow overtone
  • Pure and clean natural light
  • Dimmable

Cons:

  • The dimmable features are not smooth

2. SHINESTAR Vanity Light Bulbs for Bathroom

SHINESTAR 8-Pack Vanity Light Bulbs for Bathroom, 120v...
  • 【Energy Saving】 LED globe light bulbs with 600 lumens, double...
  • 【Excellent Performance】 Emitting 5000K soft glow, these globe...
  • 【Premium Quality】 More than 30,000 hours lasting life more...
  • 【Easy Installation】 With Standard American E26 screw base,...
  • 【Wide Application】 G25 round light bulbs are ideal for vanity...

I was looking for a safe bathroom light bulb that does not contain mercury or lead and I found the Shinestar light bulb the perfect choice. It is safe for my entire family as it does not contain UV or IR. This is an energy-saving light bulb with 600 lumens which provides double the brightness of a regular bulb.

It does so by using only 6 watts, helping save over 90% of your electricity bills. It emits a 5000k soft glow giving you a comfortable, cozy, and relaxing atmosphere. They turn on instantly without flickering or noise, making them the perfect replacement for old incandescent bulbs.

Image Credits: Amazon.com

Due to its premium quality, the Shinestar bulb is more durable and lasts more than 30000 hours. It also requires less maintenance. This bulb has a G25 round shape making it ideal for various applications, including vanity mirrors, Hollywood makeup mirrors, pendant lights, and other light fixtures with a base of E26. Moreover, they have Standard American E26 screw bases, making them easy to install. 

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Wide application
  • Durable
  • Excellent performance
  • Energy saving

Cons:

  • It may require an adapter for international use

3. Philips Halogen G25 White Decorative Globe Light Bulb

Sale
Philips 433698 Halogen 60W Halogen G25 White Decorative...
  • Ideal for use in wall sconces, chandeliers and other decorative...
  • Provides a bright, white light similar to that of an incandescent...
  • Clear finish to provide beautiful light with sparkling effect

I was looking for a bulb with nice aesthetics while offering unobstructed light. The Philips Halogen G25, which is round and shaped like a globe, is attractive. It is not stamped with any product or brand information on its surface, preserving its decorative look.

Image Credits: Powertownsend.com

It is best for chandeliers, sconces, and other decorative light fixtures. It comes in a 3-pack; each light bulb emits 550 lumens and uses 40 watts of energy. This bright, clear light with a soft finish makes it suitable for routine bathroom activities such as applying makeup or shaving.

I also loved the fact that they are fully dimmable bulbs. Although these energy bulbs are not long-lasting or energy-efficient like LED bulbs, they provide excellent performance and a lifespan of two years. 

Pros:

  • Decorative lighting
  • Clear, bright light
  • No branding on the bulb surface

Cons:

  • Not very energy efficient
  • Not long-lasting

4. Aooshine G25 LED Vanity Bulb

aooshine G25 LED Vanity Bulb 5Watts Globe Light Bulb...
  • ✔Perfect lighting☞With total 500 lumen light effect and 2700k...
  • ✔Efficient & Energy-Saving☞The Non-dimmable G25 E26 LED light...
  • ✔Widely Appilication☞Suitable for various commercial and...
  • ✔Long Lifespan& Eco-Friendly☞Lifespan is over 50,000 hrs....
  • ✔Easy Installation☞The makeup globe vanity lights have...

When I was looking for bathroom vanity lights that I could use for both domestic and commercial applications, I came across the Aooshine G25 LED vanity bulb. It provides the perfect lighting I was looking for, with a 500-lumen light effect and 2700k color temperature. It provides soft, warm white lighting suitable for your home and workplace.

Image Credits: Ubuy.vn

It can be used for various applications, including a hall drop light, wall lamp, makeup mirror light, and decoration light. This  Non-dimmable G25 E26 LED bulb is efficient, energy-saving, and can quickly replace 50W G25 incandescent light bulbs. They consume one-tenth of the energy that the traditional bulbs use.

It has a long lifespan of over 50,000 hours, saving you from the maintenance costs of frequently changing bulbs. This bulb is quite eco-friendly and is CE and RoHS-compliant. Also, it does not contain mercury or UV/IR light and is safe for your entire family.

Due to their standard G25 shape and E26 screw base, this bulb is easy to install. It has a high-end PC cover, a  50 W shock-resistant capacity, and is impact resistant. 

Pros:

  • Wide application
  • Soft warm white lighting
  • Energy efficient
  • Long-lasting
  • Low maintenance
  • Eco-friendly

Cons:

  • Non-dimmable

5. Ecosmart 8 Pack LED A19 Light bulb

Ecosmart 8 Pack LED A19 Light bulb, Soft White , 60w...
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT: Uses only 9.5-watts to generate light...
  • LOW ANNUAL USAGE COST: $1.14 (based on 3-hours/day, 11/kWh, cost...
  • LONG LASTING: lasts for 15000-hours (based on 3 hours/day)
  • COLOR: 5000K daylight light appearance
  • NON-DIMMABLE

The Ecosmart 8 Pack LED A19 Light bulb is quite affordable. Each bulb is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb's light output and uses just 9 watts of energy. They produce 840 lumens of light, making them very bright and suitable for bathrooms.

Image Credits: Wonmire.com

I wanted a bright, clean source of light in my bathrooms, and that matched my expectations. It produces a crisp light suitable for tasks that require color and clarity. It emits an excellent daylight color of 5000k  However, I noted that they lack warmth, which creates a relaxed mood. 

The lifespan of these Ecosmart bulbs is 15000 hours, based on 3 hours/day, which is slightly lower than the life expectancy of the LED light bulbs. 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Very bright light
  • 8 bulbs in a single pack

Cons:

  • Shorter lifespan
  • It can be too bright for some people

6. Kichler 626NI Linear Bath 36-Inch Bulb

Kichler 36" Bath Bar Vanity Light in Brushed Nickel,...
  • 4.5 in H x 36 in W
  • Requires (6) G bulbs, not included
  • Brushed Nickel finish
  • Available in Chrome, Polished Brass, White, Brushed Nickel,...
  • Suitable for damp locations

As I was looking for something unusual for my bathroom, I discovered the Kichler 626NI Linear Bath 36-Inch bulb. This 36-inch six-light bath strip combines modern and traditional designs to create a delightful and attractive look. What I loved most is that it comes in multiple sizes and shades, like white, chrome, polished brass, antique brass, brushed nickel, and Tuscan gold. 

Image Credits: Homzi.com

Surprisingly, this wall-mounting strip is quite easy to install and is suitable for damp locations. They are also dimmable to suit your lighting preference. You can install them vertically or horizontally and you only require six LED bulbs to light your bathroom vanities.

Pros:

  • Suitable for damp location
  • Different shades
  • Dimmable
  • It can be installed vertically or horizontally
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Requires 6 bulbs

What to Look For in Light Bulbs for Bathrooms

1. Light Intensity

The light intensity of your bulb is determined by its wattage. The wattage determines the bulb’s power output and general brightness. Very intense light can irritate the eyes.

You need clear and bright light in your bathroom, but the brightness should be moderate enough to comfort your eyes. It is important to understand that bulbs with a “daylight” label have a color temperature of 5000-6500k, while those with a “cool white” label have a color temperature of 3500-4100k.

These bulbs are the best for bathrooms. The “soft white” bulbs are not ideal for bathrooms because they produce soft, yellowish-white light. 

2. Bulb Shape

The shape of the bulb affects how it illuminates an area.  Bulbs have different shapes and sizes, and some are designed for specific fixtures.  Therefore, it is important to understand the various shapes and their best uses. 

The most common shapes of bulbs for bathroom use include standard household, globe, candle, mini reflector, tabular, and parabolic aluminized reflectors. Most bathroom vanities use a globe shape because they are more attractive. Their description has a “G,” like G25, the most common size.

However, there are bigger sizes like G50 and smaller sizes like G16.5. Other bulb shapes are A19 bulbs used in standard lighting fixtures on some vanities, bathroom ceilings, and recessed lights. The Vintage bulbs are made with prominent filaments and have a vintage vibe. 

3. Bulb Type

The type of bulb you use determines how it displays the light, hence its longevity and hotness. The common bulb types include Incandescent, LED, halogen, and CFL.

Although Incandescent bulbs were once the most common type, they have been phased by LED bulbs, which are more energy efficient, last longer, and don’t generate much heat. Thus LED bulbs are the best for bathroom lighting.

Why Are Led Bulbs the Best for Bathroom Lighting?

LED bulbs are superior to other bulbs due to their brightness, lesser environmental effect, and durability. They have several advantages when used in the bathrooms

1. Eco-Friendly

LED light bulbs do not contain mercury, lead, or other toxic elements, hence they are environmentally friendly. The technology used to make these light bulbs cut greenhouse gas emissions, contributing positively to the environment. Also, they consume less wattage saving a lot of energy which is useful in the long run.

2. Safety

Due to their high humidity, bathrooms need damp or wet-rated bulbs. Most LED bulbs can withstand water and steam and are the safest to use in bathrooms. Purchase bulbs with an IP rating of 65 or above for your bathroom. These light bulbs also operate at lower temperatures than other bulb technologies, making your bathroom safe. 

3. Energy-Efficient

LED bulbs use about 80% less energy than conventional bulbs. They use 90% of their energy to light, and 5% to heat, which is the opposite of conventional bulbs. Also, you will need fewer LED bulbs to light up space since these bulbs are brighter and of better quality than other lights.

4. Cost-Effective

Due to their low energy use, LED bulbs save energy by a very big margin. You will generally save 50-80% of energy bills when you use these bulbs. The fixtures of these bulbs are also durable and will not need to be changed frequently. 

5. Versatile

A bathroom is a place where you can take long baths and showers to relax after a stressful day. LED lights are versatile, and you can adjust them to produce various color temperatures and hues for your preferred bathroom ambience. Some bulbs can even be dimmed to suit your requirements.

6. Long Life

LED lights are durable and last six times longer than conventional light bulbs. Additionally, they are tough to break. They can last around 30,000 hours, significantly longer than other bulbs.

This is because they have lumen depreciation instead of burning out. Therefore, you will not need to replace these lights often when installed in your bathroom. 

Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Bathroom Lighting

When choosing lights for your bathroom, there are some mistakes that you should avoid to achieve the best lighting.  The most common mistakes include:

1. Ignoring Dimmers

Dimmers help you control the fixtures and the light they produce. This is quite useful, especially for early morning bathroom routine or night usage of your bathroom. In addition to this beautiful ambience, a dimmer saves you energy. 

2. Not Considering CRI

CRI, or Color Rendering Index, describes the white color produced by a fixture. Lower temperatures of the light produce warmer colors, while higher temperatures produce colder light. You must choose a natural light that ranges between 2700k to 3000k. The bigger your bathroom, the higher the CRI should be. 

3. Not Including Enough Light

Failing to include enough lighting in your bathroom can make doing small tasks difficult. Your bathroom will also look sparse. Include more lighting and layer it to get the most out of your lighting.

Strive to strike a balance between accent, ambient, and task lighting. For example, you can use task lighting for your mirrors and accent lighting around your fixtures like bathtubs and sinks. 

4. Using Too Much Light

Too much lighting makes your bathroom appear cluttered and unattractive. If your bathroom lighting is conflicting and contrasting, it can ruin the bathroom’s ambience and make it difficult for you to perform simple tasks. To avoid this problem, create a lighting plan and map your lighting source before installation. 

Conclusion

When choosing bathroom accessories, lighting hold be the first thing to consider. Your bathroom needs a different lighting set than other rooms in your house. Choosing light bulbs that are long-lasting, energy-efficient, and mimic natural daylight is important.

A well-lit bathroom ensures maximum visibility when performing various tasks. Ensure that your bathroom light bulbs provide enough illumination while giving you a pleasant color temperature that is not blinding.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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