Bathroom lighting is more important than you might think and difficult to get right, sometimes. If you are facing a similar kind of confusion currently, then you can go through our guide below to find out more about how you can choose the best color temperature for bathroom lighting.

best color temperature for bathroom lighting

Best Color Temperature for Bathroom Lighting

Color temperature generally points towards the color that a light bulb or fixture emits. This is usually quantified using the Kelvin (K) unit.

The ideal color temperature for bathroom lighting is between 2,700K and 3,000K. To figure out what exactly this means and what you should take into consideration, you can go through the following criteria.

1. Understanding the Range

The color temperature range can give you an idea about the color of the light fixture that you install. Based on this, the lower color temperatures on the range have warmer and flaming tones while the higher color temperatures have cooler and crisper tones.

This range generally measures anywhere between 1,000K and 10,000K when it comes to lighting, although natural lighting can go up to 27,000K as well.

When it comes to choosing the best color temperature from this range, you should take a look at what different color temperatures look like in the first place. The ideal range for bathrooms is usually 2,700K-3,000K because of the levels of comfort that it can provide without seeming too harsh.

This range can also work well no matter what task you want to carry out in the bathroom.

The following kinds of lights and colors correspond to the given color temperatures.

  • Soft White: 2,500K to 3,000K
  • Warm White: 3,000K to 3,500K
  • Cool White: Around 4,000K
  • Bright White: 4,500K to 5,000K
  • Daylight: 5,000K to 6,500K

2. Personal Requirements

You should also take your personal requirements into account while choosing the best color temperature for your bathroom lighting. What purpose do you want your bathroom lighting to serve?

color temperature for bathroom lighting

Apart from simply lighting up the bathroom, you might also require the lighting to help you spot stains in the mirror, view objects as they are, allow you to accurately apply your makeup and let you use the bathroom comfortably without squinting too much under the bright light.

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3. Color Rendering Index

The color rendering index (CRI) of a given light refers to how accurately it can allow you to view objects in your bathroom based on their actual colors. This is usually measured in comparison to the same ability of natural light.

best color temperature for bathroom lighting

The CRI usually comes in a range that has the maximum value of 100 which usually denotes natural daylight. Ideally, the CRI that the light fixtures in your bathroom should be more than 80 to ensure as much accuracy as possible.

4. Light Sources

You want your bathroom to be well lit. In some cases, it might be sufficient to use a single light source, but you should ideally install lights in a way that you can get the right amounts of light where you require it.

good color temperature for bathroom lighting

This can also help prevent too many shadows or too much harshness while using your bathroom.

To make things easier, you should install lights that have dimming functions while also being energy efficient. You can pick incandescent, fluorescent or LED lights for this purpose to give you warm white or soft white glows.

5. Safety Levels

Having an accurate color temperature can help ensure safety as well since it can prevent too much glare while you navigate your way through the bathroom. However, make sure that this color temperature is enough for your eyesight in terms of visibility as well.

If you require brighter lights to help you see things more clearly, then you can opt for higher color temperatures. This is particularly important if your eyesight is relatively poor or declining.

high color temperature for bathroom lighting

This can then help prevent injuries and accidents in the bathroom while moving around, especially if it is well into the night.

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Why Should You Use Certain Color Temperatures?

There are several reasons for using a certain color temperature for your bathroom lighting. In this case, this color temperature is 2,700K to 3,000K.

To understand the advantages of this range, you can go through the following points.

  • The warm or soft white lighting of these color temperatures can provide a comfortable glow in the bathroom, making it easier to have a safe and snug experience.
  • It can work well for all kinds of skin tones so that you can get a more accurate idea of your appearance when you look into the mirror. This can be particularly useful while applying makeup as well.
  • This color temperature range is quite efficient as well since it does not end up using too much energy while functioning. This can not only be better for the environment but can also help you save money on your power bills.
  • These lights can also go well with the rest of the decor of your bathroom by accurately bringing out the colors of each of the fixtures.
  • If you buy smart bulbs with these color temperatures, then you can experience even more efficiency since they can emit light based on the natural light levels at different times of the day.


Is Soft White or Daylight Better for Bathrooms?

Soft white is better for bathrooms since it can emit a soft and warm glow across the bathroom. This can also prevent the bathroom lighting from becoming too harsh as this can otherwise lead to a glare that might be too much for your eyes to handle.

Daylight has a much higher color temperature, which can be a bit too bright for your bathroom requirements. It can also make it a lot more uncomfortable as compared to soft white light.

However, make sure you take your personal requirements into account here as well. If you think daylight will work better for your bathroom, especially if you or someone in your house has poor eyesight, then you can opt for it as well.

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Is Warm White or Cool White Better for Bathrooms?

is warm white or cool white better for bathrooms

Ideally, warm white lighting will work better for your bathroom since it can provide a much more relaxing and warm experience while you are in your bathroom. It is also a lot more energy-efficient as compared to cool white light.

Warm white light is present at a color temperature of around 3,000K, which can make it convenient for you to navigate your way around the bathroom.

Make sure you use multiple light fixtures or layers to ensure greater accuracy with warm white lights.

Once again, take your personal preferences into account as cool white lights are much brighter and can help with visibility when it comes to details.

Is LED Lighting Good for Applying Makeup?

LED lighting is ideal for applying makeup since it can even out the light levels in the bathroom to provide as much accuracy as possible.

LED lights can also allow you to make use of bright as well as warm lights, both of which can be useful. Slightly brighter lighting, in particular, can help you give a more accurate idea of what your makeup looks like against your skin tone.

is LED lighting good for applying makeup

You can also easily spot errors through this kind of lighting such as your makeup being blotchy or messy.

LED lighting is also a lot more efficient in terms of energy savings, allowing you to save a bit of money too.

Final Remarks

Through this guide, you now know all about the best color temperature for bathroom lighting as well as its importance.

Ideally, the range of 2,700K-3,000K can work well for your bathroom, although you should consider your personal requirements, CRI, light sources and safety levels of color temperatures.

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