The Perfect Glow: Selecting The Best Can Lights For Bathroom

Are you ready to transform your bathroom into a luxurious oasis that radiates the perfect glow?

Selecting the best can lights for your bathroom is essential in creating a tranquil and inviting space. 

For the best bathroom can lights, choose damp-rated can lights to ensure safety and longevity. Prioritize color temperature for desired ambience: warm for relaxation, and cool for clarity. Proper placement also enhances aesthetics and functionality. 

Whether you're starting from scratch or looking to upgrade your existing bathroom lighting, this will guide you through choosing the best recessed lighting that will bring out the best in your bathroom.

With the help of your bathroom remodeling contractor and this advice, you can discover how to create that perfect glow to make your dream bathroom come alive!

What are the best recessed lights for a bathroom?

If you're looking to install recessed lights in your bathroom, it's essential to consider their water resistance.

Especially if you plan on placing them above a shower, choose lights that are either water-resistant or waterproof.

LED lights are often better than traditional can lights due to their energy efficiency and longer lifespan.

These lights provide a perfect glow for your dream bathroom while being practical and durable.

Best Recessed Lights For Bathroom

Water Resistant or Waterproof if Above a Shower

When installing a can light above a shower, it's essential to choose water-resistant or waterproof fixtures for added safety and durability.

Waterproof lighting is specifically designed to withstand exposure to water without any damage or risk of electrical hazards. These moisture-resistant fixtures are perfect for creating a safe and stylish ambiance in your bathroom.

Shower-safe can lights provide an excellent solution for illuminating your bathroom while ensuring protection against moisture. These fixtures are designed to be installed in wet locations, making them ideal for use above showers or bathtubs.

Recessed light above the shower

With various bathroom lighting options, you can choose from different styles and finishes to match your decor while prioritizing safety. Make sure to look for recessed lights labeled as 'wet location' or 'shower safe' when selecting the perfect can light for your dream bathroom.

Are LED Lights Better Than Can Lights?

LED lights are a popular choice for can light installations, and for good reason. These lights are known for their energy efficiency, consuming up to 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. 

This helps reduce your carbon footprint and saves you money on your electricity bill in the long run.

LED lights also have an impressive lifespan, lasting up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. This means fewer replacements and less hassle for you.

Regarding lighting design, LED can lights offer a wide range of options. They come in various color temperatures, allowing you to create the perfect ambiance in your bathroom. 

Whether you prefer warm white light for a relaxing bath or cool white light for more visibility while getting ready, LED lights have covered you.

Not only are LED can lights energy-efficient and cost-effective in terms of both energy consumption and longevity, but they also provide endless possibilities when it comes to lighting design. So if you want to achieve the perfect glow in your dream bathroom, consider opting for LED can lights. 

You'll save money while creating a beautifully lit space that meets all your needs and desires.

LED lights above bathtub and shower

What Is the Difference Between Recessed Lights and Downlights?

Choosing the proper lighting for your bathroom can dramatically affect its ambiance and functionality. Two common choices for bathroom lighting are recessed lights and downlights. 

While they may seem similar, there are some essential differences to note. These differences come into play regarding their appearance, installation, light distribution, and potential mistakes to avoid. 

The following table provides a detailed comparison between recessed lights and downlights, considering these key factors to help you decide when selecting the best lighting fixtures for your bathroom.


Recessed Lights



Set back into the ceiling, creating a seamless and flush appearance.

Surface-mounted, protruding slightly from the ceiling.

Aesthetic Suitability

Ideal for modern or contemporary bathrooms.

Suitable for various styles, depending on specific fixture designs.

Lighting Type

Provide focused and directional lighting. Useful for highlighting particular areas or features.

Provide overall illumination by casting light downwards at a wide beam angle. Valid for general ambient lighting.

Wattage Consideration

Similar to downlights, wattage selection should balance brightness and energy efficiency.

It's crucial to balance brightness and energy efficiency. Higher-wattage bulbs are brighter but consume more energy. Lower-wattage bulbs may save energy but could lead to insufficient lighting.

Installation Tips

It should be evenly spaced for balanced lighting. Dimmer switches can control brightness. Mindful of insulation requirements for installations in insulated ceilings.

Consideration of lighting distribution is crucial. Expert consultation may be beneficial.

Common Mistakes

Using too many can create an overly bright environment. Placing too close to walls or fixtures may lead to shadows or uneven lighting. Incorrect trim can affect aesthetics and functionality.

Dependent on specific institutions and spaces. Expert consultation is advisable to avoid any potential mistakes.

Recessed lights above vanity

What Is the Advantage of Recessed Lights?

Enhance the ambiance of your room with the sleek and seamless appearance that recessed lights offer. These lights are installed flush against the ceiling, creating a clean and modern look for your bathroom.

Advantages of Recessed Lights



Recessed lights come in various sizes and styles, allowing you to choose the perfect can light for your dream bathroom. They can provide a range of lighting, from a soft and warm glow to bright task lighting. Multiple lights can be installed throughout the bathroom for even illumination.


Since recessed lights are installed directly into the ceiling, they do not take up any floor or wall space like traditional light fixtures. This maximizes available space in the bathroom without sacrificing style or functionality.

Enhanced Design

Recessed lights' sleek and minimalist aesthetic can enhance the bathroom's overall design. They blend seamlessly into the ceiling, providing a discreet lighting solution highlighting other design elements such as tiles, fixtures, or artwork.

Advantage Of Recessed Lights in bathrooms

What Is the Disadvantage of Recessed Lights?

One drawback of recessed lights is that they can be more expensive to install than traditional light fixtures, with an average cost of $200-$300 per light. This higher installation cost is due to the complexity involved in recessed lighting installation. 

Recessed lights require cutting holes in the ceiling and running electrical wiring behind the walls, which can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. 

Another disadvantage of recessed lights is their maintenance requirements. While these lights are generally durable and long-lasting, accessing them for maintenance or replacement can be challenging. 

Since recessed lights are installed inside the ceiling, reaching them requires removing the trim or housing and potentially climbing a ladder. This task can be cumbersome and time-consuming, especially if your bathroom has multiple recessed lights.

Disadvantage Of Recessed Lights in Bathroom

What Size Recessed Lights Are Best for Bathroom?

When selecting recessed lights for your bathroom, it's essential to consider the size that will work best in your space. The most popular recessed bathroom light size is typically 4 inches in diameter.

As for how many recessed lights you should install in a 5x8 bathroom, a general rule of thumb is one light for every 25 square feet of space. Therefore, you would typically need two recessed lights in a bathroom of this size.

Recessed lights above the shower

What Is the Most Popular Recessed Light Size?

Looking to create the perfect glow in your dream bathroom? Discover the most popular recessed light size that will add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your space. 

The most popular can light sizes for bathrooms are 4-inch and 6-inch. These versatile sizes offer a balanced lighting effect, making them ideal for creating a soothing atmosphere in your bathroom.

To better understand the benefits of these popular recessed light sizes, let's take a look at their features in the table below:

Can Light Size

Installation Ease

Design Versatility

Lighting Effect


Easy to install due to its compact size

Allows for more flexibility in placement and arrangement

Provides focused lighting for smaller areas or accent lighting


Requires slightly more effort during installation but is still manageable

Offers a more comprehensive range of design options, including different trim styles and finishes

Provides broader illumination for larger spaces

Best recessed lights for bathroom

How Many Recessed Lights in a 5x8 Bathroom?

This is crucial for achieving the perfect glow in your dream bathroom.

When determining the number of recessed lights for your 5x8 bathroom, here are some tips:

  • Consider the layout: Placement of critical fixtures such as the vanity, shower, and bathtub. These areas require task lighting to ensure proper visibility for daily grooming routines.
  • Maximize natural light: Using natural light sources whenever possible is always beneficial. Consider installing a skylight or oversized windows to flood your bathroom with beautiful natural light during the day.
  • Balance ambient and task lighting: Aim for a combination of ambient lighting that provides overall illumination and task lighting specifically designed for activities like applying makeup or shaving.
  • Get creative with lighting ideas: Be bold and think outside the box when lighting your bathroom remodel. Consider adding accent lights behind mirrors or beneath cabinets for a touch of elegance and visual interest.

How Many Lumens Do I Need for Bathroom Recessed Lighting?

To create the perfect ambiance in your dream bathroom, you'll want to ensure your recessed lighting has the right amount of lumens. The number of lumens you need for bathroom recessed lighting depends on several factors, such as the size of your bathroom and the desired brightness level.

Generally, it's recommended to have about 20 lumens per square foot in a bathroom. If you have a standard-sized bathroom that's around 50 square feet, you would need approximately 1000 lumens.

Choosing the right color temperature for bathroom lighting is crucial in creating a pleasant and inviting atmosphere. A color temperature between 2700K and 3000K is commonly used for bathrooms as it provides a warm and cozy feel. 

Incorporating accent lighting into your bathroom design can add depth and visual interest. You can use spotlights or directional lights to highlight specific areas or architectural features like artwork or beautiful tiles. 

Maximizing natural light by installing well-placed windows helps with energy efficiency and adds an airy and refreshing feel to your space.

Master bathroom lights

To Sum Up The Best Can Lights For Bathroom

In conclusion, when selecting the best can lights for your dream bathroom, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to determine what type of lighting you want - recessed lights or downlights. 

While both options have advantages, recessed lights are more popular due to their versatility and sleek design.

By taking the time to research and choose the right lights for your bathroom, you can create a space that is both functional and visually appealing.

Experience the luxury of effortless home improvements with Phoenix Home Remodeling. Let us handle your new bathroom can light installation, making it as seamless as watching leaves fall. 

Benefit from our unparalleled expertise, and soon, you'll be soaking in the ambiance of your enhanced bathroom. With Phoenix Home Remodeling, elevate your bath times to a new level of relaxation and enjoyment.

FAQs: Best Recessed Lights for Bathroom

Are recessed lights suitable for all types of bathrooms, including small or windowless bathrooms?

Recessed lights can work wonders in small or windowless bathrooms, adding depth and brightness. They are perfect for cramped spaces, thanks to their low-profile design. Despite limited ceiling height or unconventional layouts, recessed lights can create a stunning ambiance.

Can recessed lights be installed in a shower or above a bathtub?

You can install waterproof recessed lights in a shower or above a bathtub. These moisture-resistant can lights are designed to meet safety regulations for bathroom lighting, ensuring both functionality and style.

How easy is it to install recessed lights in an existing bathroom ceiling?

Installing recessed lights in an existing bathroom ceiling can be a cost-effective option. However, it comes with challenges like wiring and insulation. Retrofitting requires careful planning and knowledge. Advantages include sleek design, but disadvantages include limited light direction. Follow these steps for installation success.

Why would I choose LED Recessed lights?

Recessed lights are versatile for creating different lighting effects in your bathroom. Use them for task lighting or ambient lighting. Experiment with color temperature to enhance the ambiance and highlight focal points. LED can be recessed lights save energy, and innovative technology allows for convenient customization.

Can recessed lights be dimmed to adjust the brightness level in a bathroom?

Yes, recessed lights can be dimmed to adjust the brightness level in a bathroom. LED lights have better dimming capabilities compared to halogen lights. When selecting the proper trim, consider the type of bulb and desired lighting effect. Proper installation and troubleshooting of common issues are essential for optimal performance.

Video of this post:

Podcast about Can Lights Placement in Bathroom:

PDF version:

Do you live in Ahwatukee, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe,  Sun Lakes, Laveen, or South Phoenix?

Ready to talk about your remodeling needs?

Take the next step...

About the author

Hi my name is Jeremy Maher. My wife, 2 kids and I went through Contractor Nightmares for 3 years straight.

Ben, Mark, and I teamed up to start Phoenix Home Remodeling to help homeowners remodel without the common contractor nightmares.

Learn more about Jeremy's expertise and topics he likes to write about on his author page.