A ceiling mount light fixture is designed to be mounted to the ceiling, while a wall mounted light fixture is meant to be mounted on the wall. There are pros and cons to both forms of lighting in a bathroom. In most situations, both forms of lighting should be used for specific applications.
Use Ceiling Mount Light Fixtures
A ceiling mounted light fixture is primarily designed to provide general illumination. They work extremely well for this purpose because they throw light over a wide area. The 2 most common and effective areas to mount ceiling light fixtures are over a toilet and over the shower.
Ceiling light fixtures are a poor choice for lighting around a bathroom mirror. Their position places illumination directly on the head of the person looking into a mirror. It creates shadows around the face and body, which considerably limits the effectiveness of the mirror.
Wall Mounted Light Fixtures
Wall mounted light fixtures are designed to provide direct illumination on a specific area. This type of fixture works extremely well for providing lighting around the mirror. By placing the lighting relatively close to eye level, the fixtures cast light directly on a person, allowing them to see themselves clearly in the mirror. They also leave no shadows on the face or body.
Wall mounted light fixtures do not work effectively for room illumination because they are more directional and provide the light at a lower level. It can lead to large portions of the room remaining in the shadows. The ceiling of the room also tends to remain in the shadows with wall mounted light fixtures.
Using Both Wall Mounted Lights and Ceiling Fixtures
The use of both forms of lighting fixtures should be considered. 1 or more ceiling mounted light fixtures should be installed to provide a balanced illumination throughout the bathroom. Another should be placed over the shower to provide clear illumination in the shower.
Utilize wall mounted light fixtures around the mirror to provide a clear illumination on your face and body. You can also make use of spotlight style wall fixtures to provide strong illumination on a specific area of the bathroom to accent decorations or design elements, such as a whirlpool or tub.