Bathroom Lighting Solutions: Wall Sconces vs. Pendant Lights

Bathroom Lighting Solutions: Wall Sconces vs. Pendant Lights

When designing a new or remodeled bathroom, there are a lot of choices a designer has to make: tiles, wall color, counters, cabinets, and more. But one of the most crucial decisions in creating a gorgeous and inviting bathroom is the lighting.

Our guide to bathroom lighting solutions, wall sconces vs. pendant lights, will take you through what you should consider when choosing a bathroom lighting fixture and the benefits of both options. If you’re having trouble making a decision, you’ve come to the right place!

What To Consider When Choosing Bathroom Lighting Fixtures

There’s a lot to consider as you decide between wall sconces, pendant lights, and other lighting fixtures. Before you make your selection, keep these things in mind to come away with a beautifully lit and functional bathroom.

Functional Illumination

We all want an impeccably lit, gorgeous bathroom—but don’t forget that the fixtures are there for a functional purpose. Especially in bathrooms, useful light is necessary when you’re getting ready for the day or before leaving the house.

At times, you may want a softer and more ambient light for your bathroom, but you’re going to use the bathroom to get ready every day, so ensure you’re not straining your eyes to see.

Layered Lighting

The best-lit bathrooms aren’t the ones with one bright source, but ones that offer a variety of fixtures and sources. You want your bathroom to have layered lighting, which is a mixture of ambient lighting with task lighting for both aesthetics and functionality.

Instead of clashing with one another, the fixtures blend to create a harmonious and inviting bathroom. Plus, the layers will give you options for when you need as much light as possible and when you want a softer, warmer glow for a relaxing night in the tub.

Task Lighting

You also want to keep task lighting in mind if you’ve got a large master bathroom with plenty of space. Like layered lighting, this gives you options, whether using the mirror in the bathroom or taking a relaxing soak in the tub.

It’ll also help you be more efficient with your lighting, as you’ll only use the fixtures for the specific task in the bathroom instead of illuminating the entire room every time you use it.

Natural Light

We specialize and discuss artificial light, but you can’t forget the significance of natural light. When it comes to the bathroom, and any other room, the more natural light, the better.

Remove any heavy curtains or blinds out of your bathroom to let in as much natural light as possible. You might even want to consider a skylight to fill your mornings with that soothing sunrise sunshine.

Size of Fixture

The size of your bathroom and the size of the fixture will play a significant role in your choice. Are you looking for a fixture that makes a statement and draws the eye, or for something that blends more into the background?

A large chandelier or pendant fixture can become the dominant décor piece of a bathroom, while a simple wall-mounted sconce is less conspicuous.

Benefits of Wall-Mounted Sconces in the Bathroom

Now that you know what to look for, what are the benefits of wall-mounted sconces in the bathroom?


One of the reasons that many designers like wall sconces for the bathroom is that they can be unobtrusive. A wall-mounted sconce is out of the way and can blend seamlessly with the wall with some similar paint and materials.

Wall sconces offer the proper illumination without sticking out or making too strong an impression. They let the rest of the bathroom design shine while being a supporting player.


But not all wall sconces are the same, and they can be just as decorative and statement-making as any other light fixture. Wall sconces with brass, metal, and silver finishes can make for remarkable decorative pieces that enhance a bathroom’s design without clashing with other décor.


There are all different kinds of wall sconces to choose from, and their versatility is why they’re so popular with designers. For instance, a mid-century wall sconce can work with multiple aesthetics, from modern industrial to vintage designs.

Whatever design you want for your bathroom, odds are you can find the ideal wall sconce that fits right in!

Soft Lighting

One of the primary benefits of wall sconces is that fixtures offer indirect illumination, which casts a softer and more intimate light. If you want your bathroom to have a more luxurious, elegant feeling, wall sconces are ideal for getting an inviting and relaxed soft glow.

Pro Tip: Pair wall sconces with dimmer switches for a relaxed, spa-like illumination!

Benefits of Hanging Pendant Lights

There are many advantages to wall sconces, but what about pendant lights? Don’t worry—there are plenty of benefits to them as well!

Statement Piece

If you want a light fixture that makes a statement, a few options are better than a hanging pendant light. As soon as you enter a room, you’ll notice a pendant light, and your eye will be drawn to it, making the first impression of your bathroom.

Instead of a bright color or extravagant piece, a straightforward hanging pendant light can be enough to make a statement without getting too elaborate.


Pendant lights have been around practically everywhere, so there’s no shortage of design styles to choose from, whatever your bathroom’s aesthetic. Pendant lights are some of the most versatile and diverse, from fashion to color and shape.

Do you want your bathroom to have a natural feel? Consider a textured wooden pendant! Do you prefer a modern, minimalist look? A simple, hanging steel pendant will blend in perfectly.

Save Space

A benefit of a pendant light is that it doesn’t take up much space. Instead of using wall space that could be utilized for hanging shelves or drawers, pendant lights hang from the ceiling out of the way.

If it’s a hanging pendant, make sure that you give yourself plenty of space and clearance to move freely about your bathroom without running into it!

Task Lighting

Most pendant light fixtures offer focused, concentrated lighting, which is ideal when you want task lighting. Remember that bathrooms are best when mixed ambient and task lighting create a fully functional but aesthetically-pleasing illumination instead of using a single source.

Many designers like pendant lights above the bath rub, as the focused lighting is perfect for those nights when you want to sit in the tub for hours without having to illuminate the entire bathroom.

That was our breakdown of bathroom lighting solutions and pendant lights vs. wall sconces. There’s no wrong answer when the fixtures are appropriately used if you ask us!

Remember that the best bathrooms are those that mix and match, so there’s no reason you can’t fit wall sconces and pendant lights together in your bathroom! If you have any questions about lighting fixtures or want advice from experts, contact us at Illuminate Vintage.

Bathroom Lighting Solutions: Wall Sconces vs. Pendant Lights

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