Having a hard time selecting the right spotlights for your bathroom? Spotlights can play a key role in bathroom lighting and, whilst they are only one of many options, its pretty common for bathrooms to include some GU10 Bulbs. This article aims to provide you with both advice and recommendations concerning lighting your bathroom in the most efficient way.

In this article:

GU10 Bathroom Example
Example of a bathroom fitted with GU10s

Tarryn Manley

Expert Tip

“As a rule of thumb, I would tend to add more lights if you’re a novice as you can always put these on different circuits & on dimmers… but once the lighting is installed it can be very hard to add new as well as find good positions.”

Tarryn Manley, Senior Interior Designer

Avoiding the Wrong Colour Temperatures

Before purchasing lights for any area in your house, you need to think about the four types of lighting: task lighting, accent lighting, decorative lighting, and ambient lighting. Let’s take a look at examples of when and where each may be used in the bathroom.

Bathroom Area



Ceilings 3000k

In general this requires ambient lighting which is required to provide a warm and friendly environment but provide sufficient light for dark mornings / evenings - without blinding the occupant with too much light.

Bathroom ceiling bulbs should be flattering and reflect a warm, calming environment.

Shower 4000k

Given showers are wet environments and prone to slips from spilt shampoos, oils and other products, we recommend using task lights to ensure safety.

Higher Kelvin temperature colours can give a crisp and clear light and can give Chrome and Glass fixtures a real wow factor.

Sinks & Mirrors 4000k

For specific tasks such as Shaving, Grooming & Make-up application, go with a cooler colour white that helps provide a more clinical and brighter light.

Again these areas can be focal points and provide a real compliment to mirrors, sinks, taps and bathroom surfaces.

Bath Tubs 2700k

For specific tasks such as Shaving, Grooming & Make-up application, go with a cooler colour white that helps provide a more clinical and brighter light.

Again these areas can be focal points and provide a real compliment to mirrors, sinks, taps and bathroom surfaces.

Important: Achieving these lighting balances may require specific circuits adding to the bathroom. This will require the assistance of a qualified electrician. Never attempt to wire these circuits.

Water Resistance: The Specifications You Need to Keep Everyone Safe

Purchasing lights for your bathroom without learning anything about specifications such as IP ratings, wattage/lumens, and fire ratings isn’t a clever idea, as it’s a lot like shooting arrows in the dark. To ensure the best value for your money, you must know the following:

IP Ratings Explained

The Ingress Protection (IP) rating is an indication of the level of sealing protection that a casing provides to the bulb within it. This isn't for bathroom lighting, this is a major specification that you need to look out for on all lighting prodctus. Using improperly rated lighting solutions pose a great danger which is why you need to consider the IP rating of every lighting solution you’re about to buy.

IP Rating

Areas in Bathroom


Highest Rating


Zone 0

Bath & shower trays

The IP rating for the interior of your bathtub or shower tray area must be IPX7. These bulbs are immersion proof and should be low voltage.

High Rating


Zone 1

Above baths & in shower cubicles

If you’re looking to position a spotlight above the bath or in the shower cubicle, go for a light with an IP65 rating.

Medium Rating

IP64 to IP65

Zone 2

Splash zones near bath and shower areas.

Placement for splash zones is within 0.6 Metres of baths, sinks and showers and 2.25 Metres from the floor.

Low Rating


Zone 3 and Outside Zones

Ceilings and decorative features outwide zones 0 - 2

There is no safety reason why a bulb with an IP rating of 20+ cannot be used, however we generally recommend sticking with bulbs with a rating of 44+ given that water can inadvertently get splashed onto ceilings and lighting fixtures via water jets, shower and bath attachments.

How many Lumens will be needed?

Tarryn Manley

Expert Tip

“Spotlights are always great to create/highlight features in a room as well as the practical sense. One tip when positioning them is working out an even light distribution whilst also highlighting areas, for example in a bathroom, it’s better to have lighting in front of you at a vanity to illuminate the face properly as spotlights behind would cast shadows.”

Tarryn Manley, Senior Interior Designer

As Tarryn states above, it pays to check beam angles on spotlights because they will vary depending on your application. For ceilings, pick wider beam angles to avoid shadowy areas which will also help the bathroom look bigger. For task or accent lighting, go for narrow angles to focus light on where you need it.

In general, bathrooms have a recommendation of 70-80 foot candles - please refer to our Lumens guide as it provides more information on how to measure and complete the above formula.

Spotlights or Integrated?

LED GU10 lights, also known as spotlights, are usually supplied as ‘downlights’ but this terminology can also be used for integrated LED downlights and GU10 fittings without an LED.

In the main, people referring to GU10 Downlights tend to mean halogen replacements, as it’s a retrofit energy-saving alternative that utilizes the latest in LED technology.

Tarryn Manley

Expert Tip

“Angled downlighters are great as they give the benefits of spotlights but are less intrusive on the ceiling.”

Tarryn Manley, Senior Interior Designer

Which is best?

If you would like more information on the best choice for your bathroom, take a look at our downlighters guide. In general we would say that GU10 spotlights are cheaper and give more control over changes but ultimately aren’t as long lasting or as high quality.

Dimmable or Non-Dimmable

Both options are absolutely fine for Bathrooms but, of course dimmer switches cannot be on the inside of the bathroom itself. The price differences between the two bulb types is actually very reasonable. The choice may come down to the cost of the dimmer switch itself and the cost of fitting.

You can check our selection of LED GU10 spotlights here.
You can also use the chat box in the corner or call us on 0113 887 6270 if you're in need of assistance.

Bathroom with GU10s Example 2
Example 2 of a bathroom fitted with GU10s

4000k Osram GU10

  • 4000k Cool White Colour - Perfect task lighting!
  • 5w LED Replaces 50w Halogen
  • 15,000 Hour Average Life
  • 350 Lumen Light Output
  • Up to 90% in Energy Savings.
  • Osram Ledvance is a long-running high-quality brand. 

    Buy 10+ and save 12%


Sylvania GU10

  • Perfect replacement for a standard 5w Halogen GU10.
  • Lumen output of 345 lumens.
  • The 3000k colour temperature means that this lamp produces a warm and comfortable glow.
  • 36° beam angle ensures the light is spread widely across the area of direction.
  • Up to 90% in Energy Savings.
  • Osram Sylvania is a long-running and trusted brand. 

    Buy 6+ and save 26%

    Buy 12+ and save 30%

LED Dimmable Downlight

  • Changeable Wattage Via Switch 8w or 10w
  • Switchable Colour - Warm, Cool or Daylight
  • White, Chrome & Brushed Steel Bezels Included
  • Average life of 50,000 hours
  • Lamp is fully dimmable.
  • Bright Source delivers quality value-for-money products. 

    Buy 10+ and save 3%

    Buy 48+ and save 7%

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