A Guide to Choosing and Installing Bathroom LED Strip Lights

Homeowners are revolutionizing interior designs with amazing bathroom LED strip lights. More than ever, we are seeing a surge in the uptake of LED lights instead of traditional light sources. 

The reason is that LEDs are brighter, more efficient, generate less heat, and are easy to install. However, LED strip light installation gets trickier when considering the bathrooms. 

Bathrooms are wet places making them unsuitable for most light sources. But not the LED strip lights. 

In today’s piece, we are going through all you need to know before illuminating your bathroom. Read on. 

Can LED strip lights be used in the bathroom?

A bathroom mirror surrounded by an LED strip

(A bathroom mirror surrounded by an LED strip)

You can use LED strips in the bathroom for illumination and to improve its overall aesthetic appeal. Generally, common places to install strip lights include:

  • Floating vanity or under-sink area
  • Wall accent lighting like above wall-mounted mirrors
  • Ceiling cove lighting
  • Shower niche or alcove
  • Bathtub or Jacuzzi
  • Toe-kick lighting around the bottom edges of bathroom cabinets and vanities. 

Factors to Consider When Selecting and Installing LED Strip Lights for Your Bathroom

A woman reading an LED’s description

(A woman reading an LED’s description)

A bathroom is a place that has a lot of water and moisture, making some light sources undesirable.

 However, we cannot say the same about light-emitting diode (LED) strips that are getting more popular as time passes. 

The reason is that they are versatile, long-lasting, and easier to install than other light sources. 

Regardless, here are crucial factors that you must consider before installing an LED strip light in your bathroom. 

Waterproofing Capabilities

The first consideration is where to install the LED strip and whether it comes into contact with water. 

For instance, all LED strips around the shower or bathtub must be waterproof with a preferable Ingress Protection rating of IP67/68. 

Additionally, all those close to high moisture surfaces, like the bathroom windows, must have an IP65 rating and above.

Power Supply

Use a power supply designed in damp areas to avoid short circuits and electrocution. Additionally, install it in a safe location away from the bathroom. 

Electrical Safety

Electrical safety is important if you power your LED strip lights from the main supply.

 The main supply LEDs use a 120V alternating current, which is dangerous if you don’t ground it. 

Consequently, consult a professional electrician to ensure you adhere to local safety standards and regulations. 


If your LED strips are not fully waterproof, ensure you have proper ventilation to minimize moisture build-up. 

Additionally, you can install an exhaust fan to dissipate excess humidity and prevent moisture from condensing on the LED strips.

Maintenance Tips for Long-lasting and Safe LED Strip Light Operation

An LED strip on top of a power supply

(An LED strip on top of a power supply)

Typically, LED strip lights are long-lasting, with high-quality ones having lifespans ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 hours. 

In contrast, traditional light sources like incandescent bulbs last around 1,000 hours. You need proper maintenance to ensure the LEDs outlive their expected lifespans.  

Use the Right Power Supply

The first tip is to ensure you provide the right voltage and wattage to your LED lights. LEDs are very sensitive to overvoltages as they cause the LEDs to shine brighter and degrade faster. 

On the other hand, using a low voltage, say 12V for a 24V strip light, the LEDs will be less bright.

 Alternatively, use a resistor or a voltage regulator between the power supply and the LEDs to dampen the voltage spikes. 

Clean LED Strip Surfaces Occasionally

Incandescent bulbs rely on electrical power to cause a tungsten filament to heat up, producing light. 

The process is power intensive and produces a lot of heat which may be undesirable for an indoor setting. 

On the other hand, LED strip lights generate less heat, making thermal management more manageable.

 However, they may overheat if dirt covers their surfaces, meaning regular cleaning is inevitable.

Proper Installation

Like any other electrical system, adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions is important to prevent LED strip lights’ failure.

 Also, use a proper power supply, connections, and mounting method to ensure the LEDs last long. 

The Benefits of LED Strip Lights

Interior design of a backlight mirror

(Interior design of a backlight mirror)

Energy Efficient

LED lights are currently the most efficient light source in the world. They convert nearly 90 percent of all wattage to light energy while they waste little on heat. 

On the other hand, traditional incandescent lights convert close to 90 percent of power to heat and around 10 percent to light.

 In other words, you can spend 60 to 70 percent less when you fully adopt LED strip lights. 

Long Lasting

LED strip lights last close to 100,000 hours or an equivalent of 34 years if you use them for 8 hours daily. 

Conversely, fluorescent lamps last at most 20,000 hours, with some lasting less than 10,000 hours.

They Generate Less Heat

Unlike incandescent lamps, LED strip lights produce little heat to the extent that you may only notice when close to them. 

Consequently, you can install them in your room without fearing that the ambient temperatures may be uncomfortable. 

Easy to Install

LED strip lights are a perfect option for homeowners who prefer low-effort installations. 

Generally, you don’t need to run power cables; you only have to run the LED strip on a clean surface. Afterward, connect it to a power supply, and you are ready. 


Can I install LED strip lights in wet areas like showers or tubs?

You can install LED strip lights in wet areas because they are dust and water-resistant. 

When installing inside the tub, ensure the LED strip has an IP68 rating and above. 

In other words, it has total waterproofing against submersion in water up to a certain pressure. 

When installing around the outer edges of the tub, you can go with an LED strip starting from IP64 to IP68. 

The Ingress Protection rating IP64 signifies that the strip has sufficient protection against water sprays from any direction. 

The same applies to the shower in that you can use an LED strip with an IP64 rating and above for surfaces that are not underwater. 

However, note that water is a good conductor of electricity, and you’ll be endangering your life with a poor LED installation. 

When installing one inside your tub, get professional help on the best LEDs and how to install them.

Can LED strip lights be dimmed?

Most LED strip lights are dimmable by applying an appropriate direct current (DC) electrical signal. First, you can opt to use a TRIAC dimmable wall power supply.

 Its roles are to rectify the 120V AC power to a 12V or 24V DC signal that the LEDs use. 

Afterward, it translates any TRIAC signal to dim the LED strip output. 

Second, install a DC PWM LED dimmer between the LED strip and the non-TRIAC power supply. 

By doing so, you’ll have a system using a potentiometer to reduce LED strip output. 

How many lumens is good for a bathroom?

The rule of thumb is that 20 to 50 lumens per square foot light output is the best for your bathroom. 

Therefore, if you have a bathroom that’s 40 square feet, the best illumination is between 800 and 2,000 lumens. 

However, remember that we all have different designs for our private spaces. Some prefer more light, while others prefer less in the bathrooms.  


The bathroom is a place to unwind after a long tiring day. Additionally, it is the place to refreshen early in the morning before taking on the day’s errands.

 It needs perfect lighting that improves its functionality and aesthetic appeal. 

However, the bathroom is damp, with water droplets and moisture.

 Failure to adhere to safety standards when installing the LED strip lights may be catastrophic.

 Finally, ensure all electrical connections are well insulated and away from damp sections of the bathroom.