Vanity Light Fixtures For Your Bathroom

If you are looking for a great, cost effective way to upgrade your bathroom then you need to install new bathroom vanity lighting. More than anything else you can do in your bathroom, this will give you by far the best results for your money and for overall improvement. Easily installed (see our tutorial) in the time it would take you to watch a movie you can complete the project. Just some very basic tools are required.

Find The Right Light For Your Bathroom Space

The bathroom is one of the most heavily used rooms in the house. Care should be taken to ensure it has the proper amount of lighting for everyone that will be using it. Often time a single light source will not be adequate for the space, especially in larger bathroom spaces. The wrong type of lighting might also be problematic, but with a bit of thought and a few basic principles your bathroom can become the center of your home comfort zone. 

The uses for your bathroom are fairly obvious and the person utilizing the space should have lighting that satisfy the need in which the occupant is engaged in.

The following are some of the key things we should look for when picking out the proper lighting.

  • Make sure that the lighting is evenly distributed throughout the room
  • The placement should be in a safe place
  • Think through how the lighting might cast shadows and dark areas
  • The warmer hues work best in a bathroom setting
  • Ensure that the fixture you select enhances the other finishes within the room.

From bath bar lighting, recessed pot lights, chandeliers, strip lights to traditional vanity lights, there is a multitude of choices when it comes to finding the right lighting solution for your bathroom. First and foremost pick a style you love and then determine whether it will fulfils the requirements of your space. 

Vanity lighting is best known for its multiple lights mounted on a single bar, generally, each light has it own separate shade associated with it and can be directed or pointed in several different directions, thereby lighting the space efficiently. 

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Vanity Lighting

Vanity lighting by definition, is any light that is installed over a bathroom sink, generally above the mirror but can also be mounted on either side of the mirror. The associated sink does not necessarily have to have a vanity cabinet under it, however, it is critical to mount your vanity lighting in such a manner that it is uniform.

Although the vanity light is an essential component of a bathroom lighting scheme, as with other rooms, the bathroom is best accented with additional light and light fixtures: ambient, accent and task lighting.  Smaller  bathrooms often rely primarily on an overhead light, other bathrooms may only contain the vanity lighting to brighten the space. Vanity lighting is preferable to overhead light as the fixture functions as both  task and general lighting.

Not all light will treat your spaces equally. In the bathroom, where shade and tone are important factors, it’s a good idea to get the light quality as true to natural as possible. For older homeowners or families who are considering aging in place, keep in mind that as the human body ages, a room can require 4 times the amount of light compared to the needs of younger generations. These issues are more than just determining the wattage of the bulb in the fixture – which only measures the energy the bulb uses – and gets into questions of lumens and color temperature.

The lumens listed on the light packaging are in direct relation to their lamp or bulb brightness. The lower the lumens, the dimmer the light. For a brighter light, look for bulbs with a higher lumen number. In many, if not most bathroom lighting systems the different types of light need to be layered for the most effective lighting schemes.

Choosing the right lighting system for your bathroom design can be a daunting task. All the components to include the vanity, tub area and shower all call for differing  lighting choices, it is critical that the bathroom’s overall design feels stylish and cohesive. 

It does not matter at all whether you are  or working with brand-new construction or renovating an existing bathroom, the vanity lighting is one of, if not the most essential component of a well-designed, properly lit bathroom. Many homes, particularly older homes, often have the problem of no vanity lighting what so ever, rather, the only light in the room is the one overhead light fixture. It is most essential in todays modern age that we have the adequate lighting to groom and perform our proper hygiene by. 

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How Many Light Fixture Are Required for your Bathroom

The bathroom vanity lighting you select depends on the size and layout of the vanity you’re working with. For a single-sink vanity, wall scones are ideal for the most even lighting effect. As a general rule of thumb wall sconces be mounted about 25” – 35” apart, and roughly 60” – 78” high extending from the floor to just above eye level. This spacing allows for the best possible and the most even  lighting for virtually every vanity requirement.

For design purposes and functionality, a vanity light over the mirror is a great option. The above mirror option light fixture, should as a general guide be no wider then one half the mirror length, but ideally one quarter the width is best. The above mirror vanity light in no circumstance should be longer than the width of the mirror Keep in mind, this is for a single sink vanity. For a double sink  with wider countertops, a multi-light vanity light fixture above mirror is a great idea, choosing light fixtures with 3-4 light bulbs each. Two vanity lights of the same make will offer a symmetrical look with one centered over each sink. A good standard for a light installed above a bathroom mirror is about 70” – 86″ measuring from the floor to the bottom of the light fixture.

Lighting Design 

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of choices to pick from when selecting your vanity lights and scones. What is your aesthetic likes nd dislikes, this should be your main guide when selecting a vanity or scone light for your bathroom. Lights mounted on the sides of a mirror provide more even lighting than lights mounted above the  mirror,  install both side mounted & overhead lighting when possible, especially recessed lights, this will help to avoid shadowing and provide for a more evenly lighted space. 

Keep in mind too, when space is limited and symmetry is not achievable, hanging pendent lights on the ceiling on either side of the mirror is an awesome option especially when wall scones are not possible. To strategically utilize frosted bulbs or glass offers even more light optionality to overcome any shadowing that may occur in your lighted vanity area.  Pendants are a great option in half-baths or anywhere the sink is set into an cubby with no wall space available on either side, you can also mount wall sconces  set back on the walls to the right and the left of sinks set in alcoves or cubby’s.

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Lumens: How Much Light You Need

For hygiene and prepping that are performed in front of the vanity mirror, it is essential to have the proper lighting so even the most hidden of things are not missed. Therefore, the level or brightness level of lighting is of the utmost importance. At the lowest end of the lighting spectrum a value of  1600 lumens for vanity lighting is highly recommended, However, if the fixture that you are using has an  LED light, the increased efficiency allows you to get the same effect with a lower output bulb, generally around  1200 lumens, so keep in mind when selecting lighting fixtures. Let’s Fix It Up actually loves the idea of installing bulbs on the higher end of lumen output and  then install dimmable fixtures on their own switch, in this way, each user can control the light level as they see fit.