WATT?! You thought we weren’t going to start this with a pun?! In case you can’t tell, today we are talking vanity lighting. Who knew there were so many options, each with their own pros and cons. Has your lighting layout TURNED ON you while attempting to shave? Applying makeup to go out and get LIT later and realize you actually look like a clown once you get outside? Good lighting can make a difference based on your specific needs and what areas of your. Learn about your options so you can make a BRIGHT and informed decision during your next remodel. Be the LIGHT of your bathroom’s life with these vanity lighting options.
Recessed cans have become a standard for general lighting in any room: kitchen, bathroom, bar, laundry, etc. so of course it’s an option for your vanity lighting. Instead of a standard 5-inch or 6-inch can, normally used for overall lighting, think smaller. A “spotlight” over a vanity sink can be used in the same way you use one over a kitchen sink. A smaller fixture can also give a better amount of light at the raised counter surface. Depending on the type of fixture used, and your ceiling height, they will typically range from a 2-inch to 4-inch can. Pros? This illuminates the entire counter surface making it easily visible. Cons? If the light is in the wrong location, your head may be in the way while you are washing your hands, blocking part of the light. The downlight is also not as great (by itself) for shaving and applying makeup. Below you can see the smaller can over the left vanity sink – there is a matching one over the right. Look how well lit the counter is!
Overhead Decorative Lighting
This has some similar pros and cons to a recessed can because it is still a light that is being shone “down” on the user. However, these lights are typically much closer to the wall so you do get some light shining at your face as well. It also allows you to pick out a decorative fixture and add some personality to your vanity space. See the options below. On the left, we showcase a wide wall sconce almost covering the width of the mirror below. On the right, a dropped pendant from the ceiling. The pendant, if brought down low enough, also has the ability to reflect light off of the mirror and brighten up the entire space. A third option? You can use pendants that drop even lower and sit on the sides of your mirror; They will act more like side sconces, but have that additional decorative element.
There are a lot of mirrors on the market today that have that “Hollywood lighting” without all of the bulbs. Those style (although not pictured or discussed) are honestly the best way to really light up everything you are looking at! Think a ring light, but inset into a mirror! Now, you can also pull any mirror off of the wall to create the reverse – where the light fixture is hidden behind the mirror itself. This backlit look is truly stunning and still gives you a lot of surrounding light, just not as harshly directed into your eyes. The mirror feels like it’s floating, adding not only lots of light but an additional level of aesthetic genius. Cons? You may still want some overhead lighting to shine more directly only your entire counter if you use it as a constant workspace, like a seated vanity.
Side Wall Sconces
Side-mounted fixtures are our favorite type of installation. Why? Not only does the light have the option to shine up and down to reflect off the ceiling and counter surfaces, but it lights up your face from both sides. These alone do the best job of lighting up your face for personal use: shaving, applying makeup, etc. We already mentioned you can achieve this look with pendants, but sconces are definitely the most popular option. Typically, you would have one on each side of every mirror (see below, right) to light your face regardless of where you stand. In a smaller space, like a powder, you may not have enough wall space, so you can easily mount these on the perpendicular walls left and right to achieve the same look. Cons? Depending on the number of mirrors, this one has the potential to cost the most because you will have a greater number of fixtures to purchase and rough-in. However, it’s definitely a favorite.
Are you realizing that your lighting is not as great as it could be? Could one or more of these options work for you? Make sure to add it to your Bathroom Wish List, and check out some other ideas to Dress Up A Bathroom during your next remodel!