bathroom vanity lighting

What Is The Best Lighting For Bathroom Vanity?

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I have always noticed that my features are best accentuated when I have a look at the bathroom mirror. I wondered why that is so and what is so special about bathroom lighting. This made me consider about the best type of lighting for bathroom vanity.

What is the best lighting for bathroom vanity? Task lighting is the best lighting for bathroom vanities. Positioned ideally, it washes over the hair and face, and lets a person see themselves best. Ideal position for vanity lighting is 75 to 80 inches above the floor with several task lights spread across a fixture at least 24 inches long. Halogen incandescent bulbs are the best bulb for vanity lighting.

When you are using a vanity mirror, good lighting is what makes you see the better from worse or the worse from the better. It acts like a filter where you can get to know much more in detail. So, let’s have a look at what are the options available for those of you who want to fix the best lighting for your bathroom vanity.

Best Bathroom Vanity Lighting Fixtures

Shopping for bathroom vanity lights can be a fun task for you. This is if you have an idea of what kind of options you might be faced with at that point. So, let’s see what you have to select from out of a range of products available as bathroom vanity lighting in the market.


Like the name says, these are mostly cone shaped lights which could be attached to the sides of the mirror of your bathroom vanity. These are best if your bathroom vanity is quite small in size. It will give the perfect lighting in such situations.

You will need to fix a pair of sconces on both sides of your vanity to get the perfect results. If the bathroom vanity mirror is very small even a single sconce quite big in size than the above pair can be enough for you.

Chandelier Vanity Light

Chandeliers come in pretty designs and really gives out an elegance to the bathroom vanities in which they are used in. It could be really bright and can be used when there is a single sink in the vanity and the area is small.

Multiple Pendants

Pendant lights hang from the ceiling and offer an alternative to when you can’t have wall sconces due to a window or opening close to the vanity. These are little pendant lights which reflect well in a short area. But, with a combinations of a few of these, you can get a great effect even for a bathroom vanity which is quite big in size.

How to Shop for Bathroom Vanity Lights?

You have to consider many things when selecting the type of lighting for your bathroom vanity. You may have your own concerns with regard to the size of the bathroom or vanity and price etc.

Whatever these considerations are, it is best to make sure the lighting is absolutely right for your bathroom vanity before you purchase them. You do not want it to end up in a disaster where you have to re-do it all over.

Choosing Bulbs

You might be looking for an energy saving option where you would select one out of the many LED bulbs which are available in the market. It could also be that you prefer a soft golden glow as opposed to the white lighting given by some bulbs. (I discuss more on bulb color in bulb type section below.) All of these matter quite a lot when it comes to selecting the perfect bulbs to fix for your bathroom vanity lighting fixtures.

Using Dimmers

Some of you might want to give your bathroom vanities an extra oomph along with some elegance. Dimmers are excellent options under such criteria and would always look great, no matter what.

Thinking of Safety

Lighting means electricity flow is an obvious factor of concern. This paired with water is not going to give out great results. A bathroom is a place which has water all over and it is best to consider the positioning of the lighting and the switches, of course!

The best distance between the floor and the lighting equipment would be 75 to 80 inches. This includes all of the bulbs, switches etc.

Thinking of the Color

Bulbs mainly reflect two kinds of color, which is white and a golden yellow. Your bathroom wall may have a particular color which needs to be considered when selecting the color of the lighting for your bathroom vanity.
For example, if your walls are painted white, then a golden yellow lighting would give it a soft glow. If it is painted in a color such as pink or blue, then it might be wise to go for a bulb which illuminates white color.

Thinking of the temperature

If you have a very small bathroom, then it is best to go for a lighting option which does not give out a lot of heat. LEDs are best suited in such situations. Large bathrooms have the luxury of getting any type of lighting which would go perfectly with its interior.

Best Light Bulbs for Bathroom Vanity

You can choose the type of bulb from so many categories and subcategories available in the market. This could range from simple LEDs and CFLs to more sophisticated options. It is identified that Halogen Incandescent bulbs are ideal for bathroom vanities because it gives a light that is close to natural light. Which goes without saying it is ideal when getting dressed up or checking yourself before leaving the bathroom.

This type of bulb shows better color and texture than LEDs and CFLs. So as a woman I find halogen incandescent bulbs a great option for applying makeup and re-touching it when necessary. This gives you a great feeling knowing that everything is close to perfect.

But, if you are concerned about energy savings, LEDs are the best choice. If this is the case, you can always opt for a soft glow LED light while having a separate mirror and light for applying makeup and related tasks. It is really up to you to decide which you prefer!

The other thing is that Halogen Incandescent bulbs are great to be used as dimmers as well. So, if you are planning on having dimmers for your bathroom vanity lighting, then you might think of this options left for you, which could give you the desired effect all the way.

Although not as much energy saving as LEDs, new improved Halogen Incandescent bulbs do have their own share of contributing towards energy savings in many forms. So you will not be spending a fortune on your utility bills.

Different Types of Lighting Used for Bathrooms And Vanity

Inside your bathroom you will have different types of bathroom lighting that will affect your vanity lighting. So it’s important to know about them too. And since, good lighting is essential when using the vanity mirror, especially for makeup, it makes sense to concentrate and know about different types of bathroom lights as well.

Ambient lighting

This type of lighting serves as a substitute for natural light. It is usually mounted on a ceiling, acting more like a pendant lamp or chandelier. It adds a soft glow to the perimeter of the area.

Accent lighting

Accent lighting is more focused and directed at a piece of art or a separate room or basin area. It creates another layer of lighting and gives that sparkling look to your entire bathroom.

Task Lighting (Vanity Lighting)

Those products sold in the market as Vanity lighting is a type of task lighting. This task oriented type of lighting best illuminates your face and makes it the perfect type of lighting to have for bathroom vanities. It is ideal when you want to groom yourself as it shows every feature very precisely.

Task light scones are ideal to be fixed on either side of the mirror of your bathroom vanity. Sometimes this is not possible due to the size and positioning of the bathroom vanity. Then you can opt for an over the mirror version of it.

Sometimes, it is wise to use a combination of these different types of lighting in variations which could give the best results. The desired effect is to see yourself at the best of angles at all times, while pointing out the flaws in you, at the same time.

So, carefully think and consider before jumping to a conclusion with regard to what type of lighting to use for your bathroom vanity and how to fix it, especially with regard to positioning.

I hope searching for the perfect lighting for your bathroom vanity has now become quite easy with the wide overview of knowledge about different vanity lighting options I discussed here. With the wide variety of vanity lighting fixtures available in the market and each one being able to suit most of our pockets. So, it is your call to know exactly what you want from bathroom vanity lighting and make sure you get exactly that.

Related Questions

Where to find lighting for bathroom vanity?
These types of specific lighting could be found in interior designing shops, home improvement stores and shops which are dedicated in selling lighting and items related to it. Many online stores do provide the option of selecting the perfect type of lighting along with probably the greatest selections range to choose from. Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes also offer a large variety of vanity lighting fixtures.

How far apart should vanity lights be?
If you are using a pair of scones for your bathroom vanity, it is best to leave 36 to 40 inches between the scones. The placement and gap is important because scones which are too far apart tend to leave a dark spot, with no form of lighting, in the mirror.

What is the best wattage for bathroom vanity lighting?
Wattage for tasking lighting should ideally be 75 to 100 Watts. These wattage equivalents could be bought in a 24 to 26 watt compact fluorescent or 20 to 25 watt LED.

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