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How to choose bathroom vanity lighting?

How to choose bathroom vanity lighting?

Whether you are planning to renovate your current bathroom or are considering a brand new construction, bathroom vanity lights are a must have to make your space look well-designed. Many homes, especially the older ones have either no bathroom vanity light at all, or if they do have, then it’s the only light for the entire bathroom. Both of these cases are not ideal, because the tasks performed at the vanity such as grooming and hygiene requires proper lighting.

Vanity lighting is a bit different than general lighting, so you must put little extra thought into it. Proper vanity lighting that is good for doing different tasks and is safe in a potentially wet environment is crucial.

A pair of sconces

Sconces are a popular choice for many reasons. They are both beautiful and highly functional, plus they don’t take much space. In the bathroom where one uses the mirror for several tasks such as applying makeup, doing skincare, shaving, or putting on contact lenses, it’s better to have fixtures that not only light up space but also the face. Remember, a pair of good sconces will do their job well. They will light you primarily and not that wall or the mirror. This is the reason bath sconces are chosen in pairs, one on each side of the mirror. A pair evenly lights the face from the sides, avoiding harsh shadows.

Choose one fixture that’s the right size

The reality is that not every bathroom has enough space for two sconces. If you have decided to go with the light above, make sure you don’t overwhelm the space with a huge fixture. A skinnier mirror will look good with smaller vanity lighting or roughly the same width. Going wider with the fixture will give a strange look.

Choosing the right finish

Although your bathroom vanity lighting finish can match the existing fixtures and faucets in your bathroom, it is best if they don’t coordinate. If your fixtures are shiny, make sure you go for chrome finished or nickel vanity light’s finish. Some of the other finishes that are quite famous in lighting include antique brass, bronze, and even black.

Choosing glass and bulbs

When it comes to choosing bathroom vanity lights, it is recommended that you go for the fixtures with frosted or opal glass shades. The majority of modern bathroom vanity lights have this type of glass. Exposed bulbs or glass shades are not a good option. The filaments from exposed light bulbs can be really irritating for the eyes. Besides that, instead of using standard bulbs, you can use compact fluorescent bulbs or LED lights. Both LEB bulbs and Fluorescent lights are perfect for bathrooms as they emit less heat, last longer, and save energy.

Choosing the style

This is the easiest and fun part of choosing bathroom vanity lighting. Go with lights that fit your personality and taste. If your bathroom is super luxurious and full of details, the traditional lighting would be the best option for you. However, if your bathroom’s design is minimalistic and has that sleek modern look, then go for contemporary style vanity lights. Transitional vanity lights are ideal for bathrooms that are a mixture of both traditional and modern styles. Currently, the majority of people are going with a spa look. People want their bathrooms to be like their own personal spas and like high-end hotel bathrooms. Scones along with bath bars are the trademark of spa style.

Create drama with a series of pendants

You can install a series of pendant lights around larger and wider vanities. Pendant lights are a very creative option for lighting large-sized vanities. Hang pendant lights low enough so they still provide enough headroom. They will function exactly like sconces installed at the sides. If you are not in for hanging them low, then go for hanging them higher, as they will then act as fixtures mounted above the mirror. Unlike sconces or vanity lights, they are not attached to the wall. They are hung from the ceiling in whatever configuration you like. To add a little drama, you can blend contemporary styles and shade designs to give that unique look and feel.

In case your bathroom's architectural features are making it difficult for you to install lights on the wall, then you can always opt for pendants. For example, maybe your window placement will make it difficult for you to install a sconce. Similarly, an angled wall may make it hard to mount a regular vanity light or maybe you don’t want to make any cuts in the fully tiled wall for a new lighting fixture.

The rules for hanging scones also apply for pendants. Hang the pendant low enough so you can get light where you need it. Also, you can use a shade type that allows the light to diffuse in all directions. This way, both your face and room will have even light. Don’t hang them close together, as it will disturb your view and prevent you from seeing the mirror properly.

Layer the lights

Bathroom vanity lights are people’s top priority as they make or break the entire look, but don’t forget to add other lighting fixtures in other parts of the room. You can add ceiling light to the shower stall in a gorgeous design. Make sure you choose a style that goes with other lighting fixtures in the room. Chandeliers, recessed lighting, and flush mount fixtures will also look good over toilets, central areas, or freestanding bathtubs. When you are planning your bathroom lighting, always remember to incorporate a number of layers of different types of fixtures to ensure that enough light is supplied where it’s needed for grooming, bathing, and showers.

Keep it safe for wet environments

Steam from the shower and water splashes from the sink, all go hand in hand with the bathrooms. Not all lighting fixtures are meant to be for the bathrooms. For shower lighting, go for fixtures that are wet rated. For vanities, choose lighting fixtures that guarantee safety and longevity in wet environments.


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