Guidebook: Bathroom Lighting

When it comes to lighting, the bathroom often gets overlooked. It’s not a room we use when entertaining guests, rather a functional space where we ready ourselves each and every day. But good lighting in the bathroom is crucial. To make the most of this often-underrated room, we’ve compiled everything you need for perfect bathroom lighting:

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Wall Lighting

When it comes to lighting the vanity, you want to make sure you have even illumination for hair styling, makeup application, and grooming. Sconces on either side of the vanity mirror are ideal for eliminating shadows and providing a bright, even light across your face. Sconces should be installed 65-70 inches from the floor, and about 28-40 inches apart. These measurements can vary depending on the size of your mirror and vanity – try to leave about 2 inches between the mirror and the edge of the wall fixture.

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In many bathrooms, sconces may not be a practical option. Luckily, a wall fixture above the mirror can provide the same even light, when installed properly. Wall fixtures come in a variety of shapes and sizes from two lights to five lights. The proper size and style will depend on the proportions of your vanity and mirror. Ideally, the wall fixture should be the same width or smaller than your vanity mirror. If you have a large mirror over double sinks, you may want to try two fixtures – one above each sink – for ample illumination. To ensure that your fixture can provide light across your face, make sure it’s at least 24 inches wide and installed 75-80 inches from the floor.

Chandeliers

If space allows, a chandelier in the center of a bathroom can bring a high-dose of glamour. As a rule, chandeliers should not be hung over a sink or tub, as hanging a fixture over a wet location can lead to safety issues. A chandelier is best suited for bathrooms with pitched or high ceilings. You’ll need to leave 7 feet of clearance between the bottom of the chandelier and the floor of your bathroom to ensure the chandelier won’t get in the way of your daily routine.

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Because a chandelier is best for decorative lighting, you can use bulbs that have a color temperature between 2700-3000K. For brightness, we’d recommend a dimmer so you can adjust the light as needed.

 

Flush or Semi-Flush

If you have the space for a center fixture but lack the height for a chandelier, consider a flush or semi-flush fixture. It can provide the same decorative element and accent lighting as a chandelier.

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For color temperature and brightness, use the recommendations listed for chandeliers.

One final note: When it comes to bathroom lighting, layering light is key. If you have recessed lighting above your sink, you may still want to add wall sconces (or even pendant lights) on either side of the mirror. If you have wall fixtures above your mirrors, you may still want to add a flush mount for overhead lighting. Because bathrooms see a range of tasks – everything from detailed makeup applications to relaxing bubble baths – it’s best to have a range of lighting options. If you’re worried about having too much light, dimmers will solve that issue – making it easy to adjust from task to mood lighting.

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And there you have it! With the proper fixtures and right light bulbs, your bathroom will provide the ultimate atmosphere for all of your grooming needs.

Have a question about finding the perfect bathroom lighting? Leave us a comment below!

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