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Bathroom Vanity Lighting Guide: How to Get it Bright!

Sometimes it is the little details that we tend to ignore. In our attempt for a more relaxing, spa-styled bathroom, many of us tend to overlook one of the most important element of it all – lighting. Much more than the style, color scheme and fixtures inside the bathroom, it is lighting that makes the biggest impact. And bathroom vanity lighting is a major part of this narrative. A beautiful, well-lit bathroom vanity unit can make things that much easier for you while creating an efficient space. Of course, combining it with other lighting sources in the bathroom is a must.

Vanity lighting in this exquisite contemporary bathroom plays into the overall whimsical narrative
Vanity lighting in this exquisite contemporary bathroom plays into the overall whimsical narrative [From: Caroline Beaupere Design]

Vanity lighting is as much about aesthetics as it is about functionality. And most often, it is sconce lights that get the job done. Despite their seemingly traditional appeal, they are still the more preferred option when compared to pendants for this task. It there is a good reason for this. Step in and discover what it takes to get the bathroom vanity lighting just right even as you enjoy the many inspirations along the way –

At the Right Height

The best position for sconce lights is on both sides of the mirror above the bathroom vanity and at a height that is between 60 to 72 inches off the ground. The key here is to consider the height of individuals who tend to use this space most often; the idea being that the lights need to be place approximately at eye level. Placing the sconce lights at a height that is nearly parallel to your face illuminates it without creating shadows. Whether you wish to shave, apply makeup or want to adjust your hairstyle, this lighting is just perfect for you!

Finding the perfect sconce lights for the farmhoue style bathroom is as important as placing them at the right height!
Finding the perfect sconce lights for the farmhouse style bathroom is as important as placing them at the right height! [From: John McClain Design]
Timeless modern bathroom design in white with sconce lights that make an instant impact
Timeless modern bathroom design in white with sconce lights that make an instant impact [From: Design Build Homes]

Sconce Lights and Shades

It is the size of the vanity unit and the number of mirrors used above it that generally tend to determine the sconce lights you use. Also, the sconce shades can make a big impact to the overall lighting here. They can be used to alter the hue of the light cast on the vanity, intensity and the overall appeal of the vanity unit itself. Choosing sconce shades in darker hues inevitably reduce the dispersed light; something you might want to consider in smaller bathrooms and powder rooms.

Small vanity lighting idea for the beach style bathroom
Small vanity lighting idea for the beach style bathroom
Style and size of the sconce lights depends as much on the style of the bathroom as on dimensions
Style and size of the sconce lights depends as much on the style of the bathroom as on dimensions

Above the Mirror

Even though the ideal place for your vanity lighting is next to the mirrors, there are occasions when smart LED lighting or sconce above the mirror work well too. These are often sleeker in comparison to traditional sconce; perfect for the polished contemporary look in the spa-inspired bathroom! You would want light that are a touch brighter than your sconce as well, since they are placed at a higher level than fixtures next to the mirror.

Lighting above the mirror works well on certain occasions
Lighting above the mirror works well on certain occasions [From: Refined LLC]
Pendant lights for lighting the vanity are not always the best choice
Pendant lights for lighting the vanity are not always the best choice [From: Woodcliff Builders]

Size and Style of the Bathroom

The biggest determining factor in choosing the sconce for your bathroom vanity would undoubtedly be the style of the bathroom and its size. In larger bathrooms with huge vanities that feature multiple sinks, there is just no point in choosing sconce that are modest and feel ‘diminutive’ when compared to the backdrop. Similarly, styles such as coastal, farmhouse, rustic or industrial demand completely different vanity lighting fixtures when compared to mid-century modern, contemporary, minimal and modern bathrooms.

Metallic accent combined with a brilliant navy blue vanity in the modern bathroom
Metallic accent combined with a brilliant navy blue vanity in the modern bathroom [From: Alair Homes Plano]
Traditional bathroom with vanity in the corner and a beautiful backsplash
Traditional bathroom with vanity in the corner and a beautiful backsplash [From: Carmit Oron Interior Design]
Gorgeous scone light bring mid-century elegance to this lovely bathroom vanity
Gorgeous scone lights bring mid-century elegance to this lovely bathroom vanity [ From: Muse Design Studio]

Walls and Overall Presence

In the narrow bathroom or small powder room, you can place the sconce lights on the side walls rather than just next to the mirrors. This creates a more spacious visual appeal and gives the bathroom a balanced look. The vanity lighting fixtures you choose must also fit in with the overall color scheme of the space and its larger theme. For instance, if you are using brass fixtures in the bathroom, then lights that also carry along with them a hint of warm, metallic glow are bound to be eye-catching.

Sconce lighting plays a big role in creating a symmetric, picture-perfect look in this bathroom
Sconce lighting plays a big role in creating a symmetric, picture-perfect look in this bathroom [From: Crisp Architects]
Understated sconce lights in the bathroom keep the focus firmly on the vanity
Understated sconce lights in the bathroom keep the focus firmly on the vanity

Additional lighting fixtures, an even layer of recessed lighting and a healthy dose of natural light should complete your dream bathroom with a picture-perfect vanity.

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