How do you pick the perfect bathroom vanity lighting?

Like kitchens, bathrooms call for functional, task-oriented solutions. After all, you want to see the face you’re grooming!

What color & temperature?

Consider CRI (Color Rendering Index) and color temperature. Choose a fixture with a high CRI (90+ is preferred) for the most accurate colors. Incandescent and halogen lights have the best CRI – 100.

For a flattering glow, select fixtures with a warm color temperature (2700K – 3000K).

How high?

American Lighting Association suggests 36-48 inch lengths for vanity lighting, but this also depends on the size of your mirror.

If you’re mounting wall sconces on each side of your mirror, the center of the fixtures should be about 60″ high and 28″ apart. For fixtures above a mirror, go about 78″ high.


Sconces, or wall-mounted light fixtures are functional, look good and don’t take up a lot of space. They give your mirror a decorative touch and are easier to install than a ceiling fixture.

  • A pair of sconces will evenly light the face without harsh shadows
  • A single sconce is best when you don’t have room for two or you want to add a focal point in a tall bathroom
  • A long sconce provides a stretch of light, either from multiple bulbs or LED strips

Chandeliers and Pendants

You may not need great task lighting in your powder room. Chandeliers and pendants, available in every style, can make a dramatic statement.

  • For a non-primary bathroom where you don’t need even lighting
  • When you can’t install lights on the wall
  • Multiple pendants for a wide mirror that also has task lighting

Recessed Downlights

Aesthetically neutral, recessed lighting will illuminate the whole room.

  • When remodeling to sell
  • For a modern, wall-free look
  • As part of a multi-layered lighting scheme

Your bathroom vanity is more than a place to shave and apply make-up. With the right lighting, you can create an atmosphere that’s relaxing and spa–like. Add a dimmer to match your mood.

Still looking for the perfect solution? Give us a call.

Photos by Ferguson