In most bathrooms, there is a vanity mirror that is helpful for various self-care procedures like brushing your teeth and grooming your hair. Since bathrooms are often dark, a vanity mirror goes hand in hand with vanity lights for proper illumination. You might be wondering about the right way to install vanity lights for your mirror.
How Many Vanity Lights? Your vanity mirror that is at least 36 inches across should have two vanity lights at 36 inches apart from the center point of the mirror. The ideal height for your vanity lights is around 78 inches from the floor.
Based on a recommendation by the American Lighting Association, you should space out your vanity lights by 28 inches. This amount of spacing is necessary to avoid the formation of shadows on your face, making it easy for you to conduct activities in front of the mirror. I recommend the 2-light vanity light fixture that is available on Amazon. Click here to have yours delivered.
Should A Vanity Light Hang Over a Mirror?
Yes, a vanity light should hang over a mirror so that it can highlight the head and face properly. However, the positioning of a vanity mirror should be accurate to avoid casting shadows on your head and face.
Vanity lights provide light in front of mirrors, meaning their major purpose is to illuminate the face and head of the person standing in front of a mirror. Based on successful vanity mirrors and light setups in bathrooms, the most effective position to place your vanity lights is above your mirror.
While you can decide to place your vanity light beside your mirror, such positioning will affect how clearly you can see yourself in the mirror. A sideways placement, however, might not be a bad idea if your mirror is narrow.
If you want to place your vanity light to hang above your mirror, the best range is between 75 and 80 inches from the bathroom floor. Using these values, you can take an average height of 78 inches for the best light placement.
On the other hand, if you prefer to position the lights to the sides of the mirror, you can target a height of 60 inches from the bathroom floor. Considering that this figure is a general value that might not be applicable to you and the people you live with, your lighting height should around eye level if the lights are beside the mirror.
Should A Vanity Light Be Wider Than the Mirror?
Your vanity light should not be wider than the mirror, as this can cause the mirror’s visibility to be insufficient. It is recommended that your vanity light should be between 1/3 to 3/4 of the mirror’s length.
Setting up your vanity light requires you to make a lot of calculations for the best results, ensuring that you get maximum visibility when using your vanity mirror. Above, we considered whether your vanity light should be placed over your mirror.
Next, we are about to go through whether your vanity light should be wider than your mirror. When you speculate on the placement of your vanity light, width is quite a crucial factor because it can affect how well you see yourself in the mirror.
Some vanity lights come in batches of light bulbs. A single batch might contain 1, 2, 3, or 4 separate light bulbs that function together as a unit. So, when assembling vanity light batches, it is needful to place them at just the right distance from each other, neither too close nor too far apart.
If you are installing your vanity lights above your mirror, it is recommended that your vanity lights should be installed inside the width of the mirror. The minimum width at which you should space your vanity lights is 1/3 of the width of your mirror.
On average, you should try to target a spacing that is 3/4 of your mirror’s width or a bit more. However, your light spacing should not exceed the mirror’s width. If the light spacing is less than 1/3 of your mirror’s width, then you might have too much light concentrated in a small area, leaving the wider areas poorly illuminated.
On the other hand, if the spacing is too much, that is, if it exceeds the width of the mirror, there will be too much light around the edges, and the middle of the mirror will not have sufficient illumination for you to carry out your activities.
Another thing to note is that the light spacing should directly affect the type of vanity light that you purchase. Knowing the width of your mirror will help you decide the intended light width, which will in turn determine what kind of light you buy.
However, you should note that the wider your mirror is, the more necessary it is to place your vanity lights within the mirror’s width range. If your mirror is very narrow, you can install vanity lights wider than the mirror, and this will not compromise the lighting quality.
How To Find the Best Vanity Lighting for Your Bathroom?
You can find the best vanity lighting for your bathroom by considering the size of vanity lights for your bathroom, how much lighting you need, and the style of your bathroom.
Here are a few aspects that you can adhere to, ensuring that you choose the perfect vanity light for your bathroom.
- Bathroom Style
Choosing vanity lights is more than just a functional process, but also has a lot to the with aesthetics. Numerous vanity light manufacturers have decorated their products, enabling them with stylish colors and shapes.
This variety in appearance has made it possible for vanity lights to be considered pieces of furniture, and as such, they need to be styled in the best way possible. Before purchasing vanity lights, you should examine the appearance of your bathroom, and ensure that the incoming vanity lights are an accurately stylish fit.
- Size Of Bathroom
Measuring the size of your bathroom could be the most vital factor that determines the best vanity light selection. Excessively large or little vanity lights will either be too visible or considered irrelevant. By taking note of the room’s size, you can pick out appropriately sized vanity lights.
- Mirror Size
The length and width of your mirror are just as important and are intertwined with the size of your bathroom. Since vanity lights are paired with mirrors, you should first measure the specifications of your mirror, as this will guide you to an appropriate purchase.
As mentioned above, your vanity light should not be wider than the mirror, maintaining about 1/3 to 3/4 of the mirror’s width. These figures are estimates, however, but whatever rule you follow, the size of your mirror should be paramount.
Types of Bulbs for Vanity Lights
I analyzed results that I found in online forums on the types of bulbs that were used by homeowners for vanity lights. This will narrow down your search online for bulbs that will work well over the vanity. Here is the data:
|Bulb Brands that were used over Vanities||Percentage of total results|
|Cree Bulbs (click for delivery)||50%|
|GE Reveal Bulbs||32%|
How To Size a Vanity Light?
You can size a vanity light based on the width of your vanity mirror, the height of the members of your household, and the general size of your bathroom.
It is a great choice to size a vanity light based on the average height of the people living in your home. While there are general height and width ranges for vanity mirrors and lights, those figures are approximate values that apply to the general public.
The best way to properly personalize your vanity light specifications is to take note of the height of the people in your household and use it to scale how high and wide you will place your vanity light. Also, to get the very results, you can adjust your mirror’s position on the wall.
While most times, the vanity lights (click to view on Walmart) should hang over the mirror, they can be extended past the width of the mirror. If you are worried about the right placement for both your mirror and your vanity light, you can always contact an experienced technician to help you sort things out.
Should A Vanity Light Point Up or Down?
Whether a vanity light should point up or down mainly depends on how it was designed by the manufacturer. However, if you can switch its direction, you should make it point down to properly illuminate your vanity mirror.
After you have considered various prominent features of your vanity lights like the size, width, and height, the next factor to think about is the direction that your vanity light will face, whether up or down.
Some manufacturers make it easy for you to choose the direction of your vanity light because their products are designed to be installed in just one direction. However, some brands have flexible designs, meaning you choose to install the lights either facing up or down.
When installing lights for a vanity mirror (click here to view on Walmart), it is better if the lights face downwards because they will shine directly on whoever is standing in the mirror. This downwards positioning is important because tasks like grooming facial hair and applying makeup will be easier.
In general, whether your vanity light faces up or down, each position has its advantages and disadvantages, some of which are listed below.
- Pointing Up
Pros: When you install your vanity lights facing upwards, the illumination they provide will be diffused and spread out evenly across the bathroom. In addition, when you look up in your bathroom, there won’t be a direct glare of light that you might find uncomfortable.
Cons: On the other hand, when your vanity lights point up, your face might not be visible enough in the mirror. Also, an upwards-facing light is likely to gather dust and debris after a while, needing to be cleaned properly quite often.
- Pointing Down
Pros: Vanity lights that face downwards are a smart choice if you intend to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror since the light will be directly on your face. Also, downwards-facing vanity lights do not collect a lot of dirt and debris, and their bulbs are easy to put in and remove.
Cons: When it comes to disadvantages, the direct glare from a downwards vanity light can cause some discomfort for your eyes, particularly if the bulbs are too bright. In addition, light bulbs that face downwards are concentrated in specific areas and can cause shadows in the corners of your bathroom.
How High Do You Put Vanity Lights?
Depending on your bathroom setup, the height at which you set up your vanity lights should fall between 75 and 80 inches from the bathroom floor.
From simply brushing your teeth to shaving off your beard to applying your makeup, having a proper mirror in your bathroom is important. Also, since your bathroom is most likely dark, you will need to set up lights to accompany your vanity mirror.
As we mentioned earlier in this write-up, the width of your vanity lights is quite important when putting the whole setup together. Now, we want to consider the importance of placing your vanity lights at the right height, ensuring that the time and efforts you spend in front of your mirror are both worthwhile and effective.
For most homes, it is recommended that your vanity lights stand at a height of 75 to 80 inches above the floor of the bathroom. There are some reasons why things can go south if your vanity lights are not placed at the right height.
First, at an improper height, your vanity lights might cast a shadow on your face, making it hard for you to see some parts of your head and face. This type of shadow can make it hard for you to perform some tasks like shaving your face and applying makeup.
Secondly, if your vanity lights are not placed properly, they can cast light on other fixtures that are around the mirror, and their shadows will form around your face. These shadows can then interfere with how visible your face is.
When debating on how high your vanity lights should be, you should further consider the height of your mirror itself. If you have a vanity faucet, the vanity mirror should be placed a few inches above the highest point of the faucet. If you have a regular bathroom sink, you should target a mirror placement between 5 to 10 inches above the sink.
Another key factor should be the presence of other lights in the bathroom such as those on the ceiling. If there are other lights in your bathroom, they can either affect the effectiveness of your vanity lights or cast unwanted shadows on your face.