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The Best Ways to Light Your Bathroom

April 9, 2024
Lighting Expert, @lightsdotcom

Let’s face it. We spend a lot of time in the bathroom. As a result, we highly recommend lighting it to make the most of your grooming hours. To help you get started,  we offer a bit of advice on how to illuminate your daily routines with a touch of spa ambiance.

Task lighting for the mirror

For daily grooming, you’ll need even lighting around the mirror that won’t cause unhelpful shadows.

You can achieve this with a few different combinations of vanity lights. Depending on your preference and size of the bathroom mirror, place a single vanity light above the mirror or two shorter wall sconces flanking it. In the case of larger mirrors, consider using all three.

Suggested measurements:

  • Flanking sconces should be approximately 36-40” from one another and  the center of each should be approximately 66” above the floor.
  • A vanity light above the mirror should be centered and placed approximately 75-80” above the floor.

Hot tips:

  • To reduce glare, opt for translucent or frosted lights.
  • Dimmer capability allows you to adjust the lights for the function or mood.
  • Avoid fabric shades as they tend to deteriorate in moist environments.
Joni LED Alabaster Flush Mount, Aged Brass

Flush mount or recessed lighting for evenly diffused light

Small bathrooms can often be entirely lit with the task lighting from the mirror alone. Larger bathrooms, however, benefit from general overhead lighting. We recommend a flush mount ceiling fixture for light that’s evenly distributed.

Hot tip: 

  • Avoid placing the ceiling light directly overhead, as it can cause unsightly and unhelpful shadows. Instead, make a note of where you stand in front of the mirror and offset the fixture so that it is not exactly above.

*Be safe. When it comes to bathroom lighting, consider hiring an electrician that is knowledgeable in the national electrical codes.

Q&A: Submit your question

All questions are answered within 24 hours.

  • Are medicine cabinet in or out? I like the extra storage but I hear they are out. What is your opinion? Also If I do aLed mirror for a 26 inch cabinet what size mirror do I need above it? And also do I need extra scone lights on the side. Is the Led enough on its own. Thanks

    For the LED mirror above a 26" wide vanity, we would recommend a 20-24" mirror. A bathroom mirror should not be greater than the width of your vanity, in order to achieve the best balanced look. If you have the space around the mirror, we do like additional sconce lights, installed on a dimmer, to add layered lighting. 

  • I need a pretty ceiling light in my bathroom and a simpler vanity sconce for my 20" wide medicine cabinet. what do you suggest

    My favorite ceiling light right now is the Joni Alabaster Flush Mount, which is suited for a bath as it is damp-rated. I would pair the Joni with either the Owen Collection in Brass or the Carlisle Collection in Opal and Brass. Both 2-light vanities would fit nicely above the 20" medicine cabinet, or you could use a single sconce on one or both sides of the mirror. Happy designing, let us know how it goes!  

  • Small bathroom currently has 3 bulb vanity light above and a light-heat-fan unit, in the center of the ceiling. How do I design with that ceiling unit? Thank you.

    An update to your vanity light can make a big difference in both style and the brightness of your bathroom!