5 Factors for Selecting the Best Lighting in Your Bathroom

Published on
February 16, 2023 12:29:42 PM PST February 16, 2023 12:29:42 PM PSTth, February 16, 2023 12:29:42 PM PST

When planning a bathroom renovation, choosing the right vanity light can be a tricky task. The vanity light is not only a functional element that provides task lighting for grooming and makeup application, but it also serves as a decorative element that can enhance the overall aesthetic of the room. In order to select the perfect vanity light for your bathroom renovation, there are several key factors to consider.

1. Vanity Light Dimensions & Backplate Coverage

The first and most important factor to consider is the size you’ll need. The size of the light fixture should be proportionate to the size of your vanity. A general rule of thumb is to have a fixture that’s ¾ of the width of the mirror and no wider than the vanity cabinet. This will ensure that the light fixtures are not too large or too small for your vanity, and that they provide adequate task lighting.

A multi-light vanity fixture is a must for wide vanities. You can choose a 2, 3, 4, or 5 light vanity light. The exact number of lights you choose can vary based on your own preference. For example, a 3-light and a 4-light fixture often will both look good over the same vanity. Many Design House lighting collections come in a variety of sizes to choose from.

Dane Vanity Lights in Satin Nickel, 3-Light and 4-Light

You’ll also want to consider the light you’re replacing so you can determine how forgiving your new light should be. If the existing light is a builder’s grade bath bar or a vanity light with a large backplate, selecting a light with an equally large or larger backplate is a smart choice. This provides the most flexibility and helps you avoid painting or repairing drywall, reducing the amount time and money spent on your project.

Savannah Vanity Light with Satin White Shade in Polished Chrome, 3-Light

2. Make Sure Your Styles Match Up

Another important factor to consider is the overall style of the room. The vanity light should complement the design and aesthetic of your bathroom.

If your bathroom has a modern aesthetic, you may want to consider a sleek, minimalist light fixture. On the other hand, if your bathroom has a more traditional style, a more ornate fixture may be a better fit. It’s also important to consider the color and finish of your vanity and other fixtures in the bathroom and choose light fixtures that match or complement the style.

Gracelyn Vanity Light in Matte Black, 3-Light

3. Play with Bulb Color Temperature

When selecting a light bulb for your bathroom, it's important to consider both color temperature and shape. LED bulbs are a popular choice due to their energy efficiency and long lifespan.

Color temperature is measured in Kelvin (K) and ranges from warm white (2700K) to cool white (5000K). Warmer lights are more flattering for most skin tones, so they’re a good choice if you need a confidence boost before starting your day. Cool-toned lights, on the other hand, give a room a clean, crisp feel and are ideal for true color accuracy and clarity.

In terms of shape, the most common LED bulbs for bathrooms are A-series, Edison, and G-series. A-series bulbs are the classic light bulb shape that is most popular for home use. Edison bulbs have exposed filaments and typically produce an ultra-warm light temperature of between 2,200K and 2,400K. They have a vintage look and provide an antique aesthetic. Globe or G-series bulbs are suitable for decorative fixtures where the bulb will be on display, making them a great choice for bathroom vanities.

Consider the size of your bathroom, the type of fixtures you have, and the desired ambiance to choose the right shape. With a wide range of options, you can easily find the perfect LED bulb for your bathroom lighting needs.

Dove Creek Vanity Lights in Matte Black, 3-Light and 5-Light

4. Bath Light Quantity

When it comes to the actual number of lights, it depends on the size of your vanity and the amount of light you want in the room. A 2-light fixture above the mirror is sufficient for small sized vanities, while larger vanities may require more lights. This can be achieved by using a single fixture with multiple bulbs or by using multiple smaller fixtures. 3-Light (sometimes called 3-light head) and 4-light vanity lights are well suited for medium sized vanities and are the most popular choices when it comes to vanity lights. For double sink vanities, most people prefer to have a light fixture above each sink.

It’s also important to consider the height of the light fixtures in relation to the height of the mirror. The lights should be installed at a height that allows for optimal task lighting without creating glare or shadows.

The best bathroom lighting is often achieved with single light wall sconces placed on the sides of the mirror. With the light fixtures in a lower position and one on each side, shadows are dramatically reduced. The American Lighting Association recommends single wall sconces mounted approximately 28-inches to 30-inches apart and 60-inches to 70-inches high from the bottom of the sconce to the floor.

Penn Vanity Light in Satin Nickel, 4-Light

5. Damp or Wet Rating

Lastly, it’s important to check if the light fixture is damp-rated or not, this means that it's safe to use in bathroom environments where it may come into contact with moisture. This is especially important if you are planning to install the light fixtures near a shower or bathtub. A damp rating is sufficient for regular bathroom steam and moisture. A wet rating is needed only if the fixture will come in direct contact with water.

In conclusion, choosing the right size vanity light for your bathroom renovation requires careful consideration of the size of your vanity, the overall style of the room, the color temperature of the bulb you want to use, and the amount of light you want in the room. With the right light, your bathroom will be both functional and stylish. It's always a good idea to make a plan and measure the space before buying, so you can make an informed decision and avoid any mistakes. Don't be afraid to ask for help from a designer or professional, they can provide valuable insight and advice.

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