Lighting Your Master Bath Vanity

Gray Paint

Mirror, mirror, on the wall.  Who’s the fairest of them all?

She (or he!) who has the right light in the master bathroom - that's who!

After all, lighting is the key to looking your best when you step outside the room.  But with so many beautiful fixtures available, how do you choose the right ones and know where to put them? 

There’s no single or simple answer to that question but several factors should be considered, such as size of the bath, wall color, layout, ceiling height, and whether or not there is a window, to name a few.  

Dark walls, higher ceilings, and no natural light will require higher light levels since there is no reflectance.

LIGHTING OVER THE VANITY should point down so that it washes the mirror.  

SCONCES provide cross lighting which casts more even lighting and fewer shadows than down lighting from a light above the mirror. For best illumination, they should be about 30" apart, 

But sconces require careful planning because placement impacts not only the electrician but also the plumber, and the size of your vanity will dictate whether or not there's room to hang a mirror between them.  

If, for example, you have double sinks, you’ll likely have 3 sconces – 1 in the middle and 2 on each end.  The sinks should be centered between the middle and end sconces so that the mirror above the sink ends up centered over the sink and between the sconces. 

In order to accomplish this, sconces should be planned before rough plumbing begins so that the plumber knows where the sinks will be located.

If you’re planning to hang a decorative mirror between sconces, a vanity with 1 sink and 2 sconces on each side should be a minimum of 42” wide.  A vanity with 2 sinks and 3 sconces should be a minimum of 72” wide.

In both cases, there is approximately 30” from the middle of 1 sconce to the other, leaving room for mirrors that range from 20” to 24” wide depending on the width of the sconces.

Translated?  Not every bathroom can accommodate sconces. But not to worry - lights above the mirrors can also do the job.

And as seen in this photo, you can always get creative with pendants!

If you're building a new home, when do you start planning your bath lighting?  It’s always best before you start building. At the very latest, before rough plumbing and rough electric begin.

- Betsy de Parry, VP Sales and Marketing