Bathroom Vanity Lights

Types of Bathroom Vanity Lights for Providing Artificial Lighting in Your Bathroom

By Mark J. Donovan

Bathroom vanity lights should be an essential part of any bathroom design. Since much of the time a bathroom is used early in the morning when it is still dark, or late into the evening, it is important that the bathroom vanity light design be done right. Moreover, if the bathroom lacks natural lighting, sufficient bathroom vanity lighting is even more critical.

Bathroom vanity lights should provide both task lighting and ambient lighting to allow for grooming and preparation for the day or evening. It is important that the bathroom vanity light design be such that no shadows are created and the lighting is evenly distributed over and/or around the bathroom mirror or medicine chest.

Bathroom vanity lights should be located above or beside the bathroom mirror or medicine chest. If above the bathroom mirror or medicine chest, the bathroom vanity lighting usually consists of two or more light bulbs mounted in a single fixture. Alternatively, recessed lights may be located into the ceiling just above the bathroom mirror. If the bathroom vanity lighting is such that it is located on the side of the mirror or medicine chest, typically there is a light fixture, such as a wall sconce, placed on either side. If the bathroom vanity includes dual sinks then bathroom vanity light fixtures should be placed over or on either side of each sink. Also make sure to use light bulbs that provide natural daylight spectrum lighting, rather than bulbs that provide a warm yellow or white spectrum.

As I mentioned earlier bathroom vanity lights should provide for both ambient and task lighting. Ambient lighting provides general lighting in the bathroom so that you can see and move around freely. Ambient lighting is usually achieved via overhead light fixtures such as recessed lights, chandeliers, or wall sconces. Often dimmers are used to control the brightness level of ambient lighting to create certain types of moods.

Task lighting or spot lighting, on the other hand, provides specific light to work-areas in the bathroom. It is essential that task lighting be placed over or around the bathroom vanity.

Bathroom Vanity Light Fixture

It’s often also found over toilets and tub areas. Task lighting provides a direct beam of light over the workspace areas to allow the bathroom occupant to see clearly while doing tasks. It is essential that the task lights be located such that they do not create shadows when performing tasks.

Typically task lights above or near a bathroom vanity are located such that they are directly over the bathroom vanity or on the wall adjacent to the vanity.

If recessed ceiling lights are placed just behind where a person would stand in front of a bathroom vanity then undesirable shadows will be created. Thus, it is important to mount ceiling lights directly over the bathroom vanity countertop to prevent shadows. Wall sconces are often used for providing task lighting as well.

Besides ambient and task lighting there are also accent and decorative light fixtures that you can add to your bathroom lighting design. They are meant more for setting moods, adding drama, and accenting certain features in the bathroom rather than providing functional lighting.

Track lighting, chandeliers, and pendant light fixtures are common accent and decorate light fixtures found in bathrooms.

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