Flattering Light 101: Bathroom Vanity Light Fixture Ideas & More

Flattering Light 101: Bathroom Vanity Light Fixture Ideas & More

Beau Wynja

Modern bathroom design featuring a dual vanity with two Color Cord globe sconces above vanity

You don’t need to hire an interior designer to get great lighting for your bathroom and vanity. With a few bathroom vanity light fixture ideas, you can improve both the lighting in your bathroom and the aesthetics of the room. Learn everything you need to know about making flattering light in the rooms that need it most.

The Challenges of Bathroom Lighting

While some rooms are relatively easy to light, bathrooms are the opposite. Because they are small rooms full of mirrors and clutter, bathrooms are one of the most difficult rooms to provide lighting for.

When looking for bathroom light fixtures for ceilings or walls, you need to consider how to overcome the challenges of bathroom lighting to avoid any potential home lighting “mistakes”.

Trio of images featuring Color Cord Company ceiling light fixtures

Overcome the Darkness

Unless you have a skylight or a few windows facing in the right direction, bathrooms don’t usually have much natural lighting. They either have no windows, or small windows that have clouded glass. In any case, it’s rare for a bathroom to be brightly lit by the sun.

For this reason, it’s crucial to overcome the darkness. One of the bathroom and vanity light fixture ideas that accomplishes this is to use a simple, glowing light in the center of the room. If you have pale walls, the light will bounce off your walls and brighten the darkest of rooms.

Two images featuring Color Cord Company multi-branch light fixtures above a vanity mirror

Work with a Small Space

The small size of a bathroom or powder room limits your lighting options. If you don’t have the space you think you need for proper lighting, you should consider installing a few sconces in addition to bathroom light fixtures for ceilings. 

Although wall sconces can be on the smaller side, they are effective and bright bathroom vanity light fixture ideas. Depending on the layout of your room and your choice of sconce, this type of lighting may be all you need to get flattering light.

Two images featuring hanging pendant lights by Color Cord Company for bathroom ceilings and vanities

Limit Shadows 

If you’re trying to shave or do your make-up, shadows can cause an issue. 

One of the bathroom vanity light fixture ideas that helps you avoid the shadows is to position pendant light fixture downlights close to the mirror. These bathroom light fixtures for ceilings should shine into the mirror and reflect back onto your face. Instead of placing your lights in the center of the room, place them on the side. 

Providing Enough Brightness for Your Skin Care or Make-Up Routines

Another challenge that comes with bathroom lighting is the need for lighting that allows you to see high-level details. As you do your make-up or face care routine, you need bright lights that allow you to be precise.

If your main goal is to do flawless make-up, one of the bathroom vanity light fixture ideas you could use is to place a dual light fixture above or at the side of your mirrors with fluorescent bulbs. They don’t cast shadows, but they do cast off enough light for make-up application.

For a more flattering appearance, use a warm bulb. But to get more precision, you should opt for a cold white bulb. If you install a dimmable light, then you can adjust the brightness as needed to ensure a comfortable glow at all times.

Image of Color Cord Light Fixtures over bathroom mirrors

Hide the Clutter

A cluttered bathroom makes the space feel disorganized, and certain lighting can make it feel even more so. Fortunately, there are bathroom light fixtures for ceilings and walls that don’t need to take up more space to light your room. You can also hang pendant lights that are completely out of the way but still provide a ton of ambient illumination with a touch of layered lighting.

This limits the clutter and gives you bright light. Additionally, it draws attention to the mirror and away from the clutter.

Unique wall sconces by Color Cord Company

How Can You Tell if Your Lighting is Flattering?

Before anything becomes permanent, you should test your bathroom or vanity light fixture ideas. For one, you should try out your lights in different areas of the room. Look closely at shadows and be certain that your mirror is bright enough.

Another way to determine whether or not your lighting is flattering is to take a selfie! Using your smartphone, take a picture of your face as you stand in the bathroom. Be critical of the lighting in your picture and think about how you can improve things.

Vanity & Bathroom Lighting FAQ

Do you need special, waterproof lighting for bathrooms?

As you’re exploring bathroom or vanity light fixture ideas, you might be wondering if you need to factor in the humidity common in bathrooms due to hot showers. Luckily, most interior lights are dry-rated for bathroom locations, making it easy to find compatible options. The only exceptions are if you’re installing LED lights or wiring very close to your shower. In these cases, we recommend consulting with a professional electrician.

What are the basic “rules” for vanity lighting?

We’ve thrown a ton of bathroom or vanity light fixture ideas at you, but there wasn’t any technical guidance for installation and location. There are a couple of basic rules for vanity lighting that you’ll want to keep in mind, including:

  • Pick a light fixture that’s about ¾ the size of your vanity.
  • Center your vanity light above the mirror.
  • Calculate 70-80 lumens of light per square foot.
  • Bathroom light fixtures on ceilings should hang 75-80” above the floor.

Why do you need so much light in a bathroom?

You might already know that most spaces in your home or office only need about 10-20 lumens per square foot, so why do bathrooms need so much more? Like kitchens, bathrooms are among the most frequented areas of your home. They’re also where you conduct activities that require better lighting, whether it’s getting ready in the morning or doing a deep-clean.

Is it better to have bathroom lights facing up or down?

When considering our bathroom and vanity light fixture ideas, you might be wondering about the best ways to angle your fixtures to complement your decor. Generally, we recommend angling lights downward in bathrooms with a darker color palette and upwards in a bathroom with a lighter color palette. Dark colors absorb light, so you’ll need it shining exactly in the right spot for prime illumination, while light colors bounce light around, so upward beams will shine back down on you.

Choose Color Cord Company for Your Bathroom Lighting Upgrade

If you’re looking for bathroom or vanity light fixture ideas, you need variety and the ability to customize your lighting. Here at Color Cord Company, we give you access to the lighting and accessories you need to get flattering light in your bathroom. To get started, check out our selection of products and call us with any questions.

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