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From Start To Furnish

Please enjoy my musings on all things interior design!

No-Fail Lighting Fixtures For Your Bathroom

Buying lighting for your home can feel like an uphill battle! There are SO many choices and colors and styles, it can be hard to know what's right for your situation.

The good news? There are are a few light fixtures that work, no matter what your style. 

Today I'm going to tell you about one of them that never fails.  I'm talking about sconces for lighting a bathroom mirror.  They're the best way to light your vanity mirror and they come in literally thousands of styles and finishes to fit into any home. 

Here's why sconces are a great choice for my home, and your home, too...

I cannot tell you how much I despise those horizontal bath bars mounted above a mirror.  If you care about your appearance when you look in the mirror, please avoid these if at all possible.  They cast shadows downward onto your face.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to see more shadows and wrinkles than I have to! 

BEFORE - The worst lighting in my bathroom with over the mirror lighting and an awful overhead fluorescent fixture.  

AFTER - Fabulous lighting on either sides of mirrored medicine cabinets in our redesigned bathroom.

Recessed cans mounted above the vanity are an equally poor choice.  They also cast downward shadows - ugh!  Bathrooms need ambient (general) lighting in order to light the entire room, so recessed cans or decorative ceiling fixtures mounted in the footpath of the room are necessary, but neither is correct for your vanity mirror.

Wall sconces mounted on either side of the mirror cast soft, even light across the face.  

Light cast from either side is the best way to achieve even, shadowless light across the face.  The vertical sconces should be 28-36 inches apart and approximately eye level (about 63").  If people of various heights are using the mirror, fixtures with a long bar design will give the most flexibility.

Another choice. This is electric mirrors with lighting built-in all the way around.  A beautiful option if it’s in the budget.

Unique sconces flanking an antique trumeau mirror over a repurposed chest of drawers in my clients ranch-house powder room make for a one-of-a-kind impression.

There are so many options for this type of lighting that I cannot list them all here.  In daily use bathrooms, you want to be certain that the sconces are designed to put out an adequate amount of light (at least 75-100 watts) for efficient grooming.  (A lighting consultant can help with that.) 

If there's not enough room for the sconces and mirror, you can always arrange to have them mounted on top of the mirror.  That takes a little extra planning but is so worth it - you'll have the extra added benefit of the light bouncing off the mirror.  In a powder room, it's all right if the sconces don't put out as much light, and you can even consider putting them on a dimmer switch.  That way, you can adjust the light to match the time of day or the mood of your event.  (Hop on over to my portfolio page to see how I have used bathroom sconces in various styles of homes.)

If you want more no-fail items for your home, click here to read my post about no-fail paint colors.