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How To Select Appropriate Bathroom Vanity Lighting

Updated on March 31, 2010

Vanity strip lighting usually comes in fixtures that contain 2, 3, 4 or more sockets for light bulbs. Depending on the size of the strip, it can easily illuminate the entire bathroom and provide sufficient lighting for all of your daily bathroom tasks. Strip lights are designed to evenly illuminate the space directly in front of the vanity and to reduce the amount of shadows in the area. Some bathroom vanity mirrors come with a strip lighting fixture included. In this case, there is no need to add any additional vanity lighting. A regular overhead light is probably all that is going to be needed for other more general bathroom use.

Strip lights come in a wide array of designs, styles, finishes, and materials including nickel and bronze. The glass covers surrounding the light bulbs come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Vanity Strip lights can look anywhere can be found to fit anywhere from an antique décor to a more modern style depending on your design need. Although some fixtures can be very beautiful, most are not designed to make major impacts on design. The simplicity and function of strip lighting is what basically makes it a good choice for bathroom vanity lighting. There are other more elaborate vanity lighting choices if design and décor is a major factor in your vanity area.

Task Lighting for Specific Vanity Tasks

Task Lighting is commonly used in a bathroom vanity area because the light beam can be directed so that the illumination covers a very specific area. There are many different types of task lighting fixtures on the market today. Recessed lighting is commonly used in a vanity area because it can be installed on the underside of a vanity shelf or inside of a vanity cabinet. The light enables you to see areas that would otherwise be dark or shaded. Pendants and sconces are also very common task lighting fixtures. The installation of two pendants or sconces, one on either side of the vanity mirror or medicine cabinet, are perfect for lighting daily tasks like shaving, applying makeup, or putting in contact lenses.

Task light fixtures may not be necessary if you already have a strip light above your vanity. The use of a strip light in combination with some kind of overhead lighting should provide your vanity area with sufficient lighting. If this setup still doesn’t work for you then try to switch out the bulbs or the entire strip light fixture. Sometimes all you need is a longer strip fixture or higher wattage bulbs. You should however, always use energy efficient light bulbs for all of your lighting needs.

Ambient or Decorative Lighting to Add Style and Elegance to Your Vanity Area

Ambient lighting is more commonly known as overhead lighting.  Ambient lighting is designed to illuminate a broader area so you can safely see and move around but not necessarily for completing daily tasks like shaving or hair styling.  Ambient light fixtures are usually operated with the help of a dimmer so the brightness can be adjusted according to the amount of light that is needed.  The wattage of the light bulbs will of course determine the amount of illumination the fixture will provide to a general area.  Ambient light fixtures are meant for regular tasks like washing hands. 

Chandeliers, pendants, sconces, surface-mounted, and recessed fixtures can all be operated with the help of a dimmer and are great forms of ambient lighting.  Chandeliers, pendants, and sconces are more associated with decorative lighting.  When style or décor are a must, these fixtures can be found in various types of materials and unique shapes like for instance, colorful hand-blown glass.  Surface-mounted and recessed fixtures are usually plain in design but can be great for bathroom vanities because they can easily blend in with other design or decorative elements.  The fixtures do however produce a light that is much dimmer than other types of bathroom lighting but when numerous are installed they too can provide enough light for almost all bathroom tasks.

Vanity Night Lights for Night Time Bathroom Use

Although many people do not see the importance of using a bathroom vanity night light, many have found that a simple little night light can actually be very useful when trying to find your way to a bathroom in the middle of the night.  Some people do not like to turn on the bathroom light because it might disturb other sleepers.  Vanity night lights emit a tiny bit of illumination enabling you to access the bathroom without having to turn on main or brighter light fixtures.  Night lights use very little energy as well. 

Night lights today can be quite attractive, almost like little works of art.  There are many shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from.  Some can be quite intricate in design while others are more basic.  Night lights can also be custom made to reflect a special design or photo of your liking.  Keep a night light on in the vanity area and watch how useful the little beam of light can be when you least expect it.


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    • profile image

      Henny 3 years ago

      Not bad at all fellas and gasall. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Marijana 3 years ago

      GORGEOUS! Thanks for your kindness leanvig a comment on my blog...and for following it!! I'm following yours now too...from what I see so far, it promises to be an interesting and sometimes quirky ride!!

    • profile image

      Jorden 3 years ago

      ^^ Agreed. Although I'm not pleased that you were woinkrg directly across the street from my job this whole time, and we didn't meet for lunch or something. Proud of you. The work looks gorgeous.

    • xcubist profile image

      xcubist 5 years ago

      Love the night light tip, here's one more for you, my mother in law actually used some ivy garland and strung tiny white Christmas lights thru it and has it hanging over the toilet armoire, looks really good

    • profile image

      Jill Heming - Bath Taps 7 years ago

      YOur bathroom improvement ideas are great!

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 7 years ago

      Such a good idea.

    • michelle.dragon99 profile image

      michelle.dragon99 8 years ago

      cool hub madison....:)