While people in Manhattan, Old Westbury, and, Essex County have been getting accustomed to being home more, there has been a marked uptick in home remodeling projects. While the bathroom has always been a common remodeling choice, according to CNBC there has been a 40% jump in remodeling projects when measured in June 2020 compared to a year ago. The remodel trend is still strong.
A quick coat of paint, a new mirror, and some wall art will all make an impact on the space, but to really make a difference change the vanity light. We want to address the three common questions that are asked when it comes to sprucing up your bathroom or powder room with new lighting.
What is the best type of light to use in a bathroom vanity? Where should bathroom vanity lights be placed? What size vanity light do I need? We answer these questions that are most commonly asked.
While ripping out an old porcelain tub is not an easy DIY project we have a few easy bathroom updates that can be done in no time. Please remember if you are not experienced in-home repairs and remodeling find a licensed contractor to help you.
What is the best type of light for a bathroom vanity?
The best way to answer this question is to ask another one. What type of activities happens in this particular bathroom? There are different illumination needs for a bathroom being used daily for grooming and a powder room for guests. Just like every room in a home the bathroom needs layers of lighting. The vanity light is considered a task light. While many people will try to use the vanity light to fill the room that is not the best use or intended purpose and our focus s on the vanity area. For fill lighting in this space use ceiling lights, chandeliers, or pendants.
The specific design intent of vanity lighting is to make the tasks of grooming, shaving, or applying makeup a breeze, so the goal is to light the face without shadows. Vanity lighting can be broken up into two types; over the mirror and beside the mirror.
Since we are lighting professionals we would recommend using diffused lights in both areas, above and from the side whenever possible. This will eliminate shadows on the face.
Positioning Vanity Lights:
People ask; Where should bathroom vanity lights be placed? Side-mounted vanity lights are referred to as wall sconces or bath brackets. Install these sidelights at least 28″ apart and center the light source 60″ above the floor.
When there is no option of using sidelights, the vanity light above the mirror length starts at about 36″ in order to provide light on the entire face. Centered over the mirror position the light source at approximately 78” off of the floor.
Too Close for Discomfort:
Brightness or as the pros say, glare can happen because to use the mirror the person is typically 12″-18″ away. We are all sensitive to glare and how it can blind the eye. As we get older our eyes need more light for our grooming whether it is shaving or applying makeup. While clear glass shades and nostalgia bulbs are the go-to in the design community, they do not provide adequate light without harsh glare. This is the reason we promote the use of frosted light diffusers. As a cautionary note do not hang your light so the lamps are reflecting in the mirror. This will certainly cause you to squint!
To maximize your bathroom lighting you must understand these two illumination standards; KELVIN temperature and CRI or Color Rendering Index. When it comes to CRI you want your fixture or the lamps to have a rating of 90+. This will provide the best color rendering in a bathroom setting. The next critical standard is KELVIN temperature. This is the color of the light being emitted, warm tones in the range of 2700k -3000k are considered the best and in the majority of applications, this is a good selection. But, a word of warning, do not exceed 3500k as this cooler or more blue color is not great when it comes to grooming.
What size vanity light do I need?
Vanity lights for over the mirror are available in two-, three- four-light versions in some styles they can have as many as 8 lights.
In powder rooms and small main bathrooms, we want to provide plenty of light. Select an over mirror vanity light that is no wider than your cabinet width, even if it is wider than the mirror. The rule of thumb is to pick a vanity light that is about ¾ of the mirror’s total width. This design will provide enough light when sidelights cannot be added to the design. Contrary, if it is a long vanity or double sink setup, use two of the selected vanity lights over each basin to achieve the light needed.
Can You Have a Vanity Light Without Having a Vanity Light:
I don’t think I have ever seen a bathroom without a mirror. It’s kinda like a car without tires, it just doesn’t work. But your bathroom design can exclude what you think of as a traditional vanity light. Simply use a mirror that has the light built-in. More and more mirrors are being designed with lights on-board. Thanks to the invention of LED lighting mirrors now can be the light and in some cases, you can tune that light to be just right.
Why Choose a Mirror With Lights
The lighted bathroom mirror is the most commonly found in the bathroom. This is optimum when wall space is at a premium and you want the best illumination possible when applying makeup or shaving. Lit mirrors always put you in a good light.