Bathroom Vanity Lighting: Ideas and the 2+1 Design Rule

Bathroom Vanity Lighting Ideas

When it comes to bathroom lighting, the vanity area is the most important space to take note of. A lot of time spent in the bathroom will be in front of the mirror. Proper bathroom vanity lighting will make it easier and faster to groom. While improper lighting will cast shadows on the face making it more inconvenient to groom. By understanding a few basic principles, choosing vanity lights for a bathroom can be simple.

Bathroom Mirror Lighting

Though there are many different vanity lighting ideas, there is one design principle to stick to. You will want to have lights as close to the mirror as possible, around as many sides as possible. A good example would be to look backstage on Hollywood sets or during fashion shows. Here you will see mirrors that have lots of light bulbs going all around the mirror. This allows for absolute even lighting across the face. In a home setting a better option would be to follow the 2+1 rule. This is when you have one light fitted on the left and one on the right of the mirror, and one right above the mirror. This will provide even and shadow free vanity lighting.

There are a number of bathroom light fixtures that you can use for the 2+1 rule – some will be better suited than others. The best vanity lights will be wall sconces – vertical ones for the sides and a horizontal bar for the top of the mirror. Sconces diffuse lighting out of the sides. So the vertical sconces  will shine light out left and right, while the horizontal sconces will shine light up and down, allowing you to cover the whole mirror space with light. Though less ideal, you can use more decorative lights like up/down lights, or lanterns around the mirror.

Bathroom Vanity Lights

Other bathroom vanity lighting ideas include using recessed wall lights. You can have lights fitted behind the mirror, which will softly glow all around the mirror. You can have the mirror set back into the wall and have the lights fitted into the edges of the wall. Another idea would be to use LED rope lights that line the bottom of the mirror or counter.

So there is really only one thing to keep in mind when deciding on bathroom vanity lighting ideas, and that is the 2+1 rule. Most bathrooms will have only one light in the middle of the ceiling, and this is not enough for proper vanity lighting. You will want to have lights specially fitted for the vanity area.

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image credits: title, Ken Doerr High Peaks Resort


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