What are my lighting options for my bathroom mirrors?
The most flattering and efficient lighting for a vanity mirror is at about 5 feet 6 inches off the ground or approximately eye level. How you achieve this will vary on your bathroom layout and overall style preferences.
Wall sconces placed approximately three feet apart from each other on either side of the mirror are the most common and efficient vanity lighting. Perhaps your wall is already closed or you want a different look; pendants dropped from the ceiling so they are approximately at that 5-foot 6-inch mark will have the same effect as the sconces. Keep the pendants closer to the back wall than the front of the vanity to avoid glare in the mirror. Many bathrooms do not have the 7 inches on either side of the mirror necessary for either sconces or pendants, so in this situation you can backlight a mirror. Float a mirror out away from the wall and place dimmable LED ribbon lighting behind the relief – this will provide an even lighting that is very clean and modern. If all else fails you can always do an over-the-mirror vanity light; it is the least effective but will still get you the wash of light needed for makeup and shaving. Avoid recessed lighting over the sinks as the only lighting in your bathroom, as these produce harsh shadows that make applying makeup difficult. If you do go with recessed lighting, remember to always use low-voltage cans and place them on a dimmer for the most flexibility.