Do your bathroom mirror lights make you feel like a star every time you walk in? Well, perhaps they should. You might not want Hollywood-style vanity mirror lights (or maybe you do) but, whatever your choice, your bathroom fixtures should light up your life.
When people are thinking about interior lighting, the bathroom usually ranks fairly low on the list. In fact, bathrooms are focal points of the home and deserve to be given high priority.
Whether it’s the master en-suite, the family bathroom or the guest facilities, the bathroom serves a range of purposes. And lighting needs in a bathroom are varied and quite complex.
The vanity and sink area, the bathtub and the shower have quite different lighting needs. The lighting you choose for each area must be just right in terms of function, to match the various purposes, and its form must be stylish and totally in keeping with the bathroom’s overall decor.
Vanity Mirror Lights
When choosing vanity mirror lights you should be aiming to light up more than the bathroom.
Whether you’re putting on makeup, shaving, or just going through the everyday washing, brushing and grooming routines, the point of bathroom mirror lights is to illuminate your face and, more importantly, to do it in the right way.
A common myth is that a downlight in the ceiling over the basin is the best lighting for a mirror. A downlight is essentially a spotlight that sends light down over your face, creating shadows. Unless it’s your only option – for example, because wiring can’t be put into the wall – it is not recommended.
The wall area around the mirror is the obvious place for purpose-designed lighting. The most flattering effect for your face is to have it lit evenly from either side.
The best way to achieve this is to have one or more light fixtures on either side of the mirror. They will cast an even light across the face. Consider vertical fixtures, fitted with diffusers, for a stunning effect that is both practical and stylish.
A few things to keep in mind:
Make sure the light globe is covered – with opal glass, frosted glass, opaque acrylic or perhaps a fabric shade, depending on the style you have chosen. The light globe is close to your face; the covering will eliminate glare.
For maximum effectiveness, wall lights should be further than 1200mm apart. Otherwise, to light each side of the face you might need to lean towards the wall light closest to it.
Wall lights on either side of the mirror should be placed so the top is about 1800mm-2000mm from the floor
If a wall light is installed above the mirror, centred over the basin, it should not be any higher than 2100mm from the floor, if possible.
Your vanity mirror might be positioned in such a way as to make wall lights impractical. In that case, you might have to use downlights, installed in the ceiling above the mirror. The recommended option is a surface mounted downlight (see picture); it has a diffuser front, which covers the light source, reduces the harshness of the light, and minimises shadows.
For innovation in makeup mirror lights, try the LED vanity light. It’s also wall-mounted and incorporates a pivoting magnifying mirror and a swivel arm. Switch on, adjust, and you’re made up and ready to go.
Vanity mirror lighting is not designed to light the whole room. Whatever fixtures you choose should complement the lighting choices you have made for other areas of the bathroom, and help make it the star attraction of your home.
Hollywood style or not, with the perfect bathroom mirror lights, it’ll be “lights, action, and ready for your close-up”.
Custom Lighting’s exclusive collection of bathroom fixtures includes wall, ceiling and vanity mirror lights crafted in metal, ceramics and glass. You will find a design to complement your bathroom, whatever style you prefer.