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Bathroom Vanity Lights

Vanity lights are essential to bathrooms for many reasons. Brighter bathroom lighting makes precision tasks, like applying makeup and shaving, easier and installing a combination of bathroom light fixtures, including wall and ceiling lights, will reduce shadows cast across your face. And as a place where we start our day, the bathroom should have the potential to be energizing and relaxing. Keep the following tips in mind as you shop Houzz lighting for your new bathroom lights:

What type of bathroom vanity lights are there?


There are two primary types of vanity lighting that you can (and should) layer with a ceiling fixture for optimal illumination of a room that’s often windowless.

  • Horizontal Wall Lights: These fixtures are mounted above the mirror and usually include multiple lights. They’re available in a variety of styles, including upward or downward shades. Note: Uplight fills the room with light, which is especially helpful in dim powder rooms, while downlight puts a spotlight on the mirror and the task at hand.

  • Vanity Light Bars: The difference between horizontal wall lights and light bars are that these can be installed both horizontally above your bathroom mirror or vertically alongside your reflection.

  • Bathroom Sconces: A pair of single-bulb sconces are small, but mighty. One on the right and left side of the mirror will cast even lighting across an onlookers face. Bathroom wall sconces complement overhead lights and they’re usually designed with a decorative flair to act as accent lighting.

Where should I place my vanity lights?


The location of your vanity light fixtures will depend on the size of your mirror. If it’s large or flush against a side wall, you’ll likely have no other place for installation other than above the mirror. Bathroom lights over the mirror should be about 75 to 80 inches from the floor. If you’re working with a smaller mirror, mount bathroom light bars or sconces on either side about 36 to 40 inches apart. The center of each bulb should be at eye level or approximately 66 inches from the floor.

What type of lightbulb should I install in my bathroom wall lights?


Halogen bulbs put off a crisp, pure white glow. They provide the brightest light, but they burn faster and hotter than their energy-saving counterparts. Xenon and fluorescent bulbs may cost more upfront, but they’ll lead to energy savings in the long run. If you have a bigger budget for bulbs, dimmable LED vanity lights are perhaps the most favorable. They provide bright light for getting ready in the morning and ambient light for relaxing in the tub after a long day.

Related: Learn the 3 types of lighting and how to use them

Can I install bathroom lighting fixtures over my shower?


The last thing anyone wants to do is clamber out of bed and step into a cold, dark cave of a shower. Installing a bathroom light fixture in a shower can be tricky though since you have to use specially designed lights that are meant to withstand high moisture. A recessed bath light with water-resistant trim is your best bet. You’ll want to look for one that’s intended for damp or wet locations.
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Featured Reviews of Bathroom Vanity Lights

Modern Bathroom Light, Satin Nickel, Mosaic Glass
Bathroom Vanity Lights
November 14, 2016
Initially undecided: I would describe this product as mediocre. it looks like something you would buy @ a market in Mexico. I was unsure if I would keep it or not but it looks quite pretty installed.It looks as it appeared on houzz, but it is always to tell quality from a photo. I would recommend this product but remember you get what you pay for.
Modern Bathroom Light With Ocean Turquoise Blue Glass, Satin Nickel
Bathroom Vanity Lights
November 20, 2015
Love this series!: This is such a beautiful piece, understated and high end quality all at once. Heavy, so don't forget to install with the proper fixture backing, such as a ceiling fan rated box.
Effimero 1-Light Wall Vanity Corridor Sconce With Clear Glass, Polished Chrome
Bathroom Vanity Lights
July 14, 2016
Great for the value: This lamp is great for its value, it looks elegant when installed. I wish the brass color was a bit more vibrant but other than that it's beautiful, simple, it makes a statement.
Gideon 3-Light Vanity Fixture, Bronze Bath
Bathroom Vanity Lights
January 23, 2018
vanity light fixture: good price, arrived on time, appears as described online, not yet installed, bought 2 lights to be installed in the master bathroom in a rental home. Unless a part is missing or its difficult to install- I would recommend and buy again.
Quoizel Westcap Bath Light, Polished Chrome
Bathroom Vanity Lights
November 5, 2018
I love my Westcap bathroom lights!: We purchased 2 of these beautiful vanity lights for our master bath renovation and upon arrival of the package two of the shades had broken in shipping. BUT, upon notifying Stephanie at Houzz, our message for replacing the broken shades was answered and delivered promptly, just in time for our move in! Thank you to Earl at LampExpo for the email and rapid replacement! I fell in love with these "wave- pattern" shades which coordinate well with our wave pattern on our shower tile! See photos.
Perpetua 42" LED Vanity Fixture 53.5W Dimmable Frosted Glass 4600 Lumens, Polish
Bathroom Vanity Lights
May 27, 2017
Good looking light: It is going onto a bathroom that is in the process of being remodeled. The light arrived quickly and was well packed. It is exactly as described but as yet has not been installed so I can't tell you any more but I think it will be a good looking addition to my new bathroom.
Vintage-Style 4-Light Industrial Bath Bar, Oil Rubbed Bronze
Bathroom Vanity Lights
June 17, 2018
Arrived quickly: Wasn’t able to keep them because they didn’t fit right in the space I intended but they seemed nice, arrived quickly. Had to pay shipping to return. Hoping my refund comes quickly.
Admiral 3-Bulb Bathroom Fixture
Bathroom Vanity Lights
August 16, 2018
Awesome Light: Quick arrival time on this wonderful galvanized black/gray distressed lighting. I really love it. We had a good buying experience with houzz and will be back to purchase more. Fixture is very sturdy and well put together. I would highly recommend it. We have rec'd lots of compliments on it!
Archives 2-Light Bath, Antique Bronze
Bathroom Vanity Lights
August 1, 2017
Great for the price: We used this as the light over the mirror in our bathroom and it looks fantastic, we were going for a clean, minimal look and this light gives the bathroom a little bit of flavor.
Progress Lighting Calhoun 1 Light 5" Bathroom Sconce, Brushed Nickel
Bathroom Vanity Lights
August 22, 2018
Nice: I ordered 5 of these for our home. They look very nice and modern. The shadows they cast are a little weird but do provide good light. The only other thing that bothers me a bit is the seam in the glass. Nice lights for the price.

Need help with a Houzz order? Call us at 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun)