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.

Get inspired with our curated ideas for Bathroom Vanity Lighting and find the perfect item for every room in your home. With such a wide selection of Bathroom Vanity Lighting for sale, from brands like Innovations Lighting, ELK Group International, and Toltec Lighting, you’re sure to find something that you’ll love. Shop from Bathroom Vanity Lighting, like the the Solbi 3-Light Chrome Finish Bath Vanity Wall Fixture White Alabaster Glass 24" or the 3-Light Bath Bar, while discovering new home products and designs. Whether you’re looking to buy Bathroom Vanity Lighting online or get inspiration for your home, you’ll find just what you’re looking for on Houzz.
Sell on Houzz - Learn More

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun).