3 Bathroom Dilemmas We Don’t Talk About Enough

Now that we’ve given plenty of attention to the age-old debate about how to place toilet paper, I think it’s time to move on to something else. A well-lit bathroom can make or break your morning routine, and vanity lighting is a huge part of that! How often do we really stop to consider vanity lighting, however?

We’ve compiled the 3 most vital elements of vanity lighting and a summary of each topic. After you read and feel informed, pick your side! If you haven’t had these debates with your spouse, parents, or roommates yet, NOW is the time. These details can really maximize your bathroom space and transform your morning routine.

1. How to Hang: Up or Down?

The first thing you should consider is how to hang your vanity lights—shining up or down? First, consider how you’ll use these lights. Are they direct task lighting? If so, angle down or at the face. An indirect light source for style and mood? Shine them up.

If you have a bathroom with a darker color palette, a downward hanging light may suit you best. Why? Darker colors soak up more light, and hanging it downward will focus the light on the area you really want to be illuminating.

If your bathroom has a lighter color, palette an upward hanging light will work best for the space. Why? The light reflects off of the ceiling and walls, amplifying the overall light for the entire room. Regardless of which direction you hang them, vanity lights should hang high off of the floor, approximately 78 inches.

2. Clear or Frosted Glass?

You may have already had this debate when choosing other fixtures, but it’s especially relevant to vanity lights. They’re closer to eye level and more frequently viewed than most home fixtures, so choose well here!

In my years at a lighting showroom, the more popular choice has always been frosted glass. Why? One favorite feature about frosted glass is that it shines a soft ambient light. It still provides plenty of lumens, but isn’t too harsh on the eye. They also require less cleaning, since you’re unlikely to see fingerprints or smudges. A weekly light dusting should do the trick.  

On the other hand, I’ve encountered many lovers of clear glass. For one thing, they distribute more lumens, since the glass doesn’t diffuse the light. They’re often better for task lighting, aiding in accurate shaving or makeup application. The exposed light bulbs also add an element of style with different shaped filament bulbs.

3. What Fixture Size Is Best?

There’s a lot of variety in vanity fixtures. Some are small and dainty, others dramatic and large. We’ll let you have those infinite debates of taste as you surf Pinterest or our online catalog, but for now we’ll do you a favor and insert a lesser-known detail about proportions.

If your vanity light fixture is going over a single sink bowl, the fixture should be at least ¾ the size of the length of the mirror. Center it above the sink, and never select vanity lights that exceed the length of the mirror. If your vanity has two or more sinks, the same rules apply and you would center each light over its respective sink.

So there it is—the bathroom dilemmas no one talks about. Lighting matters! And fitting your vanity lighting to your unique taste will ensure an even better morning routine and evening wind-down experience.