Where To Place Bathroom Vanity Light Sconces?

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Lavender bathroom with mocha tile bath trim

Interior lighting plays a huge factor in the kind of ambiance a room can deliver. In bathrooms, the proper lighting can significantly enhance the space’s relaxing factor – a must-have for this particular room. Unfortunately, in most cases, homeowners tend to be a bit willy-nilly when it comes to their bathroom vanity lighting. In this article, we will be giving you pointers on how to position your vanity lighting, specifically the sconces, to achieve optimum results. 

The best vanity light sconce position is on both sides of the mirror as this helps eliminate any shadows under your eyes, chin, and cheeks. Also, make sure that the two light sconces are around 36 to 40 inches apart and about 66 to 70 inches above the floor. 

At that height and position, the vanity light sconces will provide optimum illumination and benefit you greatly during grooming. In addition, light sconces come in a wide variety of types and sizes, which means you will find one that will complement your bathroom’s aesthetics.  

Let us go further into detail regarding light sconces to help introduce you to this practical and stylish bathroom vanity fixture.

Basic Guide to Vanity Light Sconces

When it comes to installing vanity light sconces, positioning is the key to maximizing the illumination it can provide. Fortunately, there is already a definite guide on where to install vanity light sconces. 

Both Sides of the Mirror

If you have a reasonably small or narrow bathroom, the best place to install light sconces is on both sides of the vanity mirror. Position the sconces at around 66 to 70 inches from the floor or at eye level. This should provide those with smaller bathrooms with the best illumination in front of their vanity mirror. 

Above the Mirror

Double vanity sink in a bathroom with stone tiles counter

An alternative is to place the light sconce above the vanity mirror. While having the light sconces on both sides of the mirror provides the best lighting, placing it above the mirror is another popular choice utilized by many homeowners. 

Installing the light sconce above the vanity mirror requires a high wattage bulb to ensure you will get maximum illumination. Ideally, the light sconce should also be around 75 inches from the floor but no higher than 80 inches. 

Using Sconce Shades

Blue colored bathroom with white furniture, great mirror with sconces and luxurious chandelier

It would help if you also took advantage of using sconce shades, as this helps improve how light is emitted in your bathroom. For example, using a white fabric shade will help give the bathroom lighting a less intense and cleaner appearance. Sconce shades can help elevate the bathroom’s ambiance, so consider this accessory if you feel that your vanity lighting is too bright or harsh. 

Factors to Consider When Buying Bathroom Vanity Light 

When choosing a vanity light sconce, or any bathroom light fixture for that matter, there are several factors that you will need to consider. Some of these factors are generally not considered when picking up lighting fixtures for other house areas but are crucial when it comes to the bathroom.

Damp-Rated Lighting

Lighting fixtures that are generally installed outdoors will need to have a damp rating categorization. Damp-rated light bulbs mean that these lighting fixtures are moisture-resistant. Since bathrooms are pretty humid, having damp-rated lighting should be considered for safety purposes. 

Choose Halogen Bulbs

In order to create more natural lighting, we recommend you go with halogen light bulbs as these manage to render skin tones better and more accurate. In addition, while halogen bulbs are more expensive, it lasts significantly longer than incandescent light bulbs. There are even low-voltage versions for those who are worried about their electricity bill. As an alternative, new models of fluorescent light bulbs also deliver natural color rendering.

Consider Using Dimmer Lights

View of the sink, toilet and bidet in a large modern bathroom

For those looking to create optimum illumination in front of their vanity mirror and set the ambiance if the mood calls for it, we recommend using dimmer lights. Dimmer lights allow you to control the brightness of specific lighting fixtures. This feature is highly welcome in bathrooms; wherein there are times that you need optimum lighting and times that you prefer the environment to be dimmer. 

In addition to the nifty ambiance control, dimmer lights are also great at conserving energy. Take note that you will need specific dimmers depending on the type of lighting installed. For example, fluorescent lighting needs fluorescent dimmers. There are also cases where the light bulb might generate a low buzzing sound when dimmed. To avoid this issue, you can switch to low-wattage bulbs to prevent the buzzing noise. 

Vanity Sconce Brightness

A rule of thumb when it comes to choosing a vanity light sconce is to go with the one that offers the highest illumination. Go with halogen or LEDs, as these render the most accurate natural colors. Also, pick lighting that has at least a 2,700 to 3,100K rating. Check out the best light bulbs for applying makeup.

Warm or Cool Lighting for Bathrooms

Choosing between warm or cool white lighting depends entirely on you. Warmer lighting features a slight yellow hue which is the traditional option. Warm light has a 2,600K to 3,000K rating. If you want a more modern vibe, go with cooler lighting with a 3,900K and above rating. 

Different Types of Bathroom Vanity Sconces

There are several options in terms of vanity sconce styles. Each of these sconces delivers specific aesthetic elements that will enhance the overall décor of your bathroom. 

Candle Type

The candle-type sconce is a classic and is still pretty much the most commonly used sconce today. As the name implies, candle-type sconces emulate the appearance of candles, giving your bathroom a unique rustic aesthetic. This is an excellent choice for bathroom vanities that focuses on a more traditional design. 

Lantern Type

Luxurious Rustic Bathroom with Mining Lamps

Another traditional sconce type that can enhance the classy aesthetic of the bathroom, lantern type sconces, feature a design similar to oil lamps from the middle ages. Thus, you can expect lantern-type sconces to enhance your bathroom vanity’s refined and antique aesthetic. In addition, lantern-type sconces cast a broad light that can illuminate the entire bathroom as well. 

Half-Moon Type

Another popular bathroom sconce style is the half-moon type. Half-moon sconces are often used as accent lighting rather than the primary light source. The Half-moon sconce has a compact and narrow design, which makes it ideal for smaller bathrooms. If you are looking for additional accent lighting, half-moon types offer the best flexibility and versatility. 

Swing-Arm Type

For that added flexibility in positioning, we suggest you check out the swing-arm sconce. The swing-arm type can be positioned either horizontally or vertically. In addition, the added articulation allows swing-type sconces to be set in different directions. 

Gooseneck Type

Also known as sign light fixtures, the gooseneck sconce is an excellent choice if you want lighting that can illuminate a large area at once. Because of this feature, gooseneck-type sconces are suitable for large bathrooms. 

Wall Lamp Type

Modern bathroom interior with two vessel sinks

Also known by the fancier word, wallchiere type, this sconce incorporates a slim and tall design, making it a good fit for both sides of your bathroom vanity mirror. The wall lamp sconce is the most flexible of the bunch and is also an excellent choice for small bathrooms due to its compact design.

Final Thoughts

It is essential to place the bathroom vanity light in the correct location to provide optimum illumination. There are also different types of sconces available, each with its ideal placement in the bathroom. Hopefully, we have shed some light on proper vanity light sconce installation for you to implement in your bathroom. 

Check out these tips on where to install bathroom lighting.