Today's luxurious bathrooms demand adequate bathroom vanity lighting. It's not just about achieving the right light quality or amount--it's also important to choose a vanity light with a style that makes a statement and complements your existing fixtures and decor. As the first element that many people notice in any bathroom, bath vanity lighting is a critical part of any remodeling project. A few things to consider when selecting vanity lighting include the size, finish, bulb type and design style. Here are 4 helpful tips on choosing vanity lighting that will function beautifully in your home for many years. In fact, did you know that when people buy bathroom vanity lights, they tend to keep them for about a decade (according to consumer research conducted by the American Lighting Association)? That makes it all the more important to choose the right bath vanity lights!
Choosing the right size
Bath light bars, which are the basic type of bath vanity lights, typically come in two-, three- and four-light versions to suit small and large rooms alike. While you want to ensure you have plenty of light, be sure to choose one that is no wider than your vanity or cabinet width, which may be wider than your mirror. Most people choose vanity bar lights that are about 75 percent of the mirror's total length. When using bath bars, mount them high off the floor (78 inches is recommended) and center them with the cabinet for a clean, finished look. If you have a very long vanity or double sink setup, you may want to consider using more than one of the same bath bar to get the job done
Choosing the right finish
Your bathroom vanity light's finish can, but does not have to, coordinate with the existing faucets and fixtures in your bathroom. If your fixtures have a shiny look, go for polished nickel or chrome finishes. Brushed nickel finishes work well with brushed bath fixtures. Other finishes that are very popular in lighting and bath fixture design are antique brass, bronze and even black!
Never use exposed bulbs in the bathroom! To achieve a flattering light and increase comfort (imagine looking over while lounging in the bath and being temporarily blinded by bare bulbs in your bath bar! Ouch!), choose a fixture with frosted or opal glass. Most of today's bath bars and bath lighting options have these types of glass. Also, you can even buy light bulbs that are coated, dipped or have frosted glass for an even and flattering effect, especially if you do choose a fixture where the bulbs are exposed. Compact fluorescent bulbs or even LED bulbs can be used in place of standard bulbs in nearly any bathroom. Fluorescent or LED lighting is ideal for bathrooms because both choices emit much less heat than incandescent lighting, last longer and save energy. Increasing the amount of light in the bathroom is also especially ideal for older eyes. People who are over 65 years old need four times more light as their under-25 counterparts to see properly, according to the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.