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What’s the Perfect Size Bathroom Vanity Light?

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Perfect size vanity light
Beautiful vanity lights – Image courtesy of Maya’s Design Studio

When designing your bathroom vanity, lighting is a vital consideration, as this space can either dampen or uplift your mood. So, are you stuck on what the ideal vanity light size is for your bathroom?

Maya Mogdahan

In this article, we’ll discuss how to measure everything in your bathroom for problem-free planning. However, keep in mind the advice of Maya Moghadam, Owner of Maya’s Design Studio: 

“As a designer, I recommend having a professional contractor measure all the unique requirements. They know how to measure correctly so that you don’t waste your money or time.” 

Maya and her team can recommend a contractor, create an e-design, and shop with you to help turn your bathroom into a haven in your home.

Maya’s Design Studio offers virtual services all over the world. To get a free 20-minute consultation on your bathroom design or remodel, click the button below, choose a time that’s convenient, and be sure to mention that you came from Bathtubber:

A perfect vanity light size comes down to your style and preferences. Yet, knowing the standard recommendations will help you make an informed decision. In this article, I’ll discuss these vanity light size guidelines in detail to help you choose the perfect light fixtures for your vanity.

Key Takeaways

  • Proportional Sizing: The ideal vanity light should be about 75% of the width of your vanity and proportional to the mirror size to ensure balanced illumination​.
  • Varying Setups: Different vanity sizes and layouts require specific light sizes. For instance, small vanities might need single-bulb sconces, while larger ones may require multi-light fixtures​.
  • Installation Position: The placement of vanity lights (above or beside the mirror) affects both the size and the illumination quality, with side placement often recommended for narrower mirrors​​.
  • Purpose of Lighting: Vanity lights can serve as both functional task lighting and general lighting, with the amount of light needed dictating the size of the fixture​​.
  • Mirror Considerations: The size and position of your bathroom mirror play a crucial role in determining the appropriate vanity light size, with larger mirrors requiring bigger or multiple fixtures​​.
  • Installation Guidelines: Proper installation height and positioning are crucial for optimal lighting, with lights typically centered at eye level and maintaining space between the light fixture and the mirror​​.

How Big Should My Vanity Light Be?

Your vanity light should be equally as big or smaller than the size of your bathroom vanity mirror. Ideally, it should cover about 3/4 of the mirror’s width and approximately half its height. An appropriate vanity light size ensures your vanity space is well-lit. 

The light fixture should offer sufficient task lighting for routine grooming activities, including shaving, applying makeup, and combing your hair. 

Bathtubber Tip: If you are planning a complete remodel of your bathroom and need to measure all bathroom fittings, take a look at our guide on How to Measure EVERYTHING in Your Bathroom.


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What’s the Perfect Size Bathroom Vanity Light?

Bathroom Vanity Size

double-vanity

Bathroom vanities differ in size and layout, so you can’t have similar vanity light sizes for all vanities. For instance, the best light for a small single-sink vanity with a width of 24” to 36” (60.9 – 91.4 cm) and a single mirror would be one or two single-bulb sconces.

Generally, many light sconces are 4” to 20” (10 – 50.8 cm) wide. The perfect size should be proportional to the size of your vanity. Moreover, most bathroom vanities require sconces ranging from 9” to 10” (22.8 – 25 cm) in length.

On the other hand, large bathroom vanities measure 48” to 60” (122.9 – 152.4cm) in width and might require a multi-light vanity fixture with several bulbs, especially if you have a double-sink vanity with a wide countertop. In this case, a multiple-bulb vanity light measuring 13” to 26” (33 – 66 cm) long would be ideal.

Keep in mind, however, that the sizes of multi-light vanity fixtures mainly depend on how many bulbs they carry.

Where You’re Installing the Light Fixture

Best Light Bulbs for Bathroom Vanity

The position you install your vanity lights determines how well-illuminated your space will be. And this position will also influence the size of your vanity lights.  

You can install vanity lights above the mirror or beside the mirror.

The American Lighting Association recommends placing your vanity lights next to the mirror, especially when you have a narrow mirror, as it minimizes shadows and glare from your light fixture.

Nevertheless, your taste and preferred vanity light design or style might also influence your choice.

Amount of Light You Need

Bathroom schematics
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To most people, vanity lights are meant to be functional lighting, while others don’t mind using them for general light. Yet, vanity lights can serve both purposes, making them one of the most versatile light fixtures that your bathroom can have.

Still, your lighting purpose determines how much light you need, which dictates what size will meet these requirements. According to the American Lighting Association, your vanity lights should provide at least 1600 lumens for adequate task lighting.

So, if you need the light fixture for task lighting only, a small vanity light fixture will do. However, it should be bigger if it serves both general and task lighting.

Bathroom Mirrors

Of course, your vanity will be incomplete without a bathroom mirror.  Your mirror size and position also determine what size vanity lights to install. 

If you have an expansive bathroom mirror, it’s typically best to have a large bar or multiple-bulb vanity light. 

Contrastingly, a pair of smaller sconces would be an ideal match for a narrow bathroom mirror. 

Check out this detailed guide on how to space your bathroom mirror and wall sconces.

Is Your Mirror Less Wide Than the Vanity?

LNC Home - Perfect Vanity Light Size
Check out the beautiful AKESON bathroom vanity lights on Amazon.

If your bathroom mirror is less wide than the vanity and you want to hang your fixture above the mirror follow this rule:

Choose a light fixture that’s 75 % of the mirror’s width. For example, if your mirror is 36 inches wide, use a light bar above the mirror that is 27 inches (68.5 cm) wide. 

If you want to hang your fixtures beside the mirror, then the size of the fixtures should be proportional to the size of the bathroom (source). Use the third column in the table below.

Is Your Mirror the Same Width as the Vanity?

LNC Home - Vanity Light Size Guidelines
See the beautiful Minimalist Linear Glass Bronze Wall Light at LNC Home.

These measurements assume you have a bathroom vanity mirror the same width as the vanity itself.

 

Bathroom Vanity WidthIdeal Vanity Light Width If Hung Above the Mirror Ideal Vanity Light Length If Hung Beside the Mirror
24” (60.9 cm)22.5" (57.1 cm)Up to 12" (30.4 cm)
36” (91.4 cm)27" (68.5 cm)Up to 14" 35.6 cm)
42” (106.6 cm)32” (81.2 cm)Up to 16" (40.6cm)
48” (121.9 cm)36” (91.4 cm)Up to 18" (45.7 cm)
60” (152.4 cm)Up to 48” (121.9 cm)Up to 18" or more (45.7 cm +)

 

What’s the Best Size Vanity Light for a 24-Inch Vanity?

Above-the-Mirror Placement

Above-the-mirror placement is perhaps the most common mirror installation in the bathroom. For this setup, if you have a narrow bathroom mirror, probably 22.5 inches (57.2 cm) wide, it would be best to have a single vanity light.  Moreover, the light shouldn’t be wider than the mirror.

Beside-the-Mirror Placement

Alternatively, you can go for two single-bulb sconces on either side of the mirror, each up to 12 inches (30.5cm) in length. 

What’s the Best Size Vanity Light for a 36-Inch Vanity?

Above-the-Mirror Placement

A 27-inch (68.6 cm) wide vanity light is perfect if you’re placing it as an overhead light (above the mirror).

Beside-the-Mirror Placement

You can opt to install two vanity fixtures on either side of the mirror measuring up to 16 inches (35.6 cm) in length.

What’s the Best Size Vanity Light for a 42-Inch Vanity?

Above-the-Mirror Placement

If you choose to have one overhead vanity light, then a fixture measuring 32 inches (81.2 cm) wide would be perfect. The most suitable width for two overhead vanity lights would be 16 inches (40.6 cm) wide each. Remember, two light fixtures are usually best for a double-mirrored countertop with two sinks.

Beside-the-Mirror Placement

You can have two vanity lights for side placement, each measuring up to 16 inches (40.6 cm) long.

What’s the Best Size Vanity Light for a 48-Inch Vanity?

Above-the-Mirror Placement

If you have a single-mirrored vanity, it’s recommended to position the 36-inch (91.4 cm) light fixture centered over the mirror. For a double-mirrored vanity, you’ll want two light fixtures over each mirror, up to 18 inches (45.7 cm) wide.

Beside-the-Mirror Placement

You could also place the two light fixtures that are 18 inches (45.7 cm) long or more on either side of the double vanity mirrors if you’d like. However, Janell Beals, a designer at Houzz, recommends adding a single-bulb vanity light between the two mirrors. The extra light minimizes dark spots for more expansive vanities.

What’s the Best Size Vanity Light for a 60-Inch Vanity?

Since this is one of the largest sizes for a vanity, you can opt to have a large mirror or two mirrors, depending on the vanity’s layout.  

Above-the-Mirror Placement

If you have one bathroom mirror, a 48-inch (121.9 cm) bath bar light over it is proportionately best. However, it’s challenging to find such a large vanity light, so you can buy one that’s a few inches shorter. 

Alternatively, you can go for two bar lights, each measuring 24 inches (60.9 cm) long.

Beside-the-Mirror Placement

In the case of such a large bathroom, you can go for fixtures alongside the mirror that are 18 inches long (45.7 cm) or more.

How to Install Bathroom Vanity Lights Beside a Mirror

  • Centre vanity lights at your eye level, about 65 – 70 inches or 165.1 – 177.8cm from the floor.
  • When placing lights on the sides of a mirror, be sure to leave at least 36 to 40 inches (91.4 – 101.6 cm) between both lights to avoid casting shadows on your face.
  • Leave at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space between the edge of the light fixture and the mirror.

The Best Size Lights for Your Bathroom Vanity

The Best Size Lights for Your Bathroom Vanity

Many homeowners overlook vanity lighting and pay more attention to their living room and kitchen decor. 

Yet, finding the best lighting for your bathroom vanity will go a long way in enhancing its appeal and uplifting your needs. 

For this reason, it’s crucial to identify the perfect vanity light size to balance your vanity space and provide proportional lighting.

Need more help lighting your bathroom? Follow these five easy steps to bathroom lighting that is both practical and pretty.

Bathtubber.com works with Maya’s Design Studio, a team who can help you every step of the way. Click the button above to contact Maya. Tell her you found her on Bathtubber.com and she’ll give you a FREE extended virtual bathroom design consultation. Read more about Maya’s Design Studio here.

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Tags: bathroom light fixtures, Best Size Lights for Your Bathroom Vanity, how to size a bathroom vanity light, size of vanity, vanity light size guidelines, where to install bathroom light fixture

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