Should Vanity Lights Hang Over Mirror?

In this article, we will discuss if vanity lights should hang over the mirror. Properly placed vanity lights will not only provide your reflection with a youthful glow but will also make it easier to do your daily routine. Moreover, the height and positioning of the lights above your vanity area play a vital role in how well your space is illuminated. The best bathroom lighting helps create a place to relax and recharge after a long day at work.

Should vanity lights hang over mirror? You can hang vanity lights over the mirror at 75 to 80 inches from the floor. Choose a fixture that does not stick out too far to minimize shadows. Like all vanity lighting, it should have at least 150 watts spread over a fixture of at least 24 inches. This will allow light to shine evenly over the hair and face.

How do you hang a vanity light on a mirror? Should bathroom vanity lights face up or down? What is the importance of vanity light positioning? These are some of the questions that we will talk about in this article. Light placement for your bathroom mirror is critical because it will ensure that you have enough light when doing your daily routine. Proper light placement will also chase away shadows, which is important when doing makeup.

Should vanity lights hang over mirror
Photo by Christa Grover from Pexels

Can Vanity Lights Hang Over Mirror?

A wall-mounted vanity fixture that hangs above the mirror is an option when sconces or vertical fixtures are not possible. If you have a narrow bathroom without extra space on the side, or you have a large mirror, and scone placement will not work, your best option is to install lights over the vanity mirror. Install the light fixture above the mirror at about 75 to 80 inches from the floor. It is also possible to use the vanity as your guide when adjusting the placement of the lights.

Hang the lights about 40 inches above the top of the vanity. Take note that the height of the bathroom mirror can also affect the measurement, especially if it is oversized or it hangs lower or higher than normal. Adjust the height according to the position of the mirror. It is important to choose lights that do not stick out too far to lessen the light hitting at the top of your head and minimize shadows.

Why is Vanity Light Positioning Important?

Bathroom vanity light placement is important because of the functionality that it provides. Hanging light fixtures at the right location will lessen the potential shadows cast on the face, which is important when shaving, grooming, and applying makeup. To have a successful vanity lighting plan, fixtures should have sufficient light output, have the right size and style for the bathroom design and layout, and can be installed at the right distance from the floor and one another.

Vanity lights are considered task lighting because you depend on their brightness for grooming. The type and height of the task lighting will determine its effectiveness. Lights placed directly over your head like those placed in the ceiling can make it difficult to see what you are doing since it provides a lot of shadows on your face.

Moreover, fixtures mounted on the wall above the mirror can also cause shadows when not properly installed. You need to make sure that the fixtures hand so that they provide ample lights on your face and not from above or below. We have also shared this article that discusses the most flattering lighting. You can check out the article for more information.

How do You Hang a Vanity Light on a Mirror?

Hanging a vanity light to the mirror does not only include installation, but you also have to deal with electrical outlets and wires. The first thing that you need to do is to check if you need some remodeling electrical work. After making sure that your electrical wires are properly installed, you can start installing the lights.

 Hanging bathroom vanity lights in an area where no lights were previously installed can be challenging. However, replacing a light is easy. If you are ready to do this DIY project, we have shared the steps below to help you get through the task.

#1. Check the existing light fixture to know what you are working with.

#2. Look for a new fixture. To avoid much work on retrofitting, make sure that the fixture you purchase has the same features as the previous lights.

#3. Check the mounting holes to make sure that it fits the ones on the mirror.

#4. Match the plates to find out if it matches the existing mirror holes. You can use the old plate as the template for the new ones.

#5. If the plates don’t match, drill new mounting holes on the backplate.

#6. Once you have drilled the holes, you can easily line in the mounting hardware to the drywall.

#7. Connect the wires as indicated. See to it that the light is fully over the mounting plate before you tighten the attachment nuts. Otherwise, you will not be able to tighten the nuts as much as you need.

Should Bathroom Vanity Lights Face Up or Down?

Bathroom vanity lights are designed to face up or down. There is no standard rule on whether the lights should face up and down, and it depends on the homeowner’s preferences. However, upward lighting reflects off the ceiling and bounces back into space. The light provided is softer, and it also creates fewer shadows and glare. For putting on makeup, lights facing down are ideal.

Pros of a Lighting Fixture Facing Upwards

  • Creates a diffused light source that eliminates stark shadows
  • Diffused light is more flattering as compared to focused lighting that highlights the flaw in your skin
  • If you have a white ceiling, upward lighting can reflect the light and brighten up the room

Pros of a Lighting Fixture Facing Downwards

  • Focused lighting is ideal for putting on makeup
  • It does not collect dust inside the shades
  • Bulbs are easily changed.

How High Do You Hang a Mirror Over a Vanity?

Hang the mirror so that it is eye-level for most of the users. It should be installed 5 to 10 inches above the sink and 4 to 7 feet from the floor. There should be an equal distance from the center of the sink. This will provide even lighting to both sides of the face. Proper placement of overhead lighting is essential for determining where the light is going to hit the face. One overhead lighting fixture can create more shadows and uneven lighting on the face. Ensure that you do not choose a fixture that is too close to the mirror, or you will end up with many shadows and less brightness.

You can also check out this article that we have written titled, does the mirror have to match the vanity? We have shared information that can help you choose the right mirror for your vanity.

Related Questions

How do You Fix a Vanity Mirror Light?

If your vanity mirror light is no longer working, then it is time to replace the light bulbs. Usually, mirror lights do not work because the bulbs need replacement. However, if the new bulbs do not light up after installation, you need to troubleshoot the fixture by checking the breakers, wiring, switches, and sockets.

✅ Video – How to Replace a Bathroom Light Fixture

Darryl Adams shared the video on his YouTube channel. He talked about how to replace a bathroom light fixture. In the video, he demonstrates easy steps on how to replace the bathroom lights. It is an easy DIY project that you can do and is also budget-friendly. You can check out the video below for the tutorial.

What Light Bulbs are Used for Vanity Mirrors?

Bulbs or LED fixtures that produce light that is close to white are ideal for vanity mirrors. Choose bulbs with a high CRI of around 90 to 100 to achieve the most accurate colors, which is important when putting on makeup. Bulbs with a soft white range of 2700K to 3000K are ideal for general bathroom use and makeup application. Fluorescent and LED fixtures are ideal for vanity lighting. These are energy-efficient options that can last for a long time. Moreover, you can find many LED vanity lights that are dimmable to create the ideal brightness and illumination at any time of the day.

How Many Watts Should a Vanity Mirror Light Be?

75 to 100 watts are ideal for vanity mirror lights installed in guests and the master bathroom. On the other hand, 45 to 60 watts are ideal for powder rooms or half-baths. Ensure that you choose the appropriate watts because it can impact how bright the lights in your bathroom will be. You can also check out this article titled, how bright is 40 lumens for more information about brightness.


In this article, we have discusses if vanity lights should hang over mirrors. We have learned that it is okay to install vanity lights over mirrors, provided that they are not too far from the mirror to prevent shadows on your face. Lighting is vital in a vanity mirror, especially when putting on makeup or shaving. We hope that this article has helped you learn more about vanity lights and how high to hang them over your mirror. Thank you for reading!

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