What is the Best Lighting for a Vanity Mirror?

If you wonder about the best lighting that you can use for a vanity mirror, you have come to the right place. Lighting around the bathroom is more than just seeing to brush your teeth or wash your face. For most people, it is also about the vital task of putting on makeup, which requires the right lighting. This article will talk about the different kinds of lighting that you can find and how to choose the best one according to your needs and preferences.

What is the best lighting for a vanity mirror? The best lighting for a vanity mirror should come from light fixtures mounted on either side and roughly at the user’s eye level. This placement leaves no part of the face in shadow. LED and incandescent lights are popular options since they are energy-saving and long-lasting.

Should vanity lights be wider than your mirror? How do you pick the right lighting for your vanity? What are the things that you need to consider when choosing lights for your vanity? We will discuss these questions and more. We will also talk about how to choose the right bulbs. Check out the rest of this article for more tips and information.

How do You Pick the Right Lighting for Your Vanity Mirror?

Choosing the right lighting for your vanity mirror is not as difficult as you might imagine. You can find a wide array of selection of vanity lights that can provide you with the lighting that you need. Since the lights work in tandem with your vanity mirror, you also need to consider the mirror’s size, shape, and style when choosing a lighting fixture.

One thing that you need to avoid is to choose large lighting fixtures that can oversize the mirror. This can lead to an uneven look and will also mess with the space of your bathroom. You can center the light above the mirror to distribute the light across the face when you are standing.

Should Vanity Lights be Wider than Your Mirror?

How wide the lights to your mirror depend on your personal preferences. On the other hand, you need to make sure that you achieve a balanced look. Light fixtures placed above the mirror should be about a third of the width of the mirror. Multi-light fixtures and other horizontal light styles like vanity light bars can extend beyond the mirror’s width but no longer than the vanity itself.

One rule that you can follow is to choose a light fixture that is roughly three-quarters the width of the vanity mirror. If you have a wide mirror or have a double sink mirror, you can mount two smaller light fixtures centered on each sink.

Different Shapes of Vanity Lights

Vanity lights come in different shapes and sizes, giving consumers a wide array of options according to their preferences and needs. These shapes include bar, shaded, cage, globe, and tube. Check out the brief description of each shape below.


These light fixtures have a classic feel to them. They are usually comprised of a long rectangular shade that encloses multiple lamps. Bar shape lights are an ideal option for incorporating long-lasting LED arrays.


These light fixtures cover various shapes and styles that enclose the lamps with vanity light shade. Choose the ones made from metal or glass shades because the fabric ones are not ideal for damp environments unless specified by the manufacturer.


These light fixtures project a rugged and industrial bathroom mood. They regularly allow the light to shine without any obstruction. Cage lights have an open and airy look.


These light fixtures have a contemporary and modern feel to them. They are ideal for creating a clean but fun aesthetic for your bathroom. The lights enclosed the lamp in either clear or frosted globular shade.


These light fixtures are similar to bar lights, but the rounded fixtures have more futuristic air. The long, tube shape of the lights keeps things simple and sleek.

Kinds of Light Bulbs for Your Vanity Mirror

Some of the most popular light bulbs include LED, halogen, incandescent, Edison, and the globe. Choose light bulbs with a high Color Rendering Index of 90 or higher. This will make sure that you see the most accurate colors in the room. This also helps put applying makeup flawlessly since you will be able to see the exact blending of colors on your face.


These lights are not only energy-efficient but are also long-lasting. It allows a different range of color temperatures and brightness so you can easily customize your space.


These light bulbs are long-lasting and can be used in slim vanity fixtures. Halogen lights are often used in standard medium base or candle base arrays, but you can also find ones used for specialized bi-pin or wedge lamps.


These lights have been popular for decades. They are available in different shapes and styles. The only downside of this kind of bulbs is that it is not as long-lasting or energy-efficient as LED.


If you are looking for a vintage feel, this is your best choice. Traditionally, they have a distinctive tapered bulb shape with visible coiled filament in the center.  Bulbs with the historic tapered shape and those with visible filament coils are called Edison bulbs.


These light bulbs are stylish and fun options. You can choose from exposed bulbs or clear shades. Globe light bulbs are ideal for creating a unique look and accenting any geometric features in your bathroom, most especially if you have a round vanity mirror.

✅ Video – DIY Vanity Mirror With Lights

Cherisse Miller shared the video below on her YouTube channel. She demonstrates how to make a vanity mirror with lights for only 40 dollars. She is using a frameless mirror. You can check out the video below for step-by-step instructions.

Things to Consider When Purchasing Light Fixtures

Before buying light fixtures for your bathroom, there are a few things that you need to consider to make sure that you have the best one that will light up your space. The wavelength, CRI, and color temperature are some of the things you need to take note of when shopping for light fixtures.


Take note that we perceive an object’s color by the light that it reflects or, specifically, by the wavelengths of light that objects reflect. The quality of light plays an important role in how well we see colors. Your makeup will look different under different lights. This is because the lights might or might not have the right wavelengths to show your makeup’s true colors. For this reason, make sure that you choose a light bulb with the right wavelength. You can also check out this article that discusses if vanity lights should hang over mirror. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.


Also known as Color Rendering Index estimates how accurately a light bulb will make colors appear. Ensure that you choose light bulbs with a CRI of 90 or more because it provides the best color rendering.

Color Temperature

This is used to measure the warmth or coolness of the light. The common color temperatures are daylight (5000K-6500K), cook white or bright white (3500K-4100K), and soft white light (2700K-3000K). We have also written this article that discusses what color light is best for a bathroom. You can check out the article for more information about color temperature.

Related Questions

How High Should I Install Lighting?

When placing wall scones on each side of the mirror, you should install them at the center of the fixtures at about 60 inches high and 28 inches apart. On the other hand, if you are placing a bath bar above the mirror, it should be mounted at about 78 inches high. We have also written this article that discusses if illuminated mirrors are any good. We have shared information that can help you choose the right illuminated mirror for your bathroom.

What Kind of Lighting is Best for Applying Makeup?

 The best kind of lighting for applying makeup is natural daylight or the light that comes from the sun. It is clear and evenly diffused, which provides the most accurate rendering of your face. On the other hand, your next best option is to use LED lights if daylight is unavailable. LED does not emit as much heat as other light sources and also distributes the light evenly across the face.

You can also check out this article that talks about the kinds of lighting best for applying makeup. We have shared different kinds of lighting options that you can find.

Is LED Lighting Good for Applying Makeup?

Yes, LED lighting is good for applying makeup. Not only is it efficient, but it is also dimmable, which provides you with different lighting options. They are bright enough to provide a clear view of your face and even lighting. You can also check out this article that discusses what lights do makeup artists use. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.


You have reached the end of this article that discusses what lighting is best for a vanity mirror. We hope that the information that we have shared in this article has helped you learn more about the different lighting options you can choose from and the things that you need to consider when looking for lighting fixtures for your vanity mirror. Thank you for reading!

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