Simple Solution: Great Bathroom Lighting

So, this might seem strange.  More than once, we’ve had people ask, “Why is the lighting in your bathroom so great?”  They weren’t referring to the actual lights, rather the quality of light.  Three things are going on to make that happen.

1.  Large mirrors.  Both of the mirrors in our upstairs baths are huge.  The main bath mirror is three feet wide and 4 1/2 feet tall, so it reflects a lot of light.  Our master bathroom mirror is about the same size, filling the wall both in width and height.  Mirrors are your friend, in almost any situation. 

2.  Light colored walls.  This isn’t a must, but again, it helps bounce light around the room. 

3.  Ditch the overhead light fixture which casts harsh shadows.  Opt for sconces on either side of the mirror.  By using sconces, you’re getting equal lighting from both sides, eliminating those harsh shadows.  It doesn’t matter much if you choose a down lit or up lit style.  Ours happen to be down lit, just because the fixtures we chose looked better hanging.  Height matters!  A rule of thumb for hanging pictures is eye level or 60 inches from the floor. 

We have sconces in all three of our bathrooms and all are within five inches of each other.  The main bathroom sconces are 70 inches from the floor to the center of the electrical box.  The master bath are 66 inches from floor to center.  By keeping the fixtures near eye level (even if it is someone who is 6’2″), the lighting is more direct.  This also means you can use a lower watt bulb and pitch the flood light. 

Anyone interested in changing out their bathroom lighting?  Do you have a design problem and would like our help?  Send us an e-mail at

7 thoughts on “Simple Solution: Great Bathroom Lighting

  1. Totally agree about bigger being better with mirrors. I love the big mirrors in my bathrooms, and especially in my master bath. When looking at mirrors (in homes, magazines, blogs) I always think about whether it would work standing up or leaning forward on my elbows on the counter since that’s what I do in order to put on my eyeliner.

  2. Great tips! The tiny half bath we just inherited in our new house has almost as many light fixtures as it has stenciled birdhouses: there are lights on either side of the sink, one above the sink, one on the ceiling, and two in the closet. A bit overkill, no? We cant wait to change it around!

    1. Hi Jamie,

      The color is Lilac by Restoration Hardware, color matched in Wal Mart’s brand. It doesn’t look like RH carries it now. I can try to dig up the formula if you need, though.


  3. Man 🙂

    You don’t have to dig it up – that’s okay – I can take this photo with me when I go to the paint store – hopefully that will get it close to the color!

    Great blog, by the way!

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