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Layered Bathroom Lighting to Brighten Up Your Day

A well-lit room is a well-loved room. Layered lighting can turn any dark and dreary room into one with a bright and welcoming atmosphere, and no room needs that more than the one where you get ready every day: the bathroom. Adequate lighting is important for all the little tasks you do in the bathroom to prepare yourself for the day, and having multiple fixtures will only help when you’re brushing your teeth, putting on makeup, or shaving.

Start With Traditional Top-Down Vanity Lights

Top-down lighting can cover your mirror and most of a smaller bathroom by itself, but benefits from layering for a more complete bathroom (by Fredman Design Group)

Having a simple two-to-four bulb bar light above the vanity is traditionally where bathroom lighting begins and ends. If you’re only going to have one light in the room (typical for a half-bath), this is the best place to put it as you get overall room and top-down mirror coverage in one. However, having a single light like this casts a lot of shadows, making the corners of your bathroom dark and your reflection in the mirror less clear and accurate. In a larger bathroom, you’ll need lights in other places as well if you want a well-lit space.

Add Some Side-By-Side Sconces

Even better than top-down lighting, side by side sconces light up all sides of your face for excellent task lighting (by Park and Oak Design)

Another popular place for bathroom lighting is having sconces on either side of your mirror. An alternative to top-down lighting, these help illuminate your face from more angles than a single top-down wall light, making it easier to apply makeup or shave. Wall sconces work very well in the bathroom as the sole source of light or as a layer of lighting, meaning that no matter how well-lit you want your space they are a good choice to install.

Showcase Your Space With A Chandelier

A chandelier is a pretty addition to any bathroom that elevates the room in both ambient lighting and class (by JCA Architects)

Chandeliers are more of a statement light than other types, providing both visibility and style in one. If you have the space for one, a chandelier can replace your traditional bathroom flush-mount to go from basic to spectacular and giving your bathroom a more regal feeling. This is a great way to customize the space and make it really feel like yours through a single, simple renovation. Bonus: in a central location, it’s a good source of even, all-over lighting that can illuminate the whole space.

Layer In Grown Up Nightlights

Under cabinet lighting allows you to see the basic shapes of everything in your bathroom in the dark, which is perfect when you’re up at 3am (by Hartford Gandia Group)

One area that benefits from a glow up that you may not normally consider is under the cabinet. Under cabinet lighting is typically used to brighten up kitchen counters, but at the base of a bathroom vanity it can illuminate your floors and function as a nightlight when you’re traversing the bathroom in the middle of the night. It’s more ambient than task lighting, but not having to turn on the overhead lights at night is incredibly pleasant and worth the installation. Plus, it’s another way to make your bathroom feel regal and tailored just for your needs.

Go High-Tech With Backlit Mirrors And Medicine Cabinets

Built-in lights allow for no wasted space when lighting up the room and look futuristic and stylish (by Nest Designs LLC)

Mirrors with lights built directly into them (or backlit mirrors) are less conventional and require a total replacement of your current vanity mirror, but give a lot of bang for your buck. These lights shine directly onto your face, causing minimum shadow. If you apply makeup or aim for a close shave every morning, a mirror or medicine cabinet with built-in lights is definitely an investment to consider. Bonus: not only can these totally replace over-vanity lights or sconces, but many of them come with other high-tech features, like USB chargers or even stereo hookups

Whether you’re adding one light to your bathroom or several, it’s relatively simple to create a lighting atmosphere you can enjoy every day in the room you use the most.