The bathroom is often the place that we start our day and the last room we visit before bed. For many people, a chunk of their grooming session, be it makeup or shaving, goes on in the bathroom. These activities demand proper lighting, making it extremely important to have adequate lighting in the vanity space.
Proper bathroom light has practical benefits and has a psychological impact; thus, it's vital to ensure that the space is well lit.
In the absence of good bright light doing makeup or other grooming things becomes challenging, and thus lumen consideration of bathroom lights is essential.
A bathroom vanity light should at least have 1600 lumens. However, there is more to it that we will address through this blog.
What is a Lumen, and How Does it Function?
Lumen refers to the brightness of the light produced by a bulb or a given amount of illumination in a specific area. The lumen of any bulb is often mentioned on the package. Thanks to the lumen value, comparing the different types of bulb is possible, like CFL, or LEDs etc.
Since the lumen determines the brightness level of the light, it's essential to decide on that before comparing the other aspects.
However, many times, people only consider the bulb's wattage, completely ignoring the lumens. This, however, is the wrong approach. While lumens determine the total amount of light emitted by the bulb, watt determines the amount of power consumed.
The watt does not determine the brightness of the bulb. Having said that, both the parameters are important and thus must be considered.
How Many Lumens for Bathroom Vanity Light?
Many tasks are performed in front of the vanity mirror in the bathroom. Thus an adequate level of brightness is mandatory.
As per the American Lighting Association, a minimum of 1600 lumens if vanity lighting is recommended compared to the 10-20 lumens per square foot in a standard sitting room.
This is because your task areas in the bathroom will require a brighter setting.
Of course, you can alter this number.
In case the fixture you choose is an integrated LED light, you will be getting the same level of efficiency (1600 lumens) at a lower lumen, say 1200. On the flip side, you can opt for higher lumen bulbs, too but have a dimmable option or switch so that you can control it.
Besides, the bathroom light fixtures you choose must have a proper color temperature so that your face looks as natural as possible.
Factors Affecting the Lumens in the Bathroom
Requirement of Wet-Rated lighting for shower & bathtub:
It's recommended to use wet-rated lighting in the shower area as it can resist splashing better and is often safer than dry-rated bulbs used as ceiling light.
Many people opt for recessed lighting and damp-rated lighting for the shower area. These bulbs are ideal for handling condensation and moisture and are overall safe for use in the bathrooms.
Different use cases of bathroom lighting:
Most often, bathrooms have dry-rated lights. Such lights or fixtures should be placed on areas that are primarily without moisture or away from water reach.
If you are looking for ambiance lights, the ceiling lights should be enough. However, they do not provide enough illumination for grooming or makeup.
Besides, ceiling lighting causes shadows while doing makeup or shaving. Thus task lights are important since the mirror focuses on all these activities.
There should be at least 3 to 4 vanity lights above the bathroom mirror in any standard-sized bathroom.
Bathroom lighting must be bright like daylight:
It's essential to mimic natural light or daylight in bathroom lighting, impacting our circadian process. The circadian process controls our sleep-wake cycle. In other words, it uses light-dark signals to determine when to do what.
Thus seeing daylight naturally (like natural daylight) commands the body to go in the 'wake up' mode. Additionally, such lights also help one sleep early since it moves the sleep time forward. It has been observed that individuals with daylight mimicking light in the bathroom wake up fresher and more energized.
Importance of Color Temperature
CRI, a.k.a color rendering index, often considers color temperature. CRI determines how a light source renders colors compared to the complete spectrum source of the same color in reality.
As mentioned earlier, color temperature or CRI is crucial for choosing bathroom vanity lights. If you select a low CRI light, putting makeup becomes challenging as it makes colors look unnatural.
Similarly, a higher CRI in lighting makes seeing colors difficult since it gives a blue or amber cast on things. Such lighting affects the overall look of the room.
As noted earlier, vanity lights need to be bright enough to facilitate grooming. However, having that many bright lights in the bathroom might impact your circadian rhythm, especially if you wake up at midnight to get a glass of water.
Fortunately, you can fix this problem by installing dimmers for your bathroom lights. Not only do dimmers add ambiance, but it also saves more energy.
Which Lights to Avoid for Bathroom Lighting?
Have you noticed that fluorescent light casts bland white hospital-like illumination in the face? Such a light makes one look older, and that's the last thing you want. Thus, it's advisable to avoid such lights while picking the ideal illumination for your vanity mirror.
Fluorescent lights almost never do any justice to makeup or shaving. To make things worse, it makes one's face look patchy, older, and unhealthy.
In addition to fluorescent white light, recessed lights too must be avoided as they cast scary shadows, and you don't want to lose your wits when doing your daily morning routine!
Why LED Bulbs are Best Suited for Bathroom Vanity Light Fixtures
LED lighting resembles natural daylighting closely, distributes the light evenly across one's face, and eliminates dark patches. Thus it's often considered the best option for bathroom lighting.
Besides, these lights are easy to install into the existing sockets and are incredibly energy-efficient, cost-efficient, and produce less heat.
One of the primary advantages of using LED lights in the bathroom is safety. Since these lights use low voltage, they are sturdier even in the face of water and vapor. Plus, LED lights have reduced temperature compared to halogens and other types of lights.
Finally, these lights are environmentally friendly. Since they don't have mercury or lead, greenhouse gas emission is less.
Using LED lights cross illumination or side lighting is the perfect placement for optimizing the lighting in a small bathroom. Avoid placing LED lights right above the mirror is often advised as it only illuminates what's directly beneath.
Best Lights for Bathroom Vanity:
Vanity lights in your bathroom will brighten your grooming routine and add general ambient lighting as well.
Of course, you can keep it basic by choosing only task and ambient lights, but if you want some bells and whistles, there are some lovely types of bathroom vanity light bulbs that you can consider.
We have listed a few options for you to consider:
These lights have a sleek and modern design and will surely provide your bathroom or vanity area with a clean and attractive look. These lights have a smooth metal finish, and some can produce over 3000 lumens of light.
You can install bar vanity lights both horizontally and vertically. Sunco bathroom bar lights are one such option.
Tara wall light is your ideal pick if you have a small bathroom. The light is long and thin and is perfect for installing in small spaces without losing style scores.
One of the biggest advantages is its classic look and traditional shape. You can use a 75-watt bulb on this, and that should be enough to illuminate your bathroom without requiring much real estate on the walls.
Sconce vanity lights:
Monroe sconce lights are perfect for bathrooms with white subway-style tiles or features wooden accents.
The fixture has four bulbs that distribute just the perfect amount of light. You can choose from black, black-and-brass, or chrome finish to suit your backdrop. You can pair this with a dimmer bulb to finish the look.
Pendant lighting is exceptionally adorable and creates a charming effect in the bathroom. The best part about these lights is that they are available in multiple shapes, styles, and designs. It can work as fantastic accent lighting if you pick the right option.
Pendant lights can create the perfect ambiance you want and can be used as task lighting near the mirror or in any corner of the room. MOTINI 1-Light Cylinder Crystal Pendant Lighting or OUVR Pendant Lighting are the two options you can check out.
Now that you know the importance of lumens for your bathroom vanity mirror and how to pick the perfect option, you should be able to revamp your vanity space with little effort.
Thankfully, you have an endless number of options, and you can choose a variety that suits your style.