Before you install wall lights in your bathroom, you should first consider what the appropriate height is going to be. Once a wall light is installed, it’s an inconvenience to change it, so it’s important to get it right the first time.
Since the lights in a room greatly affect the atmosphere as well as the function of the space, you’ll want to be sure you’re fitting it in exactly the right spot. This guide looks at the recommended height for vanity lights and wall sconces in a bathroom and explains why this is the case.
The standard height for vanity lights that are installed on the wall over the top of a mirror is between 75 and 80 inches from the floor. This takes into account the standard height for vanity units and vanity mirrors. For wall sconces that are positioned beside mirrors over a vanity unit, the recommended height is around 64 inches from the floor.
How High Should Bathroom Vanity Light Be?
The height of a bathroom vanity light should generally be between 75 and 80 inches from floor level. This takes into account the standard height of vanity units, the size of vanity mirrors, and the amount of space that should be allowed between each object. Vanity lights are installed over the top of a vanity mirror, and their purpose is to illuminate that area of the bathroom for anyone applying make-up, brushing their teeth, washing their face, or shaving.
In order to fulfill this purpose, it’s important that the vanity light is positioned correctly, so although 75 to 80 inches from floor level is recommended, this is by no means a hard and fast rule, and instead should be considered as a guideline.
Before you install the vanity light in your bathroom, have someone hold the light on the wall over the top of the mirror to see how it feels. If you have tall people in the family who will be using this bathroom, then you’ll want to ensure the light is shining directly in their eyes. In this case, moving the light a few inches higher will make for a more pleasant experience.
Similarly, if you’re installing a light in a child’s bathroom, then it may be that your mirror is installed lower to suit their height, and therefore, a lower vanity light will also be more appropriate. The type of light you have chosen will also be a factor in deciding the height of installation, so consider where the light from the bulb will be aimed and if it is going to be functional at that height.
When you’ve settled on a height for your bathroom wall light, you’ll next want to ensure that the light is being installed exactly central to both the vanity unit and the mirror. Do this by measuring the full width of the mirror and dividing it by two, then mark the measurement on the wall. This is where your vanity light should go.
How High Should Bathroom Sconce Lights Be?
Sconce lights are wall lights that are traditionally positioned on either side of the vanity mirror in a bathroom. If you have one mirror then you will have two sconce lights; one to the left and one to the right. If you have two vanity mirrors in a ‘his and hers’ bathroom, there should be three sconce lights; one in between each mirror one to the far light, and one to the far right.
The height of wall sconces in a bathroom, whether you have two or three, should all be exactly level. The recommended height for wall sconce lights in a bathroom is around 64 inches from floor level, which is roughly eye level for the average person. This creates a pleasant glow around the mirror, lighting up the region where the face will be viewed in the reflection.
Once again, the type of light will come into play here. If the light is quite compact, then installing the light fitting itself at 64 inches will be appropriate. For a wall sconce that has a longer shape, you’ll want to position the light so that the bulb of the fitting will be sitting at around 64 inches, which means the part of the light that attaches to the wall may be higher up.
Should Vanity Mirror or Lighting be Installed First?
When you’re renovating a bathroom or even just making some small changes to the area around your vanity unit, there’s a certain order you need to follow.
First of all, the vanity unit needs to be installed. This is because the height the mirror is fitted needs to be in accordance with the height of the vanity or sink. You should allow around 6 to 8 inches between the top of your vanity or sink, and the bottom of your mirror. This ensures they are close enough to feel connected yet far enough so as not to look cramped. It should also prevent splashes from the tap from finding their way onto your mirror.
After the mirror is installed, the light can be fitted. The light should be around 6 inches above the top of the mirror, which should put it at around 75 to 80 inches from floor level, though, of course, these measurements depend on the size and style of your mirror. If the mirror is very tall, you might find it better to use sconces to either side of the mirror instead of a vanity light overhead.
Always ensure that there is a relationship between your vanity light and mirror so that they look intentionally placed together. The best way to do this is to allow no more than 8 inches of vacant wall space between the top of the mirror and the position of the light.
If there is too much space between these fittings, they can look like they’ve been randomly placed. Installing them at around 6 inches away from each other helps to maintain the connection for a professionally designed look.