Affordable Lighting for Salons
Our expert makes suggestions for back-lighting mirrors that offer enough output and proper color rendering.
 
I have a client who is building a salon/spa and she is looking for some kind of lighting (that won't cost an arm and a leg) to back-light a couple of mirrors. They need to be bright enough and the right color rendering for makeup application. What do you recommend?

I was just working on a project with the same need. We found some nicely done back-lit mirrors that were more in the "wrist-and-ankle" price range. Take a look at the Twin Slim made by Edge Lighting. It uses a dimmable fluorescent source. On our project, we installed two illuminated mirrors side-by-side so that clients could see how the makeup appears under a daylight situation (5000K) and an evening situation (2700K). Often the makeup counters in department stores use mirrors that are back-lit with a halogen source (3000K), which is a color of light in which people rarely find themselves. That's why there are drawers full of makeup out there that didn't quite look the same at home as it did in the store.

Randall Whitehead lighting designer
Randall Whitehead, IALD

Randall Whitehead, IALD, is a professional lighting designer and author. His books include "Residential Lighting, A Practical Guide." Whitehead has worked on projects worldwide, appeared on the Discovery Channel, HGTV and CNN, and he is regular guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Visit his website www.randallwhitehead.com for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

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