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 for more information on books, upcoming seminars and the latest lighting trends.

Leave A Comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Lastest from ask randall

I would recommend a 21-inch-diameter fixture and I would have the bottom of the fixture 36 inches above the table top. That being said, depending on... read full story
If the fixtures are decorative in nature, then 70 inches to 80 inches would be the right mounting height. If they are more of an indirect light... read full story
This has nothing to do with building code. While it is less expensive electricity-wise to not install light bulbs in the recessed fixtures, I think... read full story
The short answer is yes. The fixtures need to be UL-listed. UL tests fixtures so that they are safe. If the fixtures are UL-listed then UL will take... read full story


Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2-3 p.m. EST Sponsored by Kuzco Lighting. Register for this free CEU webinar by clicking here. Webinar Overview:Learning units:AIA/CES LU (HSW) 1.0... read full story
Sponsored by Bock Lighting, CSL, Fanimation, Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting and USA LED Lighting Solutions.   Wednesday, June 10, 2-3 p.m. EDT This free CEU webinar has... read full story
Sponsored by Emerson, Ferguson and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. This free CEU webinar has already taken place, but you can watch the archived presentation on-demand by... read full story

RL Tweets!