Sconces Around a Full-Length Mirror
How wide apart should bilateral sconces be placed around a full-length mirror, and how much light output is sufficient without being too bright?
 
For a full-length bedroom mirror, how wide apart and of what wattage or lumens should the bilateral sconces be? I want to avoid the problem of bright lights right next to the mirror, which can be more blinding than useful.

I think having good lighting at a full-length mirror is very important. The optimum distance between the two sconces should be 3 feet. You do not want the fixtures too far apart from each other. Otherwise, you will not be getting enough illumination. I would recommend 75W equivalent light on either side, which would be 1,180 lumens per fixture. The light source should be shielded behind a translucent lens and also dimmable. Look for a long, thin fixture. These fixtures can be mounted to the frame of the mirror or hung as a pair of pendants, flanking the mirror. One of the little tricks you might consider is, instead of mounting the mirror flush to the wall, pull the bottom of the mirror out from the wall 6 inches and hold it in place with floor brackets. This will make everyone look taller and thinner. Unleash you inner supermodel!

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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