Sizing and Lighting a Mirror Around a Vanity
Leave room to mount your sconces when sizing a mirror in a bathroom, says our expert.
 
I have two questions. First, I have a 48-inch vanity. How large of a mirror do I need? Second, I have two sconces for the sides of the mirror. Is it possible to hang sconces right on the mirror?

I would recommend using a 30-inch-wide mirror. That would leave you 9 inches on either side to hang your sconces. The sconces would be centered between the edge of the mirror frame and the end of the vanity. If you wanted to mount the fixtures right on the mirror, then I would recommend using a mirror that is the same width as the vanity (48 inches). You will first have the electrician install the junction boxes for the sconces in the wall. Then the mirror installer would come and measure will exactly where the junction boxes are and pre-cut the holes before installing the mirror. You can add the framing for the mirror after the mirror has been installed.

The vanity lights should be mounted at 5 feet 6 inches above the finished floor. What you want is to have the translucent part of the light fixture at eye level. If you live with somebody who is particularly taller or shorter than you, then I would recommend getting a long vertical fixture so that both of you will have even illumination on your faces.

randall_whitehead
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 and follow his blog www.lightmakesright.com 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

We are dealing with this situation on a regular basis now. Many people who were early adopters of LED products did not have the range of color... read full story
It is not possible to put recessed fixtures into a concrete ceiling, but there are a few creative ways you can approach it. One possible solution is... read full story
You do have some pretty high ceilings there. I think you should consider using a fixture with a higher lumen output, something in the 800 lumen range... read full story
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... read full story

Webinars

Sponsored by Access Lighting, Civilight, GM Lighting, Langlais Group Inc. and Nora Lighting.   Date: Thursday, April 24, 2014, 2 p.m. ET Register for free here Webinar... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Antares, Kichler and Light + Building. Originally Live: Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013Recorded webinar now available for viewing on demand.Webinar... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Kichler Lighting, Kimberly LED Lighting, Auroralight and Antares Lighting. The lighting marketplace is changing more rapidly today than at any... read full story