Sufficient Lighting for a Master Bathroom
The question is not whether two ceiling-mounted fixtures will offer "enough light" for a master bath, but whether that approach is "enough" period, says our expert.
 
bathroom lighting
Recessed lighting over a vanity will visually age a person by 15 to 20 years. Don't do it!
I am planning to install two ceiling-mount fixtures in my master bath. Each fixture will accommodate 100W. Do you feel that this will be a sufficient amount of light?

You know how I feel about trying to make one type of light fixture do all of the work. This is the master bath, your very special and personal domain. Do you really want to be back-lit by 200W of light when looking in the mirror? Your face will be in silhouette, like on a news program where they are trying to protect your identity.

Install a pair of vanity lights, flanking the mirror, mounted at 5 feet 6 inches above the finished floor. This will provide even task lighting for your face. I'm fine with you keeping the two ceiling-mounted fixtures, but I am recommending that you put them and the sconces on dimmers. No one needs to be blasted with light, especially first thing in them morning. Finding that stray false eyelash attached to your shoulder is horrifying enough.

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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