home lighting trends | The Home Lighter, Inc.

Choosing the Right Bathroom Vanity Lighting

For any homeowner, having precise lighting in a bathroom is the most crucial thing. It does not only optimize your vision in the busy mornings but also sets your mood. Therefore, the importance of bathroom lighting should never be ignored. It should be done so that the design and style complement your home’s interior lighting.

For homeowners refurbishing an existing bathroom or working on a new bathroom project, vanity lighting is a vital element of a well-designed shower room. In some homes, especially the old ones, they either don’t have the vanity lights or those that exist also serve to illuminate the bathroom.

Such cases tend to ignore the role of vanity lights since the duties performed at vanity, such as grooming, requires special consideration than the ambient luminescence used for general lighting. Also, for older people to see properly, they need four times more light than people below 25 years. This is according to a study conducted by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

When it comes to bathroom vanity lights, it should be taken with the seriousness it deserves compared to general lighting. Remember that bathroom lighting fixture operates in potentially wet surroundings, which poses a risk of electric shock to the user. Therefore, homeowners seeking lighting solutions in Pacific Grove should look for professional lighting consultants such as the Home Lighter, Inc. for all their bathroom vanity light needs.


What is Vanity Lighting?


Vanity lighting refers to the lights mounted over a shower room sink, on top of the mirror, or either side. The sink may have a vanity cabinet surrounding or not while the mirror may be mounted against the wall or in a part of an operational drug cabinet.

In both cases, the bathroom lighting requirements remain the same.

Essentially, vanity light is supposed to serve as a component of the bathroom lights scheme. Like in other rooms, different lights such as ambient, accent, and task lighting greatly benefit the bathroom.

Although under-designed or smaller shower rooms rely only on ambient lighting, others entirely depend on vanity lights to fully brighten the space. The second one is preferable as the vanity lights can serve as both general and task lighting.


Choosing the Right Bathroom Vanity Lights


Currently, modern shower rooms demand sufficient bathroom vanity lights. It does not just revolve around getting the correct light amount or quality; it’s also crucial to pick a stylish vanity light that complements the interior lighting as well as the existing décor of your home. Here are four tips that can help you choose the right bathroom vanity lights for your home.


Fixtures: How many lights do your bathroom require?


The vanity lights that your shower room requires depends on the layout and size of your bathrooms vanity. If your bathroom is fitted with a single-sink vanity, then it’s advisable to use a pair of wall sconces.

This helps to flank the mirror for the most uniform lighting. According to the American Lighting Association, sconces are supposed to be installed 28 to 30 inches apart, and 60 to 70 inches high from the sconce bottom to the floor. This layout helps to ensure that there is uniformity in lighting for all vanity tasks.

A vanity light installed over the mirror is the other option available either by default or by design choice. In such cases, ALA recommends vanity light fixture to be about 1/3 the mirror’s width and not shorter than the mirror itself. On the other hand, bathrooms fitted with more expansive countertops and double-sink varieties require a multi-light vanity fitting mounted above the mirror. In such cases, you are supposed to pick a configuration of 2 to 4 lights.

Also, ensure that the light is not larger than the cabinet, regardless of how they are fitted. On the other hand, you may have two similar vanity lights each over each sink, thus providing an asymmetrical look. The recommended height for a bathroom vanity light is 75 to 80 inches from the bathroom floor.


Style: Do the Lights meet your Elegance Needs?


The style of the bathroom lights that you pick is largely dependent on your aesthetic preference. Different homeowners have differing lighting tastes, and preferences. Also, vanity lights installed beside the mirror produces more uniform lighting than those mounted on top of mirrors. Homeowners are advised to skip overhead lighting if possible, especially when it comes to recessed lights to avoid shadows that make vanity tasks problematic.

For bathrooms with limited wall space, one should consider installing the lights on the mirror’s surface for as long as you abide by the measurements recommended by ALA. Also, dangling a pair of lockets on both sides of the mirror acts as wall sconces where wall mounts are not required. Installation of frosted bulbs, glass, or globes provides even increased light diffusion, which counters the vanity’s uninvited shadow play.


Lumens: What amount of Light do you need for your bathroom?


Proper installation of bathroom vanity lights ensures that all vanity tasks are achieved as you want it. That’s why when it comes to task lighting, the magnitude of brightness is vital. ALA recommends approximately 1600 lumens on the lower side for any vanity lights.

However, this number can be altered, for example, if the fittings that you pick has an incorporated LED light source. This means increased efficiency in terms of energy consumption. With this, homeowners get a lower output of up to 1200 lumens. That’s why it’s imperative to consider this when choosing your lighting fixture. On the other hand, you can go for fixtures with higher lumen output and mount dimmable fittings with a separate switch. This enables you to alter the light level according to your needs.


Rating: What Kind of Lights do you need for your Bathroom Lighting?


The light requirement that you need for your bathroom depends on the authorities’ building codes. This is also dependent on the location of your project. For example, some jurisdiction requires the lighting fittings within six feet of a shower to be wet rated. These are some of the safety measures in bathroom lights. However, these codes are not applicable in well-ventilated shower rooms as they are not considered wet surroundings.


Crucial Considerations for Bathroom Vanities


Currently, the majority of homeowners prefer LEDs as the main light source for vanity lights. This can be attributed to their energy efficiency, design compatibility, performance as well as their performance. However, with the advancing technology, superior amounts of technical specifications are developing.

Homeowners are now paying attention to numbers such as Color Rendering Index, which shows the extent to which the lighting renders color to the eye. In this case, it is advisable to pick lighting with a higher CRI, i.e., above 90. This enables you to see your real skin, hair color, or makeup in the mirror.

The other number that homeowners are paying attention to is the color temperature. It refers to the degree of warmth or coolness of the light. In this case, the coolest is the blue light, while the warmest is firelight. Kelvin scale is used to measure the color temperature. For the majority of the indoor uses, LED lighting should not exceed 3500K.

Lastly, we all know that electricity plays a crucial role in lighting our homes. However, people have lost their lives to electric shock. That’s why it important for any homeowner to acknowledge the fact that electricity on its own is dangerous.

For homeowners in Carmel, Monterey, and Pacific Grove, please pick a professional electrician such as Home Lighter, Inc. for all your bathroom lighting installations. At Home Lighter, Inc., we pride ourselves with a team of highly trained professionals who are experts when it comes to technical and practical installation issues.

We also understand all the legal requirements governing all electrical installations in the areas that we offer our services. Therefore, for all of your bathroom vanity lights installations, don’t hesitate to call us. At Home Lighter, Inc., we will not only get it done but also done right.

While design themes vary, great lighting is one thing that custom homes have in common. Lighting comes in these three main types: ambient, task, and accent. Ambient lighting is called general lighting, and it is the main source of soft light that permeates a room. Task lighting, which is often a little brighter than soft ambient lighting, is used in work areas. Accent lighting highlights special areas or objects in a room. Using only one type of lighting in a room is nearly always a rookie mistake. 

Consider some of the latest trends in layering lights, light brightness, sizing, and position that make each room in your home stylish yet approachable:

Foyer Lighting

When you aim to impress, great foyer design and decor should be high on your list of priorities. Architectural details such as vaulted ceilings and arched doorways allow you to set the tone for the rest of your home. Here’s how the right lighting can make this area into the statement piece that you desire.

Foyer Lighting – Lighting Layers

The most common lighting layer combination that you’ll find in today’s high-end entryways is one that includes ambient and accent lights. Top designers love to create drama in foyers with high ceilings by hanging pendant lights overhead. Low-ceiling spaces strike an appealing pose with decorative flush-mount ceiling lights and welcoming table lamp accent lighting. Dimmers are also popular in entryways, and they give you the option to change the mood of the room by raising or lowering light intensity in the space.

Foyer Lighting – Brightness

When replacing light bulbs around your home, you’ve likely noticed that there are different variations of light. These differences reflect the bulbs’ color temperatures. Soft white at 2700 degrees Kelvin (K), bright white at 3500K, and daylight at 5000K are the three main types of color temperatures. The color temperature that designers almost always suggest for foyers is soft white light that adds a warm, welcoming glow to the space.

Foyer Lighting – Size

Lights that are too small or too heavy for your foyer can look a bit off. For large, open foyers, consider using a cluster of pendants. A straight-line series of pendants looks well in a foyer that has a long, narrow hallway.

Foyer Lighting – Position

Place a pendant, ceiling light, or chandelier in the center of your entryway. The bottom of your chosen light fixture should be at least seven feet from the ground for single-story foyers and at least eight feet from the ground for second-story foyers.

Kitchen Lighting

If there’s one place in your home that marries beauty and function, it’s your kitchen. Kitchen lighting must be bright enough to support safe food preparation but soft enough to welcome friends and family. Here’s how to pull off a fabulous lighting system in your kitchen.

Kitchen Lighting – Lighting Layers

Defining your kitchen lighting system is not for the faint of heart. Recessed lights are the go-to ambient lights for contemporary and traditional kitchens. Track lights or decorative pendant lights serve as task lighting over sinks, kitchen tables, and islands.

Kitchen Lighting – Brightness

Recessed lights or accent pendant lights call for soft white color temperature bulbs. Task lights that must illuminate cutting boards, sizzling skillets, or recipe writing should have daylight bulbs.

Kitchen Lighting – Size

Choose kitchen lights that match your space and functional needs. If you have a large kitchen island that doubles as a food preparation and kitchen seating area, you’ll want to install a series of large pendant lights above the island. Consider dimmer-style pendants in this instance so that you can increase the brightness for food preparation and decrease it during meal times.

Kitchen Lighting – Position

When using pendant lighting in your kitchen, leave at least 30 inches between the bottom of the light fixtures and the surface of your island or table. LED task lights in the form of strip lights, puck lights, and recessed lights are also used under cabinets to illuminate counter space. Install toe-kick lighting under cabinets and at the base of islands to make your kitchen safer for midnight snackers.

Dining Room Lighting

Formal dining rooms are making a comeback according to interior designers who watch the latest trends. Many people want a separate, elegant space that allows them to focus on savoring special meals while conversing with guests. If you’re blessed enough to have a formal dining room, illuminate the space with well-chosen lights.

Dining Room Lighting – Lighting Layers

Dining rooms don’t multitask as kitchens do. As a result, dining room lighting is less complex than kitchen lighting plans. You’ll want a chandelier or a pendant that gives off dimmer-controlled ambient light in the room. Decorative sconces and table lamps are popular accent lights in today’s dining rooms.

Dining Room Lighting – Brightness

The color temperature in dining room lighting is nearly always soft white. Dining rooms are ideal spaces for dimmer lights that can set the mood in the space and make it look more elegant and sophisticated.

Dining Room Lighting – Size

The size and shape of your primary source of ambient light are largely based on your room’s size. Decorative sconces will vary in size and shape based upon the object that they surround.

Dining Room Lighting – Position

Your dining room’s ceiling light should be centered above your dining table. If you have a chandelier or pendant, you’ll place it at least 30 inches above the surface of the table. You’ll want to place pairs of decorative sconces around pictures, hutches, or mirrors in your dining room.

Living Room Lighting

Whether your living room is an extension of your kitchen within an open floor plan or you have a separate space that’s dedicated to your love of reading, you’ll need the right lighting to make the space stand out.

Living Room Lighting – Lighting Layers

Depending on how you use your living room, you’ll need all three types of lights to make the room beautiful and functional. An ambient ceiling light, a floor lamp, and some well-placed sconces may be all that you need to illuminate a living room that’s used mainly for movie nights. If your living room is the hub for sewing projects and hours-long reading, you’ll want more task lighting such as track lighting, a floor lamp, or a table lamp.

Living Room Lighting – Brightness


You’ll want the soft white light that emanates from incandescent-style bulbs to light your living room. This warm-colored light is ideal for your living room’s ambient and accent lights. Up the intensity of task lights for sewing or reading with daylight bulbs that start at 5000K.

Living Room Lighting – Size

Your chosen living room lights should scale to your room’s size and its furnishings. You’ll enhance a large living room with an oversized chandelier that can either be contemporary sleek or classically chic. Chandeliers and sconces come in a variety of shapes. You’ll want to choose shapes that complement other architectural details in the room or that offer contrast.

Living Room Lighting – Position

While ambient living room lights usually shine from above, the placement of accent and task lights varies by the functional spaces in your room. Pairs of sconces are popularly used to frame focal points such as fireplace mantles, mirrors, and windows. It’s also common to place a dimmer-style floor lamp in a corner space to chase away shadows as well as provide task lighting near seating.

Bedroom Lighting

Bedrooms are relatively small spaces, so the lights that you choose for them should pack a visual punch and meet your functional needs for the space.

Bedroom Lighting – Lighting Layers

Choose a chandelier or pendant for ambient lighting that makes a bold statement and add table lamps on nightstands as accent lights. More contemporary bedrooms also look great with a set of matching pendant lights around the bed that serve as task and accent lighting.

Bedroom Lighting – Brightness

Soft white ambient light from your chosen chandelier or pendant should be bright enough to do common bedroom activities such as making up your bed or folding clothes. If you like to read in bed, a pair of adjustable wall-mounted sconces that use bright white bulbs is a great choice.

Bedroom Lighting – Size

When it comes to bedroom ceiling light fixtures, it’s okay to go big. This is especially true if your bed lacks an impressive headboard that could serve as the focal point of the room. If your room’s scale necessitates a smaller chandelier or pendant, you can still make the room bright and pleasant with table lamps and floor lamps that align with the size of your nightstands and other furnishings.

Bedroom Lighting – Position

Place wall-mounted sconces above nightstands on either side of your bed. A pair of pendants that suspend from the ceiling to about 30 inches above your nightstands also offer task lighting for reading, paying bills, and doing crossword puzzles in bed.

Bathroom Lighting

Bathrooms are some of the most used spaces within your home. While these rooms are primarily valued as functional areas, today’s bathrooms have become spaces for relaxation, pampering, and kid-friendly fun. Here’s how you can use bathroom lighting to meet your household’s unique needs for these spaces.

Bathroom Lighting – Lighting Layers

You’ll need more than your bathroom fan’s light to guide you from half-awake to fully dressed and ready to greet the world. As with most rooms in your home, you’ll need a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to meet your expectations for the space. Recessed lights are the most popular type of ambient lighting in today’s bathrooms. Wall-mounted sconces double as decorative fixtures and task lighting for personal grooming.

Bathroom Lighting – Brightness

Bathrooms typically need brighter lights than most other rooms in your home. You can achieve a good balance between mood lighting and safety-related task lighting by installing dimmable bright white bulbs.

Bathroom Lighting – Size

While recessed lights work well for small, low-ceiling bathrooms, larger bathrooms that have higher ceilings look better with decorative flush-mount ceiling lights or dramatic chandeliers that flood the space with light. Wall-mounted sconces must be sized according to your wall space and the dimensions of the vanity that it surrounds.

Bathroom Lighting – Position

Ambient lights in bathrooms are mostly found suspended from ceilings. This is true for recessed lights in showers or chandeliers that hang above free-standing bathtubs. These lights must be wet or damp rated for safety reasons. Wall-mounted sconces are best placed on the sides of vanity mirrors to give the best light to one’s face for grooming. A task light that sits above a vanity mirror is a second-best alternative if you don’t have wall space on the sides of your mirror.

Finished Basement Lighting

A finished basement is a bonus space that can be used as a recreation room, a home theater, or a guest suite. However, the lack of full windows makes basements a challenge to light properly. Here are some tips for creating a light-filled basement that everyone can enjoy.

Finished Basement Lighting – Lighting Layers

Track lighting is a popular option for ambient lighting in a finished basement. This type of lighting system offers the abundant light that a basement needs without taking up extra space on floors or walls.

Finished Basement Lighting – Brightness

You’ll want plenty of soft white light fixtures for ambient light in your basement. Use bright white bulbs for task or accent lights that shine on work areas or art.

Finished Basement Lighting – Size

The versatility of pendants makes them popular in the basement as ambient, task, and accent lighting. When you want to use pendant lighting to illuminate a large space in a basement, choose a large, dramatic pendant or a cluster of small pendant lights that are hung at different heights.

Finished Basement Lighting – Position

You’ll want to choose track lights that span the length of your basement. Flexibility is a major benefit of choosing these types of lights. If you rearrange your furniture, you can change the layout of the track lighting system to accommodate the new look.


Ready to try out some of these lighting trends in your home? The Home Lighter in Pacific Grove, CA has a distinctive selection of indoor and landscaping lights to inspire any lighting project. If you don’t find exactly what you want for your project among our collection of quality, name brands, we’ll work with you to make custom pieces that will reflect your personal preferences and functional needs for the space.