Bathroom light fixtures - Center over each sink or to the mirror?

aphex

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Our bathroom counter is shaped like this - With three mirrors (one on each side and the middle) with sinks at each *

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* *

Problem is, the sinks aren't centered to each side, they are slightly farther out towards the edge than center.

For the lighting fixtures, should we center them to the wall/mirror, or put them directly above the sink (even on both sides, but not centered to the mirror)?

EDIT: Sorry, the diagram isn't coming out right. The sinks are evenly spaced, but not centered to the mirrors on each side.
 
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aphex

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translation: You need to find out what I like and do it that way or I will constantly complain about it until you change it to my liking.

Good luck!!! :)
Yep, pretty much correct. :)
 

SunSamurai

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Jan 16, 2005
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Over the mirror. Just do it. You dont need your eyes to wash your hands, a female needs to see her face to start layering on the spackle.

Actually a picture of bathroom (and wife) would be better. If the sink is in the middle o fthe lights it might cuase softer light on her face and please her more.
 

krylon

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Nov 17, 2001
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Over the mirror. Just do it. You dont need your eyes to wash your hands, a female needs to see her face to start layering on the spackle.

Actually a picture of bathroom (and wife) would be better. If the sink is in the middle o fthe lights it might cuase softer light on her face and please her more.
Don't post a pic if shes a brown bag special, as inferred by the use of spackle.
 

aphex

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Over the mirror. Just do it. You dont need your eyes to wash your hands, a female needs to see her face to start layering on the spackle.

Actually a picture of bathroom (and wife) would be better. If the sink is in the middle o fthe lights it might cuase softer light on her face and please her more.
The center of the mirror is not the center of the sink though, the sink is a good 8" left and right of the center (on each side)
 

dullard

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May 21, 2001
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The only way to do bathroom lights so that things work well is like this. They should NOT be directly above where the person is. If the person is at the sink, there should not be a light above the sink. Instead, the lights should flank the person. At or just above face height.

Do you have room between your three mirrors for lights? Or do the mirrors basically touch?
 

dank69

Lifer
Oct 6, 2009
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What you should probably do is rip all that retarded jackassery out and do it right.
 

waffleironhead

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Aug 10, 2005
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Personally, I would evenly space them over the mirror. Functions done in front of the mirror are not always sink dependent. But, then again, I would just do a long bar across the top rather than separate lights.
 

Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
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The only way to do bathroom lights so that things work well is like this. They should NOT be directly above where the person is. If the person is at the sink, there should not be a light above the sink. Instead, the lights should flank the person. At or just above face height.

Do you have room between your three mirrors for lights? Or do the mirrors basically touch?
Depends on the light fixture.

Based on the OPs situation, I would center them with the mirrors.
 
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spacejamz

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
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The only way to do bathroom lights so that things work well is like this. They should NOT be directly above where the person is. If the person is at the sink, there should not be a light above the sink. Instead, the lights should flank the person. At or just above face height.

Do you have room between your three mirrors for lights? Or do the mirrors basically touch?
now I know why I look so bad in the mirror every morning....it is the lighting!!!!

thanks for bringing this to my attention dullard!
 

aphex

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I centered them with the mirror, thanks everybody. I'll post pics later tonight of my wonderful handywork :)
 

AMCRambler

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Jan 23, 2001
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The only way to do bathroom lights so that things work well is like this. They should NOT be directly above where the person is. If the person is at the sink, there should not be a light above the sink. Instead, the lights should flank the person. At or just above face height.

Do you have room between your three mirrors for lights? Or do the mirrors basically touch?
Dullard, every bathroom I've been in has the lights over the vanity. They even make vanities with the lights built right in to the top. Where the hell did you come up with this supposed "right way" to build it?

Aphex, sounds like the vanity mirror in your bathroom wasn't installed in the right place. If it were me, I'd line the mirror up with the center of the sinks. Then hang the fixture in the middle above the mirror.

I'm actually waiting on a new one for my house right now. I made sure to measure everything several times before ordering it. The fiancee wanted the largest mirror possible and I had to explain to her because one side of the counter is up against a wall, we're limited to the length of the counter top or it will look stupid. I even taped the outline up on the wall so she could see what I was talking about. The light fixture was already had a box put in the right place so all I had to do was mount that up. Now if Lowes would just deliver the vanity already...
 

dullard

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Dullard, every bathroom I've been in has the lights over the vanity. They even make vanities with the lights built right in to the top. Where the hell did you come up with this supposed "right way" to build it?
If every place has it for years, then it is likely out of style. Think about it.

Where did I get that "right way"? From recently adding a bathroom to a house and reading design magazines. Let me google "Where to place bathroom lights" for you. To keep it unbiased, I'll post from the links in Google's order from top to bottom.

Link #1: "People tend to repeat what they grew up with, usually a single light mounted above the mirror. "Anyone who has been in a bathroom with just one fixture in the ceiling or just a light over the mirror knows how unflattering a single source of light can be,"...The best task light at the mirror is a pair of fixtures mounted on the wall, flanking the sink."

Link #2: "A diffused light fixture with a soft focus mounted at or just above eye level is much better and best place for them is on either side of the mirror to throw maximum light on your face and brighten it up"

Link #3: Doesn't quite address our topic, but it says "Place the sconces so that the bottom of each glass shade is at least 6.5' off the floor".

Link #4: "Vanity lights surrounding the mirror afford the greatest light coverage and minimize shadows. Because the light is at the front and sides, there is little chance of creating shadows cast by the brow, nose, or chin. Make sure that the most luminous portion of the fixture should align with your face."

Link #5: "Installing 2 wall mounted light fixtures, one of each side of the mirror is perfect for lighting up the room."

Link #6: Irrelevant.

Link #7: "The most common mistake people make is putting recessed ceiling fixtures directly over the mirror. These cast shadows on the face, making daily grooming rituals more difficult. Vertical fixtures or sconces mounted on either side of the mirror are best for casting an even light across the face."

Those words in quotes are their words, exactly, not mine.

Need I go on?
 
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Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
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If every place has it for years, then it is likely out of style. Think about it.

Where did I get that "right way"? From recently adding a bathroom to a house and reading design magazines. Let me google "Where to place bathroom lights" for you. To keep it unbiased, I'll post from the links in Google's order from top to bottom.

Link #1: "People tend to repeat what they grew up with, usually a single light mounted above the mirror. "Anyone who has been in a bathroom with just one fixture in the ceiling or just a light over the mirror knows how unflattering a single source of light can be,"...The best task light at the mirror is a pair of fixtures mounted on the wall, flanking the sink."

Link #2: "A diffused light fixture with a soft focus mounted at or just above eye level is much better and best place for them is on either side of the mirror to throw maximum light on your face and brighten it up"

Link #3: Doesn't quite address our topic, but it says "Place the sconces so that the bottom of each glass shade is at least 6.5' off the floor".

Link #4: "Vanity lights surrounding the mirror afford the greatest light coverage and minimize shadows. Because the light is at the front and sides, there is little chance of creating shadows cast by the brow, nose, or chin. Make sure that the most luminous portion of the fixture should align with your face."

Link #5: "Installing 2 wall mounted light fixtures, one of each side of the mirror is perfect for lighting up the room."

Link #6: Irrelevant.

Link #7: "The most common mistake people make is putting recessed ceiling fixtures directly over the mirror. These cast shadows on the face, making daily grooming rituals more difficult. Vertical fixtures or sconces mounted on either side of the mirror are best for casting an even light across the face."

Those words in quotes are their words, exactly, not mine.

Need I go on?
:D Of course, you could always just turn your head and viola, no shadow. And there are plenty of over the mirror light fixtures that provide plenty of light and spread.

So, every bathroom no matter what the design must have sconces? :D
 

dullard

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:D Of course, you could always just turn your head and viola, no shadow. And there are plenty of over the mirror light fixtures that provide plenty of light and spread.

So, every bathroom no matter what the design must have sconces? :D
You just try that, you'll still have the wrong shadows from overhead light. That is, unless your face looks like this. It is about design and function. If you disagree with the vast, vast majority of experts on design and function, take it up with them. I'm just the messenger.

No, not every bathroom needs to be a beautiful and functional bathroom. I could see industrial bathrooms having no need for it. But, why wouldn't the OP want it for his own home?
 

Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
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You just try that, you'll still have the wrong shadows from overhead light. That is, unless your face looks like this. It is about design and function. If you disagree with the vast, vast majority of experts on design and function, take it up with them. I'm just the messenger.

No, not every bathroom needs to be a beautiful and functional bathroom. I could see industrial bathrooms having no need for it. But, why wouldn't the OP want it for his own home?
Based on the OP's scenario, how should he light his bathroom?

Two sconces on each side of the set of mirrors? What about the middle mirror?

Four sconces between each mirror? It's look pretty stupid.

Again, goggle all you want. Not everyone wants to use sconces and with the right over the mirror lighting, no shadows.
 

SunSamurai

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Jan 16, 2005
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I learnt 2 read the op and im going with mirror as I originally thought still. Like it matters now
 

dullard

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May 21, 2001
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Based on the OP's scenario, how should he light his bathroom?

Not everyone wants to use sconces and with the right over the mirror lighting, no shadows.
I mentioned possibilities in my first post. I asked questions so I could give more explicit details. But I see you need me to spell it out exactly without the questions being answered.

Best) From what I imagine, I'd rip out the three mirrors and put in something more attractive.

Good) Barring that, I'd put two sconces on either side of the central mirror for task light with an overhead light in the middle of the bathroom for the main lighting.

Ok) If the mirrors touch and remodelling isn't an option, then I'd settle for the over the mirror lights.

Bad) Nuke it from orbit.

There is no such thing as the right over the mirror lighting with no shadows. If you have a nose, your lips will be shadowed. Multiple over-the-mirror lights will help that a bit, but cannot eliminate it. Same goes if you have hair, a hat on, etc.
 
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ktehmok

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Aug 4, 2001
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Not knowing the exact layout of your bath (A pic would be helpful). I would recommend a single 6-8 light bar type fixture centered on the entire vanity. That will negate a lot of the shadows dullard is referring to. And it will only require one light outlet for power. An added bonus is it will cover up any existing light outlets.

The downside is you have 6-8 40 watt lamps coming on every time you use the light. But keep the lady happy. That's the bottom line.
 

Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
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There is no such thing as the right over the mirror lighting with no shadows. If you have a nose, your lips will be shadowed. Multiple over-the-mirror lights will help that a bit, but cannot eliminate it. Same goes if you have hair, a hat on, etc.
Unless you don't have a neck, you can always tilt your face up. No shadows!!!
 

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