The Complete Bath Light Sizing Guide

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The humble, hard-working bathroom plays host to many things: the start of your day, the end of your day, makeup application, outfit checking, minor first aid…a space that does so much deserves great, correctly-sized lighting.

There are 2 different ways to light a bathroom vanity, so we’ll show you how to get the right size for both of them. That way, you’ll be able to find lighting that works perfectly, looks great and won’t need to be returned!

Our bath light sizing guide is here to help.

First, identify which way you light your vanity or want to light it. Do you have a bath vanity bar, which goes above the mirror, or do you have sconces, which go on either side of the mirror?

Bath vanity bar sizing

If you need or want to use a bath bar over your bathroom mirror, measure how wide your mirror is in inches. That number is your limit for the width of a light to go over it, though many people choose a light that is about 75% of that number.

So if your mirror is 42 inches wide, then 75% of that is 31.5 inches.

Bath sconce sizing

If you need or want to use sconces that flank either side of your bathroom mirror, place them about 36 to 40 inches apart (though, if you have a tight space, you can bring them in a little closer—about 28 to 30 inches apart) and mount them at eye level, which is about 65 inches above the finished floor.

Picking out how tall your sconces should be is based on the approximate size of your bathroom:

  • In small bathrooms, try sconces around 12 inches tall.
  • In mid-size bathrooms, try sconces that are around 18 inches tall.
  • In large bathrooms, try sconces that are 19 inches tall or even taller.

Other bath light sizing

If your bathroom is large enough to support an ambient overall light along with vanity lighting, great! This creates an opportunity to have multiple layers of light, which is always a good thing.

Depending on the size of the bathroom and how tall the ceiling is, you may consider using a ceiling mount, a chandelier or a pendant as your ambient light.

First, measure the width and length of the bathroom in feet. Then, add the two numbers together. What you get will be a good size, in inches, for a chandelier, pendant or ceiling mount.

Let’s say you have a bathroom that is 8 feet by 8 feet. A 16-inch wide chandelier will work there.

If you’re using a pendant or chandelier, you should also find a good height for that fixture. Multiply the room’s height in feet by both 2.5 and 3. You’ll get two numbers that equal a good range for chandelier heights in inches.

Let’s say that your 8 foot by 8 foot room has a 9 foot ceiling. That room’s chandelier height range is between 22.5 and 27.

Hang your chandelier or pendant 7 feet above the floor. Tall ceiling? Use longer lengths of chain or downrod to ensure the fixture isn’t up too high!

Things to consider

If you’re dreaming of hanging a chandelier over your soaking tub, know this: The National Electric Code requires 8 feet between the highest point of your bathtub’s walls and the lowest point of the chandelier. You may also have local building codes that restrict or even ban this practice. If your heart is set on a bathtub chandelier, talk to a licensed electrician who knows the rules for your area.

While the entire bathroom can get misty, especially after a shower, that small amount of water is not the same as constant, direct exposure to water. So, it does not pose a risk to bath light fixtures.

Need some bath light sizing advice? Comment here, call us at 1-866-688-3562 or email [email protected]!

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