September 5, 2008, Newsletter Issue #131: Sconces vs. Bath Bars

Tip of the Week

In many bathrooms -- especially those put together by builders or others without lighting experience -- the bath bar lights over the sink provide the chief source of lighting for the vanity mirror.

This isn't always a good idea. Lighting above the mirror can cast shadows, making it hard to see the nose and chin accurately. That can make it more time-consuming to do a good job of shaving or putting on makeup.

Experts in bathroom lighting recommend placing sconces or vertical bars to the side of the mirror, rather than above. Hang the lights at about 5 1/2 feet off the floor -- at most people's eye level -- to get the best facial lighting. Be sure the lights aren't behind the mirror because you get more shadows that way.

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