12 Vanity Lighting Ideas for a Beautifully Lit Bathroom

master bathroom vanity dual sink tile pattern flooring
Photo: Dana Gallagher

Vanity lighting is a crucial finishing touch for your bathroom. Serving both practical and decorative purposes, these fixtures create beautiful light that functions well from morning into night. Use these ideas to illuminate your own bathroom in style.

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Bathroom Vanity Lighting Tips

wooden vanity plants bathroom
Kim Cornelison

Positioned around the mirror and sink area of your bathroom, vanity lighting provides illumination for important grooming tasks, from applying makeup to shaving. For task lighting that's both functional and flattering, these fixtures should be positioned so they light your face evenly without casting shadows. To create a bright, balanced effect, vanity lights are often combined with other sources of ambient light, such as recessed or ceiling-mounted fixtures, or natural light from a window.

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Modern Vanity Lighting

floating wooden vanity in bathroom
David Tsay

Bathroom vanity lights come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. For a modern look, trade traditional sconces for ceiling-mounted pendants. Here, minimalist vanity lights hang down to about eye level on both sides of the mirror, providing optimal illumination and sleek style. Before mounting any fixture in a bathroom, check that it's rated for use in damp areas.

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Farmhouse Vanity Lights

white farmhouse bath with sliding barn door
Jason Donnelly

Your vanity lighting should reflect the overall style of your bathroom. In farmhouse-style bathrooms, for example, look for fixtures with rustic or industrial details. This vanity light features a wire cage design that matches the brass finish on the faucet and ties in with other farmhouse elements, including shiplap walls and a weathered barn door.

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Double Vanity Lighting Ideas

master bathroom vanity dual sink tile pattern flooring
Dana Gallagher

Double vanities typically require more than one fixture for adequate lighting. Space out sconces or pendants along the length of the cabinet, ensuring that each sink has at least one light above it. In this spacious bathroom, globe-shaped sconces line up along the top of the mirror to provide light for two sinks and the makeup vanity between.

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Small Bathroom Vanity Lighting Ideas

modern white bathroom
Dane Tashima

In small bathrooms, scale down your vanity lighting to match the size of the space. For example, a large, statement-making pendant would look out of place above a petite powder-room vanity. In proportion with the narrow cabinet and mirror, a small wall sconce illuminates this vanity from above. Natural light from the window brightens the rest of the room, so only minimal vanity lighting is needed.

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Stylish Vanity Lighting

bird and butterfly wall covering above teal vanity
Brie Williams

Vanity lighting offers a prime opportunity to show off your style. In this cheerful bathroom, antique-style brass sconces highlight whimsical patterned walls and an intricately framed vintage mirror. Monogrammed shades trimmed with red ribbon add a personal touch.

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Bathroom Vanity Lighting Placement

bathroom with green cabinets lantern-style lights and white subway tile for backsplash
David Tsay

Large mirrors provide lots of primping space and make small bathrooms appear larger, but they don't leave much room for lighting. If your bathroom mirror takes up most of the wall space above the cabinet, look to side walls for mounting sconces. Lighting your vanity from the side is a smart use of space that can also prevent side shadows while you're getting ready.

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Single Vanity Light Ideas

Wood Plank Walls blue vanity
Christina Wedge

For extra brilliance, single vanities can benefit from multiple sources of light. Because this cabinet is built into a niche, the sink area would have been too dark and shadowy without sufficient lights. Two curved-arm sconces extend out from the wall for bright, balanced task lighting.

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Bathroom Vanity Sconces

double sink blue vanity bathroom mirrors above
Jim Franco

To achieve a cohesive look, repeat the metal finishes used throughout the bathroom in the vanity lighting. Here, polished nickel sconces tie in with the shiny mirror frames, faucets, and hardware. The reflective finishes combine with the vanity's watery blue paint color for a crisp, energizing look.

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Unique Bathroom Vanity Lighting Ideas

newly renovated bathroom with black-and-white tiles
Julie Soefer

Basic wall-mounted fixtures aren't your only option for vanity lighting. For an unexpected twist, mount a chandelier directly over the vanity. In this remodeled bathroom, a brass-and-glass chandelier hangs just above the mirror for a striking contemporary statement and plenty of task lighting.

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Multi-Light Fixtures for Vanities

white bathroom with black accents
Brie Williams

Increase the brightness of your bathroom with a vanity light with multiple bulbs. For a balanced look, keep the full span of the fixture no wider than the vanity cabinet. Otherwise, your setup can have a top-heavy look.

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Vanity Light Bar

Faux Concrete Modern Vanity
John Granen

Light bars give off even brightness without visual interruption. This idea works well in contemporary spaces to achieve a sleek, simple look. In this minimalist bathroom, a tube fixture melds well with a frameless mirror and floating vanity.

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