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Old 04-14-2012, 08:44 AM
 
54 posts, read 126,216 times
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Default Vanity lighting - up or down?

Which type of vanity lights are preferred, when the glass shades point up or down?

This is for a main floor guest bathroom, that has no windows, so no we won't be "getting ready" in this bathroom (but assuming down the line when kids come into the picture it would be their bathroom).
I'd like the room to be bright (4 horrible hollywood style big bulb lights currently over vanity), the only other light is over the shower/tub.

So which is better for overall room brightness and functionality, and won't cast shadows over (your face in) the mirror?
I'm thinking facing up toward the ceiling, but I'd like to hear everyone's preferences/why they have what they have!
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:13 AM
 
Location: The Middle
5,208 posts, read 7,431,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R&J1016 View Post
Which type of vanity lights are preferred, when the glass shades point up or down?

This is for a main floor guest bathroom, that has no windows, so no we won't be "getting ready" in this bathroom (but assuming down the line when kids come into the picture it would be their bathroom).
I'd like the room to be bright (4 horrible hollywood style big bulb lights currently over vanity), the only other light is over the shower/tub.

So which is better for overall room brightness and functionality, and won't cast shadows over (your face in) the mirror?
I'm thinking facing up toward the ceiling, but I'd like to hear everyone's preferences/why they have what they have!
Not an expert on lighting but I have 3 bathrooms that have different lighting. My son's bath has the horrible hollywood lighting you are talking about (haven't replaced it but it is the brightest bath in the house). Half bath has lights pointing up. Master bath has lights pointing down. I find the half bath to have the less light. THe light fixture is adorable so I won't be changing it and also its just a half bath, no one gets ready in there. So now that I have rambled on, I prefer lights that point down. Also easier to change the bulbs.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:26 AM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
16,596 posts, read 20,360,822 times
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I'm looking for two of the simple, old style, single bulb fixture...
the globes are a "milk glass" with a clear portion at the bottom.
They're still the best. Anyone have a link?

OP: up and down are both needed.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:24 PM
 
54 posts, read 126,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingwater View Post
Not an expert on lighting but I have 3 bathrooms that have different lighting. My son's bath has the horrible hollywood lighting you are talking about (haven't replaced it but it is the brightest bath in the house). Half bath has lights pointing up. Master bath has lights pointing down. I find the half bath to have the less light. THe light fixture is adorable so I won't be changing it and also its just a half bath, no one gets ready in there. So now that I have rambled on, I prefer lights that point down. Also easier to change the bulbs.
Interesting... I was imagining that lights facing down would cast shadows over your face in the mirror because they are pointing down like a spotlight effect, whereas pointing up lights would bounce off of the ceiling and brighten the room as a whole.
Is this not the case? Am I missing something?
Does your half vs master have any external factors here affecting the brightness? Same amount/strength of bulbs?
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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In my current house I have 2 bathrooms with double vanities. When I remodeled 3 years ago I replaced the lovely 2' wide by 4' long recessed ceiling light (don't know what it's called but it was hideous) with 2 different kids of lighting in each bath -- vanity lighting around the vanities and then another flush-mounted light back near the toilet/shower area.

Bathroom 1 (main) -- 5x12: no window. 1 2-bulb down-facing vanity light set over each vanity plus the flush-mouht light further back.

Bathroom 2 (master) -- 6x10: no window. 1 3-bulb down-facing vanity light in the middle over a large antique-style mirror (it's 30" wide, then there are 2 12"-wide medicine cabinets out from each side wall with space in between the mirror and each medicine cabinet to the mirror's sides). The 3-bulb in the middle gives me plenty of light when I am at one of the vanities. If I need more light in this bathroom overall I turn on the back light (near the toilet/shower). This is a bit of an odd set-up but it works in this particular bathroom.

At the house I am buying, all bathrooms have windows so lots of natural light, but I will also be replacing the current lighting in all of them at some point -- they are old and hideous.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:32 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
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I personally have a "thing" against looking up into lightbulbs. I've found many bathroom fixtures can be mounted either facing up or down, and so mine are up. They have white frosted glass shades (3 over a single sink), and I find the light is perfectly adequate.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Unless you are using spot-type bulbs of some kind, the light should be fairly diffuse either way so just choose whichever looks better to you. Some fixtures can be mounted either way. I faced mine down. I don't think there are any odd shadows, or at least I don't think that it would make a difference. Tough to say. I din't try it facing up so I'm not sure how much bounce off the ceiling effect it would have and whether or not that would be more advantageous. But looking at the bulbs and all, I really don't think it would change it much either way, so it comes down to how it looks. Looks-wise I tend to like most fixtures pointing down, even though I would generally prefer not having my eye on bulbs. The new enclosed frosted CFs I got work fine in there though. Don't put a bare spiral CF into a downward-facing light that's going to catch your eye all the time, yikes. It burns.

If you face them up you'll get bugs collecting in there. It does also make the bulbs slightly harder to change.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:21 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA... where the nest is now empty!
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I prefer down.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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I prefer down also. as a side note, I talked to an electrician about replacing my super cheap lights on the stairs which currently point down. He said I'd lose a lot of light if I replaced them with ones that point up, which are more common here.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:09 PM
 
54 posts, read 126,216 times
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Thanks for all the responses, great to learn something new! Looks like down-facing wins this one.
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