BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Understated elegance and sleek modern style. Unique saber-style design provides enough illumination for virtually any space. Users appreciate the quality design.
Some felt that it appears too bright with certain bulbs. A few customers received the wrong screws.
Easy to install. Attractive, mirror-like finish complements most décor. Can be connected to additional fixtures for a variety of different configurations.
Some complaints of minor flaws. Not everyone liked the design.
Unique, industrial finish. Coffee-bronze finish and stylish design itself work well many decorating styles. Easy to install and durable for the price.
A few buyers did not like the placement of the screws or the quality of the materials.
Graceful, spa-inspired aesthetic. Painted-glass shades and brushed-nickel finish add elegance. Good quality for its price.
Occasional reports of receiving damaged products. A few buyers felt the glass shades were too thin.
Solid construction. Provides plenty of brightness for most spaces. Has a modern, contemporary style with a high-end feel.
Can be difficult to install in small spaces. Some minor flaws, such as rough edges.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Let’s face it. We spend a lot of time in the bathroom looking at ourselves in the mirror. Bathroom lighting has a reputation for being insufficient, which is why vanity lights have come to save the day.
Bathroom vanity lights are fixtures installed around any side of the mirror. Their convenient location illuminates the vanity area, giving you adequate lighting to focus on the fine details of shaving and makeup application. Bathroom vanity lights also emerge as somewhat of a gem in a bathroom, giving it brightness and dimension in an otherwise small, simple space. Choose from simple, vintage, ornate, or modern styles to either find a perfect match or give your bathroom a total makeover.
Bathroom vanity lights are compatible with LED, incandescent, or CFL bulbs, though some styles only work with certain bulbs. Given their luminosity, LED bulbs are a popular choice, especially for hair styling, makeup application, and shaving. Incandescent bulbs are inexpensive up front but are less energy-efficient. CFL bulbs are used in some fixtures and are sometimes difficult to replace and recycle.
It’s important to read the fixture’s packaging to determine which bulbs are compatible. This doesn’t always mean choosing between these three styles — you may need to get specialty bulbs. These bulbs, which are especially popular in contemporary or futuristic styles, often come in unique shapes. They can be harder to find if you need replacements, which is why keeping spares on hand is a good idea.
Bathroom vanity lights require proper installation, which can be a bit involved given the modest amount of electrical work. While some consumers choose to install their own fixtures, many hire a licensed electrical contractor. Not only can they check for potential electrical hazards, but they may also be able to place, measure, and mount the fixture far better given their experience.
Pros: Single lights and sconces are ideal if you only need minimal lighting or don’t have the space to install a multi-light fixture. They can be placed almost anywhere around the mirror, with the sides being the most popular choice.
Cons: More often than not, you’ll need to select more than one single light to effectively illuminate the vanity. As a result, you’ll need to calculate at least two single lights into your overall budget.
Pros: There is a broad range of multi-light fixtures, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. Most vanities do well with just one multi-fixture, making them cost-effective lighting options.
Cons: With multiple bulbs in these fixtures, you’ll have the ongoing cost of replacing them— which can get pricey if they require specialty bulbs. Cleaning can be challenging, especially with a series of nooks and crannies around the shades, bulbs, and mounts.
These single-light fixtures are often installed in pairs on either side of the mirror. They’re popular if you’d like to achieve a minimalist, modern look. Some styles can be tilted or adjusted as well. Sconces are also a good choice if you don’t have clearance over or under the mirror for proper installation.
Multi-light strips are essentially a series of bulbs. Two- and three-bulb styles are the most common, though there are plenty of multi-light strips with as many as eight bulbs. More often than not, they’re installed over mirrors. However, it’s not uncommon to see a pair of vertical light strips on either side of a mirror.
Bar-style bathroom vanity lights offer a clean, streamlined look, which makes them a popular choice for updated bathrooms. They typically consist of a mount with a CFL light or a shade box that covers a multi-light strip. Bar styles are also easy to clean, as they have fewer nooks and crannies than sconces and multi-light strips.
Bathroom vanity lights are made of metal, with stainless steel being the most common material. Certain fixtures stick with this finish, whereas others coat it to achieve bronze, chrome, gold, or dark brown coloring. Finishes can be shiny, glossy, brushed, or matte.
Some bathroom vanity lights are dimmable, which are popular if you need to fine-tune lighting to suit your needs. These styles feature either a knob, button, or switch to adjust the intensity of the lighting. Dimmability is a premium feature, so expect to pay more for these bathroom vanity lights. In addition, you may need dimmable light bulbs to use this feature.
Bathroom vanity lights typically cost between $30 and $400. While the price largely depends on the design, even the simplest models from high-end brands can be expensive.
You’ll be able to find decent bathroom vanity lights for less than $60. Single light fixtures come in at the low end of this bracket, while multi-light styles cost a bit more. Lights in this bracket are often simple and functional with some decorative touches.
If you’d like a broader range of stylish light options, be prepared to spend between $60 and $150. Fixtures in this bracket can be contemporary, vintage, basic, or one-of-a-kind. Some of them even are even dimmable.
For $150 to $400, you’ll mostly find high-end bathroom vanity lights. With these fixtures, you’re paying a premium from major brand names in the lighting industry. In addition to an impressive assortment of styles, this bracket includes the trendiest styles of lights.
Q. Do bathroom vanity lights add worth to my home if I’m selling it?
A. Yes and no. It certainly helps to have attractive fixtures in your home since it adds curb appeal. A well-decorated or staged home may attract sellers more quickly. In terms of adding to the list price of your home, it won’t affect it at all. However, a poorly installed fixture may become a repair buyers ask you to fix before closing.
Q. Should my bathroom vanity light match other hardware in my bathroom?
A. It’s common for homeowners to match bathroom vanity lights to existing faucets and bathroom accents. In some cases, ornate light fixtures are chosen to achieve a contemporary mixed textiles look. Some finishes and materials coordinate better than others, so be open-minded while comparing options.
Q. What’s the best way to keep bathroom vanity lights clean?
A. Weekly dusting is recommended. If you have trouble reaching the fixture, you can invest in a step stool or telescopic duster. Deeper cleaning is occasionally necessary, in which case it’s a good idea to take down any removable pieces for individual cleaning. As far as cleaning products go, each finish and material requires different treatments, so defer to the manufacturer for recommendations.
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.