Lighting Layout & Bulbs for a Vanity?
August 23, 2006 4:54 PM   Subscribe

What is the best lightbulb layout and type of bulb to illuminate a 3 x 3' vanity area within a larger room? Since the area will be used for applying makeup, lighting that accurately reflects skintone & colors is a must. The one problem: any fixtures must have a visible cord that plugs into an electrical outlet.

Potential lighting aids available: two 36" high stands, a ton of wall space.

Humidity is not an issue, and unfortunately that plugs-into-an-outlet bit is an unbudging requirement.
posted by pricklypear to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Accurate skintone representation means that you need to use approximately the same colour temperature light as the makeup will be viewed under. Assuming this is TV use or similar, the lights will be halogen.

You can buy little 50W (or more) halogen lamps that are intended for use on track lighting or whatever and they have about as high a colour temperature as you're going to get from incandescent and they're very similar to TV lights. They run on 12V from little power supply bricks that usually have a normal mains plug on them - they're intended to be installed by DIY ppl without an electrical license.

So my recommendation would be to get a stack (say, 6 or so) of the 50W globes in their little holders, perhaps on tracks, and arrange to clamp them on your 36" stands. The power bricks can be clamped to the same stands and it all plugs into the wall.
posted by polyglot at 5:55 PM on August 23, 2006

Why not get one of those makeup mirrors that has rotating lights? I used to have one that had settings for daytime, evening, fluorescent lights, etc. Or are you doing other people's makeup?
posted by IndigoRain at 9:58 PM on August 23, 2006

The track lighting idea is definitely a possibility. There is already 1 lighted makeup mirror, but it doesn't seem to cast enough light.

If anyone knows what Sephora & other makeup shops use, that would be great info.
posted by pricklypear at 11:35 PM on August 23, 2006

These stage makeup stations might be overkill for what you want, but they can be built cheaply with plywood, light sockets, and zip cord. (The website does not support deep linking well; click on "makeup stations" on the lower right). Their comment about the light bulbs is:

"Designed for 60 watt incandescent or 15 watt swirl fluorescents. GE RevealĀ® bulbs or full-spectrum fluorescents are recommended for additional clarity and accurate reflection of skin tones and makeup colors"
posted by one at 4:08 AM on August 24, 2006

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