Best Lighting Solution For A Vanity
December 14, 2007 1:52 PM   Subscribe

How can I add lights to a table-style vanity for best results (i.e. applying makeup, etc.)?

I'm buying my wife a vanity for our bedroom. Right now, she uses the bathroom pedestal-style sink, balancing her things precariously on the edge. The lighting in there is good, with a bright fixture on either side of the mirror and a strong overhead light.

The vanity I purchased is the three-mirror kind (the two side mirrors swing inward), with a chair and drawers. I'd like to provide some stylish but functional lighting. So it has to be bright enough, but probably not an open bulb staring into her eyes. Table lamps are possible, as are floor lamps that stand in back maybe. Electrical supply is not an issue.

Makeup stations at spas, etc. use the rows of bulbs. Am I going to have to retrofit something like that onto the mirrors?

posted by zephyrian to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The major idea for makeup/hairdressing is to not to create any shadows on the face, that is why it is so typical to have a the rows of bulbs around the mirror.

Whatever you can do to minimize shadows will be the best for makeup application. The worst kinds of shadows are when you have very tightly directed light solely from below (think flashlight under the chin on camping trips) or from above, so avoid that. Try to have light from a few different sources on the sides of the vanity, and maybe one from above the vanity. Try it out to see if you have shadows under your nose, eyes, or chin, and adjust accordingly.
posted by sondrialiac at 2:00 PM on December 14, 2007

run xmas lights around the edges of the mirror tryptich? failing that, incandescent lighting that comes from both sides -- a pair of lamps, maybe?
posted by rmd1023 at 3:46 PM on December 14, 2007

I think most of the holiday lights these days are LEDs and in any case I'm guessing they have sucky CRIs. You'll definitely want incandescent lights, as they have a near perfect colour rendering index... which is very important for a make up table. (Although if you really wanted to splurge and she works in an office with those horrible blue cheap/office fluorescents, you could have some of those on a separate switch so she'll be able to see what kind of death warmed over she'll look like in that light.)
posted by anaelith at 5:40 PM on December 14, 2007

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