Height of bathroom sconces...

patty_cakesJanuary 5, 2008

If you've had wall sconces installed on side walls, how did you determine how high up fron the vanity top they should be? I'm slightly over 5' and don't want them too low, but don't want them ridiculously high either, which seems to be what i've seen the majority of times. Also, how far in, from the back wall/mirror? It's a semi-custom build, but obviously not something the builder has done before.

I appreciate anyone who can help me with this little problem. I posted over on the bathroom forum and so far haven't received any responses. ;o(

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sue36

The general guidelines is the sconce should be at eye height for someone approx. 5'7". I set all my sconces slightly higher.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 2:52PM
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dyhgarden

What Sue said is what we did (and I'm 5'8", DH is 6').

And...this is why I have my sconces (each side of the mirror) point UP, not down in my eyes. :-)

Cameron

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 3:41PM
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patty_cakes

I'm assuming that's 5' 7" from the floor. Do you think 5' 6"/5' 5" would be okay since i'm shorter? How far *in* did you put them? If you installed them on a 3' wall did you center/further back/forward? Even though they're more decorative than functional, I would like them placed in a spot that help's when putting on make-up.

I'll be having a a chandlier in the center of the room with pot lights when I need more light. Did anyone install lights above the mirrors also? I'm not planning to, as I feel that's too many lights. If you did, how does it look? Do you have a picture?

Thanks Sue and wonbyherwits. I appreciate all the help I can get, and feel this is the best place for answers as most of you have built/are building.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 4:28PM
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brutuses

Trish, you're asking questions and I have to call DH and ask him to take measurements so I can answer.LOL He loves that when he's in the middle of trying to build!!

Anyway, our sconces are 66" from the floor. I'm 5'4" and the fixture doesn't glare in my eyes. The master has the sconces on the side of the vanities and they are 15" from the back wall.

I had to laugh when you asked if what you are planning is too much light. Honey, people will need sun glasses if they turn on all the lights in my master bath. LOL I went a bit crazy.

I have 1 single sconce on each wall on the sides of the vanities, a double sconce in the middle of the two mirrors, a chandellier centered in the room, a light/fan combo both over the shower and the whirlpool tub. I was going to put a recessed over the toiti as I did in the guest bath, but thought it would be overkill. As of now I have about 1000 watts of light in the master bath. LOL I have them all on seperate fixtures and the chandi and sconces are on dimmers so the light can be controlled. I think that's the important thing when you have lots of different kinds of light. The key is to be able to control the intensity so as to set the mood! Listen to me, I build one house and I'm an expert in lighting. LOL I opted not to put any lights over the mirrors because I keep reading it casts shadows.

I can take a photo of the rough-in to show the placement of the sconces if you'd like.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 4:43PM
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amyks

I just measured, and we did 68 inches from the bottom of the sconce. I'm sure there are many right answers, good luck with this one!

Amy

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 8:54PM
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bj_inatlanta

The "rule" I keep seeing (NKBA, too, I think) is 66 inches above finished floor. That's supposed to put the light source (bulb) centered at the average user's eye level. Is it YOUR eye level? LOL! Measure you and consider where the bulb is in your fixture. Electrician ought to be able to work from there.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 11:00PM
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amyks

bj, is that you!?! Where have you been? Good to see you:-))))

Amy

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 11:13PM
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bj_inatlanta

amyks: Me in the flesh. Got contract work in the Middle East that ended Dec. 31. For the moment I'm more freed up and thought I'd catch up on things here. And, I hope, with my own build-to-be that came to a screeching halt due to the work.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 10:35AM
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coffeehaus

According to "Lighting Design Lab", you normally want the center of the fixtures at about 66 inches above the finished floor and at least 30 inches apart, but with the proviso that these specs would vary according to the size/shape of the room and the fixture. From the reading that I've done, and I am by no stretch any expert, you want the light slightly above eye level.

Here is a link that might be useful: Designing a lighting plan

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 11:48AM
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brutuses

coffeehaus, glad to see that 30 inch rule as that's about how far mine are in the foyer due to the position of the doors opening. I didn't have to worry about the distance for others as they are on fireplace and well over the recommended distance apart.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 12:58PM
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coffeehaus

brutuses, that 30 inch rule applies to bathroom vanity lighting, I think, because you are locating it for task lighting, e.g. shaving, makeup, etc. For other locations, like your foyer, I'm not sure that it's as important, unless you want to apply your makeup in the foyer. On second thought, that's not a bad idea, for those mornings when I'm running late!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 1:42PM
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brutuses

Oh, I'm not sure the distance mine are in the bath but they look like they are close enough to me and each other to provide adequate light.

That makes sense if you have a huge vanity with only one center sink. You wouldn't want the sconces at each end and none in the middle to give you light where you need it for doing tasks such as putting on make up.

I'm glad to know I can apply my makeup in the foyer though. LOL

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 5:59PM
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brutuses

Oh, I'm not sure the distance mine are in the bath but they look like they are close enough to me and each other to provide adequate light.

That makes sense if you have a huge vanity with only one center sink. You wouldn't want the sconces at each end and none in the middle to give you light where you need it for doing tasks such as putting on make up.

I'm glad to know I can apply my makeup in the foyer though. LOL

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 6:00PM
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jotaylor6

I have read all of these posts. Most of you all said that a sconce is 66" from the floor. Does this mean from the floor to the socket? I need a little more information too. If I want to put them on either side of a 24" mirror how far away from the mirror should they be? What does 15" from the back wall mean?
Thanks for any help.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 4:09PM
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arisyap

hi there! I've read somewhere that the best height for a wall sconce is the one that allows most of the people living in the house to enjoy the lighting from their normal positions without suffering glare from an exposed source (the bulb). So you can decide if that 66" would be from the socket or what. As long as all your family members, regardless of stature, get adequate task light.

Here is a link that might be useful: bathroom lighting

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 3:06AM
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eagleswings

Thanks for all this information. We are adding two sconces in our turn of the century American Foursquare home bathroom. However they will be going on each side of a window, just for added lighting.

These nice sconces can go UP or DOWN....which is the most preferable and why.
Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2014 at 12:30PM
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