snookums2March 29, 2013

I've got sconces planned for the master bath and am wondering about your experiences with light output. I originally envisioned fabric shades, 60W max. GC told me they don't produce enough light for grooming, which I had already started to suspect. A lighting store said to do 100W. Kitchen/bath designer at a showroom was surprised at that and said white fabric shades are fine, 100W is too much. I think a bare bulb 60W candlestick sconce would have too much glare.

I'll have them on a dimmer. There's a 2-bulb ceiling fixture with white glass (2-60W) behind the vanity.

It's a light colored bathroom with light paint.

What works for you?

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 11:14

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I have 2 single sconces that are 100w each with frosted glass shades and they are just fine. I have glass shades so I can wash the shades with water over the years and not have to worry about fabric. My walls are very light colored. If the walls are dark it will suck more light out of the space I think. My room is 6.5x9.5, and the ceiling is 7 feet. These 2 sconces are the only light I have in the room other than under the vanity LED lighting for night lighting.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 2:07PM
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As long as you're using a dimmer, I would probably put the max allowed by the sconces that you choose. Sconces with fabric shades will usually take lower wattage bulbs than those with glass shades so I'd watch the specs carefully. I agree with you that bare/clear bulbs, either candlestick or regular, give off too much glare for grooming.

We have a pair of candlestick bulbs under ivory fabric shades on each side of the vanity in our powder room. I'm not sure what the wattage is, perhaps 40/bulb (80 per side) but it's possible it's as low as 25 watts per bulb. It's fine for a powder room but wouldn't be sufficient at a primary mirror.

In our master, I have 60 watt bulbs in the frosted glass sconces on either side of the mirrors. My vanity also has a mini recessed can in the valance. Altogether, I feel that I've got plenty of light for grooming. Without the can, I would have gone to 75 watt bulbs. My husband has the same wattage in his sconces but doesn't have a light in his valance and the light is sufficient for his needs. We also have a couple of frosted glass ceiling fixtures that have either 60 or 75 watt bulbs in them. In our water closet, we have a 2-light fixture centered over the mirror with 60 watt bulbs. These are downward lights which give off plenty of light. It also helps that we have a solatube in that room.

All of my bathroom lighting, and for that matter, all of the lights in my house are on dimmers!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 2:16PM
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My sconces are on dimmers too, though I never use it. I am glad I put it on a dimmer just for those times where I want a low light, but so far the low light has been my LED strip - which is also on a dimmer :)

I like the setup that Treasure has with the can within the valance along with the sconces.

Treasure, how big is your mini recessed can, wattage and diameter. I would like to do something like that with my future remodel plan. Do you have the can on its own switch, separate from the sconces?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 3:28PM
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Thanks, enduring. I'll have to check with my husband on the wattage but the mini can is about 2 1/2" diameter (4" diameter including the outer metal trim ring) It is on its own dimmer switch, separate from the sconces.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Is your light on a gimbal (I think that might be what it is called)? Meaning that it swivels. Is it LED?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 4:42PM
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Can you please tell us more about your under vanity LED lighting? It sounds cool.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 7:23PM
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Ok, I had the electrician wire for LED at my vanity and above the vanity, where the mirror would go. I bought 24" LED strips that were waterproof x 2 from "Elemental LED". The wire was brought through my wall where the vanity would be. I tiled accordingly. To hook up the strip LED, I used the fastening clips and tacked it to the bottom shelf of my vanity. When the carpenter fitted the vanity into place I hooked up the strip to the wire (there are nice connections). Voila, there was light. The mirror portion had a connector coming out of the wall, off center, where the mirror was to go. I fashioned a disk of plywood that was 1/4" thick I think. I primed and painted it. I mounted the disk to the wall. I then wrapped the other 24" strip around the sized disk and fastened it, and connected it to the power. Then I mounted my mirror over this. The goal was for the light to shine out around the mirror. But it doesn't do that so well. The mirror's edge is just too close to the wall. I get some light though. The most light is from the under the shelf. It cast a soft light across the floor. It is good for night lighting.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:21PM
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Thanks for the detailed description enduring. I bet it looks great!


    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 9:17PM
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I'd post a pic but then I would be giving away another picture before my REVEAL :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:10PM
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Enduring, our mini can is a halogen. I believe it pivots slightly in one direction.

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your vanity and mirror. We're backlighting the mirrors in our guest/son's bathroom so I'm interested in your experience. Ours are on a wall that has stacked slate tiles so we're building up the backing to put the backs of the mirrors about 1" off of the slate. Hopefully, the light will be right to highlight the texture of the slate.

This post was edited by treasuretheday on Fri, Mar 29, 13 at 22:30

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:27PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Thanks for this post. We are trying to determine lighting for our remodel. Currently we have (1970's) Hollywood lights 12 of them, 40W ea. frosted bulbs across the top of our mirror, which is about 80" across. Sunlight!

All these new LED and halogen lights are confusing and now we're trying to determine "lumens". Wishing for the good old days when you could just change the wattage of the bulb of any fixture to get the right light.

Enduring- Looking forward to the big "REVEAL".


    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 11:33PM
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Babka I have linked a couple of lighting threads from the kitchen forum that i had saved. In particular "Davidahn" has some comments. I didn't read them closely but saved them to "my clippings" for later use.

Pendant Lighting?

Kitchen lighting - size of recessed LED cans


    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 8:48AM
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Thanks for the lighting descriptions. I might go to 100W glass shades to be safe, but still am not finding size/style/price combos that work for me.

Does anyone have just 60W light fabric shaded sconces used for grooming? (When there's an overhead light). The vanity is between two full depth towers and it seems to have a good bit of light reduction than the center of the room. I'll have to prop a mirror to check how the light falls there without sconces.

The fabric shades would be 60W, as high as they go. It's a light bathroom with off white walls.

This is an older small standard sized bath.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sun, Mar 31, 13 at 11:28

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 11:27AM
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I'd personally not want 60 watt for each sconce. I love my 100watts x2. And I'd not want fabric shades either because of dust. I'd probably find toothpaste on them too.

My shades throughout my house are something that I've always hated. I love glass, because you can wash it. We live in the country and I can get flies in the house because of our livestock nearby. Flies love to sit on shades and "poop". I just hate it! They sit other places too :( so I love washable surfaces.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:43AM
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" Flies love to sit on shades and "poop".

lol, that's funny! I've never heard of that. Spider poop is annoying too.

I think you're right. I don't think there's enough light around the mirror, so the shaded 60W will just not be enough. It's hard to accept. I see some that would work and I'm tired of looking, lol.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:26AM
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You know, I didn't see before that you had overhead light available. I wonder if 60watt x2 would be enough then. I really don't know. My room is 9.5x6.5 and with 7'ceilings. The 100watt x2 seems to be enough for me. But I don't have a ceiling light - and you do.

I've included an image of my lighting. It is taken tonight and it is dark outside. I have the flash off on my camera. I think it is pretty good representation of the light output of my 100watt bulbs on the 2 sconces on either side of the mirror:

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:11PM
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Thank you for the photo, plant lady, lol. I think I will do some experiments.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:18AM
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