Bathroom Lighting Bar vs Cans

happsApril 29, 2013

I have a small bathroom from the 1990s that has a large frameless mirror with an integrated lighting bar in the glass with 6 globe style bulbs.

I have read that bathroom bars with globe lights are outdated and that people are upgrading to bathroom bars with glass shades/coves that are more contemporary looking. Do these provide as much light as the old globe lights?

My bathroom currently has no can lights. I was thinking that instead of spending a lot of money on a good looking bathroom bar, I could omit one and instead install two can lights. What do you all think about this?

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I have read that the down light of canned lighting is bad for makeup application, as it cast shadows on the face. The side sconces would probably be the best over any lighting over head. I realize some options aren't available. Can you do a combo of side lighting and overhead lighting. My neighbor has the globe type bars on either side of her vanity mirror and it is mighty intense in there. I don't know how she can keep her eyes open to put makeup on :) But I bet she sees her makeup very well once her eyes adjust. That said, I think it is a dated look, so if you are updating, get something more current. Yet still functional for detail work of shaving and makeup.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Don't use recessed lighting as your sole lighting source. Replace the dated bath bars with new ones since the wiring is already there. There are lots of options to choose from: ET2, Hudson Valley, Tech Lighting, and the list goes on and on... You can look at them all and read reviews at Lumens and many other websites. Check the total wattage in the bulbs you have now and keep same if you are happy with that amount of light. Put in a dimmer switch for added elegance!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:01PM
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I agree with the others and would not suggest cans in lieu of a light fixture over your mirror. Layering lighting. both above and at the sides of the mirror. is optimal but, if you're limited by space or budget, I'd go with a single fixture. It's amazing how attractive many of the most budget conscious vanity lights are.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:22PM
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I can't do lighting on both sides of the mirror due to space constraints. Thanks for the tip on can lights. Why are contemporary bathroom light bars over $200-$300, when a larger width globe bathroom light bar is around $40? Are there contemporary looking, simple, modern light bars that put out a lot of light for around $100?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 2:09AM
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Is the bar recessed into the mirror or mounted on top of it? I'm just wondering if you really have to replace it with a bar or if you only need something with a base large enough to cover the electrical box.

You might try overstock. They have a lot of fixtures for $100 or less.

Here is a link that might be useful: Overstock vanity lights

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:47AM
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The bar currently is recessed into the mirror. I plan to install a new mirror with a bar above it that looks contemporary and puts out a good amount of light.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 4:43PM
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i opted to have cans installed above the sink area... initially was going to have a single sconce mounted on the mirror between the 2 sinks- debated quite abit and ultimately decided against it. for the most part the cans are just fine... we get quite abit of light in through our windows and we also have a chandy to turn on if it's feeling too dim.....
i really don't have a problem with shadows during makeup application that others speak of... maybe i'm just less finicky???

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 10:34AM
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I think I'm just going to remove the current bathroom bar that is integrated into the mirror. Is it possible to remove the light bar and then re-install it above a new mirror?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 7:52PM
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