Up or down facing lights for vanities?

sunnyfliesOctober 11, 2010

I need to update the vanity lighting in one of my houses. I have strips of round bulbs now that do give flattering light, but look very outdated. I would like to know the pros and cons of both up facing and down facing sconce lighting in bathrooms and would appreciate any advice. I realize that down facing sconces would not get as dusty nor would they collect dead bugs which is a plus, but do they give harsher lighting than uplighting? Thanks

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I have up in one bathroom and down in the other. Both RH stuff. I can't tell much differnce. Yes, down doesn't collect dust. But up hides the curly CFL look too.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 7:43PM
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You have a good point about the curly bulbs. Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 11:16PM
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We just redid the master bath and installed two 3 light sconces above a framed mirror with the lights facing down. The light is not particularly harsh, but we reduced the wattage and are using CFL's. There is also a two bulb ceiling fisture behind to balance out the lighting.

My sense is that upward facing fixtures would mute lighting over the sinks where I think more light is needed.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 9:56AM
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    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 5:50AM
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Thanks. I'll be using down.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 11:39AM
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I prefer up -- don't like to see the light bulbs...

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 8:58AM
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the best position for any type of lighting for tasks involving the face at at eye level (5'6").
By mounting the fixtures with the glass components facing down,the light level on the face will be greatly increased.
Use a fade dimmer to control the light level for your comfort, and the fade dimmer will lessen the sudden glare
caused by turning the light on

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 10:52PM
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We took a third approach when we redid our powder room this autumn. Our old fixture had two incandescent bulbs mounted sideways, base to base. We intended to replace the fixture, but we could not find any new fixtures that were not butt-ugly; so we (1) wallpapered the walls on both sides of the vanity with highly reflective, textured "silver" surface wallpaper (from Rasch of Germany), and (2) replaced the bulbs with LED floodlights (Feit PAR20 with four Cree LEDs) that shine directly toward the side walls.

The reflection off the side walls is pleasingly diffuse and just bright enough. FWIW, the wallpaper is this one: http://www.wallpaperstore.com/scripts/Single.idc?Number=570631&PaperGroupID=570630&LogID=6157636&Page=1

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 10:09AM
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We did ours facing down for 3 reasons. 1) I liked the look better, 2) less dust, and 3) easier for me to change the bulbs. Can you tell that I am getting lazy in my old age......

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 6:18PM
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I've been thinking abou this too. A friend of mine installed sconces on either side of the mirrors and loves it.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 12:07PM
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