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Selecting the Best 48 Inch Vanity Light – Crucial Factors to Consider

Bathroom vanity lighting is a vital consideration when doing home renovations. A light above your vanity mirror can let you avoid frustrations when preparing for the day. Vanities vary in size and design, and today we will discuss a 48-inch vanity.

If you have this vanity or are about to install it, you should know the best 48 inch vanity light to buy. A 48-inch vanity is one of the most prevalent choices among homeowners.

Hence, it offers versatile designs, including single sink and double sink styles.

Vanity lighting for a 48-inch sink depends on the sink type and mirror size. A double-sink vanity goes well with two lights above each sink. Sconces look great on either side of a single-sink vanity. 

Want to learn more about the best lights to use over a 48-inch vanity? Proceed to the paragraphs below.

How Long Should a Light be Over a Vanity?

Vanity lighting options vary depending on the size and layout of your bathroom. How long a light should go over the vanity mirror can vary based on its type.

You can choose from globe, cage, bar, tube, or shaded light. Any light fitted above the vanity mirror should be 1/3 of its width. In short, it should not be longer than the mirror.

How We Choose 48 Inch Vanity Light


First, a 48-inch vanity, also called a 4-foot vanity, is a perfect choice if you have adequate bathroom space to fit it. As it is wide and can feature two sinks, a 48-inch sink is suitable for a shared bathroom.

Additionally, a 4 feet vanity can have more storage cabinets and drawers or a few ones depending on your storage needs.

When selecting the best 48-inch vanity, the most crucial considerations are storage and lighting.

We will concentrate more on the 48-inch vanity lighting. People have tastes and preferences when selecting the best bathroom lighting.

Some use only the vanity lighting while others prefer to combine it with other fixtures. Vanity lighting is more popular because it can be a task, ambient, and accent light at once.

When buying the best vanity light for a 48-inch sink, consider the following:

01. Size:

When choosing a lighting fixture, make sure it is about 1/3 of your 48-inch vanity. If you decide to install a multi-layered lighting fixture with up to four lights, ensure its width is the size of the vanity or narrower.

Suppose you have a single sink and want to install sconces on either side of the vanity mirror.

Sconces should be eighteen inches tall or shorter. If you have a small bathroom, select one-foot-tall sconces.

02. Number of lights:

How many lights should you fix over your vanity? One way to know the answer is to assess the design of your 48-inch vanity.

Does it have a broader countertop than other options of the same size? If so, choose a fixture with two to four lights and ensure that it is not more than 4 feet wide.

Do you have a double sink vanity? If yes, create a more symmetrical look by mounting one light style over each sink.

03. Style is Concern:

Just as the size of vanity light varies, styles do as well. As there are many styles, you can find those that suit your tastes and preferences. Some of the most common vanity lighting styles include:

  • Farmhouse
  • Bronze
  • Gold
  • Black
  • Rustic
  • Brushed nickel.

From the above styles of vanity lights, select the one that matches your overall bathroom theme.

Having a single bathroom theme is okay, but feel free to mix and match things. If the preferred finishes contrast each other, use them.

04. Location: 

Will you fix the lights above your vanity mirror or on either side? An overhead light is not always the best selection because it can create shadows that make some tasks frustrating.

If you cannot cope with that, an alternative is to fix sconces on either side of your vanity mirror.

If you select wall sconces, ensure that you leave a distance of sixty to seventy inches between the base of the sconces and the floor.

Leave a gap of twenty-eight to thirty inches between two sconces. Besides illuminating your bathroom evenly, the sconces will accentuate other features.

05. Light types and bulb styles

As we hinted earlier, suitable lights for any vanity size vary in shape and design. Hence, select the best vanity lights based on your design expertise and taste.

From globe to the cage to tube lights, you have more options than you imagine. You will also find vanity light bulbs in different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles.

When choosing the best, consider your budget size, energy efficiency, and the amount of light you require around your 48-inch vanityDistinct options at your disposal include:

  •  LED bulbs – If you need more efficient light bulbs, choose Light-emitting diode bulbs. LEDs are energy-efficient and can provide any extent of brightness and color temperatures you like. Although LED lights offer better performance and several designs, they have technical specifications. These vary widely. So, focus on CRI (Color Rendering Index) and color temperature ratings (Kelvin ratings). A higher CRI of ninety or more is the best choice because it will deliver light properly to the eye. If you apply makeup on your face, your skin should look closest to its natural tone in the mirror. A higher CRI LED light will ensure it. Color temperature on a Kelvin scale refers to the level of light warmness or coolness. Choose a color temperature range of 2700K to 3000K.
  • Halogen – Similar to incandescent bulbs, halogen lights have existed for years. If you want slim lights for your 48-inch vanity, choose halogen bulbs. But make sure you add these bulbs to a fixture that can function with them.
  • Globe – If you want more stylish lighting options, you can select globe lights. Globes cover exposed bulbs or bright lights. Besides being functional and stylish, globe lights protect the bulbs they cover from dust and damage. 
  • Edison bulbs – Do you like antique lighting fixtures? Edison bulbs are an option. Edison bulbs have a twisted filament within them and a tapered design. Most people find them attractive and combine them with globe sconces or tube lights.
  • Incandescent – We all know what these bulbs look like as they have existed for decades. If energy efficiency is less of a concern than durability, then incandescent bulbs are a perfect choice.

What Size Light Fixture Fits Your 48-inch Vanity?

As you select the perfect 48-inch vanity light, consider the size. Since you already know the width of your vanity mirror, picking a matching light should be easy.

According to the ALA (American Lighting Association), your vanity light fixtures should be a third of the mirror width.

Never make the light wider than the mirror because that can ruin your bathroom décor. If you must decorate a double-sink 48-inch vanity, or a vanity with a wider countertop, use a multi-layered light.

There are unique configurations with two to four lights. So, ensure that your multi-light fixture is about three quarter the mirror’s width.

As we earlier mentioned, two similar lights can look good above each sink when your vanity has two sinks.

Besides the size, consider spacing between lights and their distance from the floor. If you opt to install a light fixture above the vanity, leave a seventy to eighty inches gap from the floor.

How many lights to place over the double vanity?

Do you own a double 48-inch vanity? If yes, you will have to install more than one lighting fixture.

Whether you decide to hang pendants or fix sconces along the length of your cabinet, or over the mirror, ensure there is at least one fixture per sink.

Globe-shaped sconces look elegant over the mirror and provide adequate light under the two sinks.

Many lights are adequate for a shared two-sink 48-inch vanity because they can save time.

Each bathroom user can have a space in front of the mirror to ensure they spend less time getting ready for work. If you have not yet chosen your double-sink vanity, ensure it has a perfect design.

For instance, select a double-sink vanity with a traditional walnut finish. Another alternative is a two-sink vanity with a smaller size but adequate countertop space.

If this sink has a travertine or granite countertop combined with vintage dark-toned cabinets, it even more elegant. Do you need a clean look?

Go for an antique dual sink bath vanity with a contemporary finish and adequate storage.

No matter the kind of double vanity you have or plan to buy, consider the best type, number, and size of light to use over the vanity mirror.

4- Feet Bathroom Vanity Lights

We have been discussing the best types of lighting fixtures to use on your 4 feet (48-inch) vanity. Whether you have it already or plan to mount it soon, a 4 feet vanity is easy to adorn with lights.

First, get familiar with the ALA’s recommendations. Next, choose lights based on the number of bathroom users you have and the number of lights you need.

Moreover, the vanity design itself matters when selecting lighting fixtures. For instance, a single-sink vanity only requires lights on each side of the mirror.

A double sink vanity requires at least one fixture above each sink. When the vanity countertop is broad, you need to install a multi-layered light with two to four lights.

Our takeaways section below summarizes the key points of the bathroom lighting process.

Key Takeaways

  • Unless you cannot skip overhead vanity lighting, do not choose it. We noted that this type of light creates shadows that can make the make-up application and other morning routines difficult.
  • When you have less space on the wall to mount your vanity lights, fix them on the mirror’s surface. Nevertheless, take care not to break the mirror.
  • Ensure that your best lighting fixture is not wider than the mirror. Always follow the ALA’s lighting size recommendations.
  • If you want to avoid fixing sconces on either side of the mirror, hang pendant lights instead. They do not use a wall mount.
  • One way to diffuse bathroom light without inviting shadows is to use a globe or frosted bulbs.
  • Try fixing sconces perpendicular to the sink if you own a half-bath.
  • You need up to 1600 lumens for your vanity lighting. If your fixture has a built-in LED light source, you require a lower output of 1200 lumens. But when using an incandescent light, you need two bulbs of 800 lumens each. Based on this, you can select the correct light size for your vanity based on lumens. Another way to control the lumens’ output is to mount dimmable devices with a switch.
  • Consider your area building and construction codes when selecting the best vanity light. For instance, there might be a code requiring you to install wet-rated vanity lights.
  • Finally, use professional help when installing your 48-inch vanity light to avoid electrical hazards.


[More FAQs] On Vanity Lights

Is vanity lighting installation an easy DIY job? 

We do not think that the task of installing vanity lights is simple when you have no electricity and some building and construction knowledge.

There might be some modifications to do around the bathroom before installing the lights. Besides, any electrification work is hazardous and requires a proper understanding of all rules.

We suggest hiring an expert interior bathroom designer to take care of the process.

How crucial are numbers when installing bathroom vanity lighting? 

Numbers matter when fixing your vanity light fixtures. For instance, if you have a dual sink vanity, you will require at least one light above each sink.

When the counter is wide, you need one fixture with up to four lights. And when installing a fixture, it cannot be longer than 1/3 of the vanity mirror’s width.

Moreover, the distance between the bottom of the light and the floor is another number to consider.

If you watch numbers closely, you will ensure that your lights function well and add to the beauty of the vanity.

Do I need to match my bathroom vanity lighting fixture with the overall theme?

No, you do not have to. How to decorate your bathroom is a personal decision. Whether you choose to mix and match different materials and colors is up to you.

Focus more on ensuring that your vanity lights function well to save time and guarantee your comfort every morning.


Now you understand how to choose the best 48-inch vanity light. As there are several vanity lighting choices, select lights carefully.

Focus on those that could create a functional and comfortable bath vanity. Check the design of your 4 feet vanity to know the best fixtures to install and the correct spacing between them.

Seek professional advice and installation help to ensure the project starts and ends well.

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