How to Determine the Number & Placement of Pendants in a Vanity

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Pendant light fixtures are not typically placed over bathroom vanities, but there is no reason why these sleek light fixtures should not be incorporated in a bathroom. The rules for pendants are similar to those for other light fixtures -- light fixtures are typically centered over the action or in the room to provide an adequate amount of task light. But unlike other fixtures, pendants can be grouped or divided to provide just the right balance of light.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Assign one pendant light over each vanity sink. If the vanity only offers one sink, hang only one pendant above it. For those with two sinks, center one pendant above each sink to offer task lighting for the mirror(s) behind them.

  • Hang two pendants evenly on each side or close together above the center of one sink. This is an option for an extra-long vanity with only one sink centered in the middle of it. Only hang small-sized pendants here; medium or large-sized pendants will overwhelm the space. If the extra-long vanity offers one sink, but that sink is positioned in one side rather than the center, hang only one light above the off-centered sink.

  • Install three pendant lights evenly above a long vanity. According to Houzz.com, apply the "rule of three" over long vanities. The two outer pendants should be centered directly over each sink, the third must be centered equally between the outer two pendants over an empty portion of the vanity. If your pendants are medium to large, three pendants could overwhelm the space. In this case, install only two as discussed in Step 1.

  • Measure at least 16 inches between each pendant. For example, if installing three pendants, position the center pendant above the center of the vanity, then move out 16 inches to the left and right to position the side pendants. This allows for balanced light without shadows on the mirror.

  • Install the pendant so it doesn't hang past the mirror. Pendant lights typically hang 70 inches from the floor, or 30 to 40 inches from the countertop in a kitchen. In bathrooms however, the height of the pendant depends on the bathroom mirror. To avoid blocking the mirror, make sure the bottom of the pendant is not as low as the top of the mirror. The 30- to 40-inch clearance is high enough to accommodate some mirrors but not all.

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