Sunday, January 23, 2011

Let There Be Light

I had a nightmare recently.  A woman told me I wasn't getting any younger, forced me to stand in front of a mirror and look at my face under a can light.  "See how terrible that looks," she said.  It was a terrifying experience, and unfortunately, I wasn't asleep. 

I was in a lighting showroom.

How foolish I had been a mere 5 minutes earlier when I thought I could breeze into the showroom, order some sconces and can lights and be on my merry way.  I mean what could possibly be so scary about a lighting showroom.  Scary places are dark. 

"Oh no.  This just won't work," said the certifiable certified lighting designer when I showed her the design plans.  The issue lies with the cabinet design.  You may recall that it looks like this...

See the problem?  No?  Allow me to enlighten you.

In the drawing, you'll notice there are 4 columns with sconces on each one.  The columns are 8 inches out from the mirror.  Apparently, optimal lighting for grooming requires two sconces on either side of one's face, flush with the mirror.  The way our space is configured, if you leaned in close to the mirror, the light would be behind you.  That's a no no.  You may think, as I did, that the solution would be a can light over the mirror.  That's a big NO NO, according to the CLD.  Can lights create shadows, and women of a certain age, should not put make up on in the shadows.  We need to shed light on our imperfections so we can properly conceal them.

Needless to say, the CLD scared me.  My lighting oversight had ruined the whole project, and I was doomed to leave the house looking like a clown for the rest of my life.

I spent the next few nights weeks, waking in the middle of the night, having panic attacks about bathroom lighting.  I finally decided that I had to let go of the fear, pick out the lights I wanted, and live with my decision.  So, here is what I did.  I went to Restoration Hardware, and got these pretty sconces...

I had the electrician install a can light above each mirror.  And, I had him run an extra wire in the event that I decided to get one of these...

Kimball and Young

Phew... that was a long one.  Now it's your turn.  What lighting do you have in your bathroom?  Do can lights scare you?  Are you afraid of the dark?  Are my fears justified, or should I lighten up?


  1. Hello I am anxious about lights too and evey other delema. My favorite girlfriend, with a design eye saw the plan with cans in the cieling and a pendant in front of the round mirror and said..." What, "hag" lighting?" So I am hoping my lights of choice hanging pendants (about where your sconces will be) one on either side will work. Four in all as I have two sinks. Hope fully not too busy? I chose the smallest 4" wide pendant so simple but effective.

  2. Wow. We only have cans and I admit from time to time I go out, look in the mirror of the car and gasp! Yikes. What was I thinking when I applied (or misapplied) my makeup. Must be the lighting. Will need to consult on this further with you. Are there any low cost (free) solutions?

  3. "doomed to leave the house looking like a clown for the rest of my life". laughing. rolling. not AT you. with you. you had me at clown.