Replacing the Vanity Light Bar (and raising the bar on looks too!)

Replacing the Vanity Light Bar (and raising the bar on looks too!)

Dear Creative Concepts:

Hi! We have an obnoxious, large, brass Broadway light fixture that I despise! We would love to replace it, however the hole where the electrical is is not centered over our double sink vanity. We need something with a large bar that can be mounted off center. Any thoughts?



Dear Heidi –

This is a great question!  In case other readers don’t know what type of fixture you are referring to, I wanted to post an example.  Yes – they still sell these light fixtures.  In my humble opinion no one should buy them unless they are preparing a make-up room for a Broadway theater…..and maybe not even then!

This type of light fixture is dated and not recommended

These are the least expensive option available for bathroom lighting and used even today by builders and remodelers.  They look and “feel” inexpensive and there are so many other wonderful options for just a few dollars more!

Even in satin these light fixtures aren’t going to give your bathroom a fabulous look!



Sometimes light bars do cover up a problem — like a junction box that isn’t centered.  Or maybe you just don’t have the matching paint and don’t want to have to paint the entire wall…..there are options!

Here are some great light fixtures I found quickly on  I do order lights from Lampsplus and find they are better quality than what I find in most big box stores.


Aren’t there some beautiful light fixtures available?

Quick tips for choosing a bathroom light fixture:

  • Measure the current space and light fixture – what is the maximum/minimum size of fixture works for your space?  (most fixtures come in 1-6 sconces so the same style above can be ordered in a variety of lengths)
  • Consider the metal color and glass color.  (Yes – you can mix metals.  You can have chrome faucets and oiled rubbed bronze fixtures.  Your towel bars then should be either chrome or oiled rubbed bronze.)
  • Most light fixtures are designed that the sconces can go up or down.  Be sure you have enough clearance from the ceiling — the sconces can come down over a mirror slightly if needed.
  • Try stores other than the “big box” stores.  Specialty lighting stores provide great information and often their lighting can be better quality and less expensive than you would imagine.  We are thrilled with the customer service and lights we find at The Lighting Gallery here in Salem, Oregon.  (2425 25th Street Southeast  Salem, OR 97302  (503) 364-2715).  They also can order you fixtures so ask if you don’t see what you are looking for — they are lighting experts!
  • Get help.  Call a designer or home stager to provide a consultation and help choose light fixtures.  They can help you get the perfect fixture and achieve the look you want!

Thanks for taking the time to ask this question Heidi and we appreciate you reading our blog!  I hope this helps you find a bathroom light fixture you love!




Margaret Oscilia of Creative Concepts – Home Staging and Contracting serves Salem Oregon and surrounding areas specializing in helping home sellers stage to sell and home owners to transform their homes from ordinary to extraordinary.   Services range from staging and paint color consultations, providing rental furniture and decor for vacant homes, re-designing occupied homes to managing remodeling projects.

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  1. I so appreciate this. I have the same problem as most of the women on the blog…and my bar is s also HUGE do to the fact the that sink is located on the far right of the sink, then there is a “makeup area” on the left. I’ll need a huge bar light or a very skilled electrician to do two separate lights I suppose. I was hoping for a “quick fix”, but there may not be one!

    • When there is only one offset sink and a long counter, it probably would look odd if there were two separate lights — like someone forgot to add the other sink to the counter! Adding a beautiful bar light is a simple and by far cheaper fix — I love so many of these lights that I don’t think it is a compromise to a stylish fixture and more affordable than buying two bathroom vanity fixtures.

  2. I’m replacing a 48″ single vanity with a 60″ double vanity in a 12′ by 5′ bathroom and I’m trying to deterrmine the lighting needs. I have a single 60″ mirror with no room for sconces on the the side so I’m going with a light bar above the vanity. There is no natural light in the room, however there is a light/fan right outside of the shower. Is it better to use a 4 light bar centered on the mirror so the middle of the vanity will be lit for make up application or two separate lights over each sink? If I go with 2 separate lights over the sink will a 2 bulb light be sufficient or should I go with 24″ 3 bulb fixture? Thanks.

    • Two light fixtures over each sink would be better than a long one in the middle. Not only will it look better aesthetically, it will give better light for make up purposes. Two 24″ fixtures will be a good proportion and I would rather have three lights each — better to use lower wattage bulbs if you find it has too much light than not enough light. Hope this helps!

  3. Ok, I am running into this problem right now, and I was thrilled to find this! I just took my light down and realized that my j box is about an inch off center of where I need it to be. So just to clarify, I can move the mounting bracket over to where it is center and as long as the light bar (fixture) covers the J box then I am good? In other words, the bracket doesn’t have to go over the j box?

  4. The bracket can move slightly yes – and doesn’t have to be exactly on the j box – correct. I’m assuming your light fixture base is larger than the junction box and the j box will still be covered. Hope this helps!


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