This "fill-in" light serves as a substitute for natural light. It is most often supplied by a central fixture, usually a surface-mounted ceiling light. I encourage clients to think more creatively in their choices, suggesting they consider a pendant lamp or chandelier instead. Another option is "cove lighting" — rope lights hidden behind a molding dropped several inches below ceiling height — which adds a soft glow around the perimeter of the room.
A small recessed spotlight directed at a piece of decorative art or a beautiful powder room basin creates another layer of light in the bathroom. Similarly, a recessed shower fixture can be angled (most can be tilted up to 35 degrees at installation) to highlight nice tilework or fixtures and make them sparkle.
Lighting the Vanity Right
To eliminate shadows under the chin, eyes, and cheeks, fixtures should be mounted on either side of the vanity mirror (or on the mirror's surface, if it's large), 36 to 40 inches apart.
The center of each fixture should be roughly at eye level, or about 66 inches above the floor. This will guarantee even illumination across the face for grooming.