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Buying Guide: How To Choose An LED Mirror

By Alyson Lundstrom 

Did you know that the average adult will spend 416 days in the bathroom in their lifetime? With all that time spent in just one room, its decor is essential. A lighted LED vanity mirror is the perfect way to bring a warm and welcoming feel to your bathroom. 

When renovating a bathroom or powder room space, the addition of a vanity mirror can elevate the overall aesthetic of your project. While vanity mirrors were born in the 18th century as glamorous additions to aristocratic manor homes, today, they are now a modern essential to any bathroom decor. We’ve created a comprehensive buying guide to help you find the LED vanity mirror that best fits your decor and needs. 

Or if you have been watching HBO’s White Lotus Season 2 and inspired by the LED mirrors in the hotel in Sicily, we have you covered!

Photo: Amazon TATU LED Bathroom Mirror

Why Choose An Illuminated Vanity Mirror

Simply put, the absence of shadows created with illumination makes hair and makeup routines easier. While the trend may have started centuries ago, the mounted illuminated version of the vanity mirror is relatively new and a game-changer in personal care routines. Illumination can come in various lighting types and styles – more on this later – but the end goal is to reduce shadows while you go about your self-care routines. 

In addition to having great function, they are also a way to add instant style to your bathroom decor. Lighted mirror fixtures give a warm, bright feel to your bathroom space. The ability to customize the style of your vanity mirror also means that they can complement any space, from traditional to modern design aesthetics.

Photo: Amazon BV 24 x 32 Inch Backlit/Front lit Bathroom LED Vanity Mirror

Why LED Lights For Your Bathroom Mirror

Lighted mirrors are notorious energy users. Especially if you need to remember to switch them off when you leave the room. However, there’s recently been a seismic shift away from the less sustainable incandescent lightbulb and towards planet-forward LED lighting. 

LED lighting is a win for everybody; they are cheaper, last longer, and use less energy than its traditional counterparts. How big is the difference between LED and incandescent lighting? The Department of Energy reports that while a 12W LED bulb can last around 25,000 hours, a 60W incandescent bulb lasts only 1,000 hours and can cost up to six times the price. 

Not only do LED lights last longer, but they also convert 95% of the energy into making light, whereas incandescent bulbs can create a lot of heat, making them much more inefficient. 

In addition, LED lights come in various shapes and styles, making them a flexible choice for vanity mirror design. 

Photo: Pinterest

A Shopping Guide For an LED Mirror With Lights

Shopping for an LED mirror with lights is one of the fun parts of renovating or renewing your bathroom space. A frame type, light setting, or different shape can make all the difference in your feeling when you walk into your bathroom. 

  1. Decide On A Budget

As you’ll see below, many customizations and added features can affect the price of a lighted vanity mirror. A quality simple mounted LED mirror can be found for as little as $139, while one with added features such as touch controls can be upwards of $279. 

  1. Measure Your Space

Space is one of the most significant limiting factors in choosing your vanity mirror. Assuming you want a mounted mirror, you’ll need to measure the wall space and allow for enough room so that the unit does not overlap with power outlets, countertop trim, or other fixtures. 

While mirrors will come in nearly any shape and size to fit your needs, there is an optimal height. Hanging the mirror center at 57”-60” from the floor will put the mirror at eye level for more adult users. 

Here is a full length LED mirror for a bathroom that is for a single vanity around 47″+ in length.

  1. Decide On A Shape

Rectangular, square, oval, round, and even hexagon- you’ll find a vanity mirror in every shape. It helps to look at your bathroom decor as a whole. If you have a modern and clean design flow, you might opt for the equally clean square shape. If you have a retro feel, an oval shape might better suit your bathroom’s theme. 

Shapes help provide harmony and balance. The effect of having several side-by-side can also make an eye-pleasing impact. Consider putting several together to make a lighted “mirror wall” if your space lacks natural light. 

Photo: Pinterest

  1. Choose A Vanity Mirror Style

Beyond the size and shape of your mirror, there are many options for style. 

Framed

 A framed vanity mirror can help it seamlessly blend in with the surroundings. If you have a natural theme in your bathroom decor, you may opt for a natural wood frame. If your bathroom space is compact, you can make an impact with a colorful framed vanity mirror. 

Hollywood

The “Hollywood Mirror” is the classic addition we first saw on glamorous movie sets. Most of us associate a vanity mirror framed with bare bulbs with old-school Hollywood glamor and flawless makeup routines. It makes a luxurious statement in your bathroom and creates an experience out of your personal care routine. While these look classic, they can have just as many added digital features as the more basic modern style of the vanity mirror. 

  1. Look At Lighting Options

How much difference can lighting make? Ask anyone  who tweezes their eyebrows regularly, and they will tell you that light makes all the difference in managing the daily details. Typically, LED vanity lights come in various wattages and tones (cool or warm) to help you balance function with beauty. 

Dimmable LED Bulbs

Perhaps the greatest innovation of the vanity mirror is a dimmable light switch! Adjustable brightness  allows you to cater to the task and adjust depending on function and mood. Many units incorporate this feature into a digital “touch” button or by using a hidden dial to adjust the lighting strength. Some models will also have a smart memory setting to default back to a preferred brightness. Vanity mirrors that allow for 10% -100% dimmable control mean you can also save energy. 

Backlit

A backlit vanity mirror is a subtle lighting choice that can include a recessed LED lighting strip surrounding the entire unit or just the sides. This option creates a gentle, ambient lighting effect, leaving the mirror to make the central design statement. 

Bare Bulbs

A bare bulb choice, for example, with the “Hollywood” vanity mirror, may work best in a powder room setting. This kind of lighting says you are serious about your makeup or self-care routine and want to take time to even pull up a chair and relax for a while. In addition, bare bulbs are often brighter by the nature of their position. While a recessed lighting option, such as a LED strip that surrounds the mirror’s edges, will give a more ambient muted lighting effect, bare bulbs will create more vibrant, bright, and direct lighting. 

Inset Lighting

Another option for lighting your vanity mirror is to choose one with Inset lighting. This means that the LED bulbs or strips surround the sides or are inset in the front glass of the mirror. Like backlighting, this can give a softer feel and most newer LED vanity mirrors utilize this type of sleek, inset design. 

  1. Determine The Extras 

Today’s remodels include many technological smart features that can make even the simplest addition, like a bathroom vanity mirror, multi functional. 

Anti Fog

You won’t know how much you need a steam-free mirror until you have one. Who among us hasn’t used the blow dryer to help us speed up the defog process so we can get going with our morning routines? There are now LED vanity mirrors equipped with anti-fog settings that will efficiently eliminate the steam created by showers. In addition, a touch of a button will trigger a heating pad from behind the mirror to prevent condensation from forming. It helps to research this option, as some will only defog a limited mirror area. 

Built In Storage Cabinet

One multifunctional feature great for smaller spaces is hidden storage. For an Architect Digest ready bathroom, you’ll want clear sink and table areas and a vanity mirror with a hidden, touch open cabinet behind it can be just the addition you need to keep your bathroom looking tidy. 

Dimmable Settings

As we mentioned above, many models of lighted vanity mirrors come with a custom dimming function that will allow you to determine the strength of light for different tasks. 

Bluetooth

The musical mirror has arrived. Bluetooth enabled vanity mirrors allow you to channel your favorite getting ready list without the need for an independent speaker. This provides an extra level of luxury and convenience while also doubling as a great space saver. 

Built In Electrical Sockets

Also falling into the “all in one” category of convenience is the addition of electrical sockets recessed seamlessly into the side of the vanity mirror unit. This comes in especially handy for shaver and blow drier convenience. 

Photo: Pinterest

Whether you choose one that has all the bells and whistles or you opt for sleek and minimal design, a vanity mirror is a must have addition for any new bathroom remodel or refresh. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shapes and multiple units beside each other to give your bathroom a dramatic makeover.

For more bathroom remodeling hints check out our bathroom mirror, or the best vanity sinks or vessels sinks.