What is the Best Kelvin Temperature for My Bathroom?

A bathroom vanity with a green plant next to the sink, and a dark gray GoodBulb logo in the left hand corner.

Kelvin Temperature in the Bathroom

This is a question we see a lot: “I purchased a large vanity mirror and I need face-flattering lights. What should I look for?”

When it comes to finding the correct lighting for your home, it’s not just the wattage or lumens that you need to be concerned with, it’s the kelvin temperature. Kelvin is a characteristic of visible light; it measures the warmth or coolness of a light source.

Understanding kelvin temperatures in lighting is important — not just to find the best light to flatter your skin while getting ready in the morning, but also to understand the best kelvin to use in other areas of your home or business.

Do you ever walk in the bathroom and notice your makeup doesn’t look as good as it did when you applied it in the morning? Or catch your reflection at a retail store and think, why does my skin look so off? If you guessed “lighting,” is the reason, you are absolutely correct!

We tend to look at several mirrors throughout the day. Our skin tone will look different under each kelvin or light bulb that is being used. To flatter the skin, you need a warmer kelvin that will enhance your natural skin tone. Look for anything between 2400 and 3000 kelvin, or labeled “soft white” or “warm white”.

You can find a few of our face-flattering lights — great for a vanity mirror — here!

Originally published Dec. 24, 2014 and updated June 29, 2020