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7 Best Salon Lighting Solutions: Compare & Save

salon lighting

123RF.com (milkos)

Even the most stylish hair salons would seem dreary without proper lights. The best salon lighting solutions for you will have your space looking clean and bright and make it easier for stylists to see what they are doing. And don’t forget: it’s not just the stylists who need appropriate lighting. Your before-and-after pictures and even your client’s social media posts are an opportunity to bring in new customers. Light them beautifully for professional and viral-worthy results.

Update your salon stations at the same time for a true makeover.

What Are the Best Salon Lighting Solutions?

posh looking home vanity station with light up mirror Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sleek and gorgeous
  • Bright ring of LED light
  • Horizontal or vertical position
Price: $126.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
salon with chairs and backlit mirrors Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Full-length
  • Professional
  • Good value for money
Price: $269.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Two strips of vanity lights, one in matte black and one in chrome Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Size options
  • Chrome or matte black
  • Nice and bright
Price: $88.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Strip of bendable LED lighting for a mirror Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Jointed for corners
  • Good on a budget
  • Over 13 feet of lights
Price: $16.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
LED ceiling light made of rings Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Stylish
  • Remote adjustable
  • Sizes to choose from
Price: $124.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Large vanity mirror with Hollywood bulbs Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Great for small home salons
  • Built-in outlets and chargers
  • Can adjust light color
Price: $189.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White stick on bulbs for vanity mirror Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Adhesive or suction cup
  • Dressing room vibes
  • Great on a budget
Price: $19.89 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: HOMCOM Illuminated LED Mirror

    • Ring of light not individual bulbs
    • Sizes to choose from
    • Quite bright
    • Touch button means fingerprints
    • Not big enough for some
    • Can't change the color of the light
    • Doesn't dim

    This Illuminated Mirror by HOMCOM ditches the LED light strips with individual bulbs and has a ring of light built right into the border of the mirror. This perfectly frames your clients in flattering light. It’s not quite bright enough to be the only lighting in your salon but it’s bright enough for your the salon station.

    It can be wall-mounted horizontally or vertically (which makes more sense in a salon/vanity situation) and has a three-foot-long power cord giving you plenty of space to get to an outlet. 

    There are no complicated controls, just a single on/off touch button on the front of the mirror. The mirror is water-resistant and safe to be used in a bathroom which makes cleaning quick and easy. As far as sizes, the largest mirror is 31.5 inches across and 23.5 inches tall. The smaller version is 27.5 inches across and 19.75 inches tall.

  2. 2. CrossROBBIN Full Length LED Wall Mirrors

    • Elegant backlighting
    • Hanging hardware included
    • Long-lasting LED
    • Able to replace strip if desired
    • Not bright enough alone
    • Too big for some
    • Won't work with counter stations
    • Can't adjust light color

    More and more salons are opting for a full-length salon mirror like this lighted mirror from CrossROBBIN. Floor-length mirrors open up a space, making a small salon feel large and airy. They give a clean, modern look to the salon.

    These won’t work with every salon setup. If your stylist stations are larger, stationary pieces, these mirrors aren’t going to fit. But if you tend to rely on rolling salon carts to hold your tools anyway, these mirrors will transform the look of your salon. 

    The mirror is lit by an LED strip positioned just behind the mirror for a diffused glow. LED bulbs should last you decades without needing to be replaced, but if for some reason they do fail or you just decide you want a different light strip (like one that changes color) the strip is removable. 

    Keep in mind that this backlighting is beautiful and elegant, but won’t provide enough light alone for your station. It will give a warm, ring of light to make your client look amazing, but you’re going to want some brighter lights along with it. 

    The mirror measures 65 inches tall and 22 inches wide. Mounting hardware is included.

  3. 3. Modern LED Vanity Light Strip (3 to 6 Lights)

    • Dimmable options
    • Even spread of light
    • Clean modern lines
    • Up to 3840 lumens
    • Needs to be installed
    • Dimmable is extra
    • Some report dimmer not working

    This LED Vanity Light Strip is a modern and unobtrusive way to get the light you need for your salon station, no matter the size. The strip is available in four different sizes of three to six lights. The smallest strip is 21 inches long and the largest is 45.3 inches long. 

    It’s super bright too and because the bar only covers the middle of the LED bulb, the light emanates from both the top and bottom for a more diffuse glow that’s easier on the eyes than more intense, targeted spotlights. Using this Rapid Table page to convert lumens to watts, the smallest strip has the brightness equivalent of 68.9 watts incandescent bulb and the largest is equal to 256 watts. They are available in dimmable and not dimmable in case you want to save a couple of bucks and don’t need the light to dim.

    I like that you get a choice of chrome-finish stainless steel or matte black stainless steel to match the style of your salon. 

    It arrives preassembled and is simple to install, but if you’re not comfortable working with wires, you may want to hire someone. 

  4. 4. Zokon Bendable Vanity Light Strip

    • Affordable
    • Dimmable
    • Flexible placement
    • Not attractive when turned off
    • Mirror not included
    • Need to install straight
    • Can't adjust light color

    We’ve all dealt with LED light strips and the struggle to bend them around corners in any way that doesn’t look horrible so I get why the idea of a light strip that’s front and center for your clients might sound iffy. These Zokon Bendable Vanity Light Strips are jointed so you can create smooth curves with them or even a crisp 90-degree angle. Now we’re talking.

    They come with peel-off adhesive backing to secure the lights in place and they can be cut to size as needed. One strip is just over 13 feet long so make sure to measure your space to ensure it will be enough. 

    You’ve got over six feet of cord to get your plug into an outlet, so they give you plenty of room to get your cord set up going. The controls are located on the cord and include a dimmer.  

  5. 5. Vander Life LED Ceiling Lamp

    • Energy efficient LEDs
    • Provides lots of light
    • Dimmable with color control
    • Must be hardwired
    • Doesn't remember last setting
    • A little tricky to install

    If you’ve been holding out for a salon lighting design idea that is as stunning as it is practical, here is the Vander Life Ceiling Lamp. When it comes to lighting any working area, it’s hard to beat a good overhead light.

    Equal parts brightness and style, this overlapping ring design brings a modern chicness to your space that’s eye-catching without being overly distracting. 

    It’s controlled either with a wall switch or an included remote where you can adjust the brightness and change the warmth of the lights from cool white to natural to warm light. I love that it’s not just those three settings, there is a huge range of settings across the cool to warm spectrum so you can find exactly the right temperature for your space. The remote is the best way to control the lamp because if you switch it off from the light switch, it will forget your light setting and you’ll have to adjust it again.

    This is a hardwired lamp that needs to be installed. If you’re handy and there’s already a lamp connection in the space you want it, you may be able to install it yourself though the rings can make it a little tricky. 

    It’s available in three different sizes: four rings, six rings, or a whopping nine rings. 

    If circles don’t work with the style of your salon, there are lots of similar lights in square designs, contemporary abstract shapes, or feminine flower petals.

  6. 6. WAYKING Vanity Mirror With Hollywood Bulbs

    • Solid metal frame
    • Lighting is adjustable
    • Wall-mounted or tabletop
    • Not big enough for some
    • Some report issues with outlets
    • Not for salons
    • Can't be rotated

    If you’re looking for a mirror set up for your home salon station or for your personal vanity, Wayking has you covered with their Hollywood Mirror. Depending on your setup, this mirror can be freestanding on your countertop or wall mounted if you leave off the base.

    The line of 18 round LED light bulbs to give the mirror its Hollywood dressing room feel. The bulbs are included and they usually pack a few extras for backup. 

    The mirror’s features sit pretty squarely in between a personal home styling mirror and a home stylist mirror for clients.

    On one side of the mirror, there are two outlets and two USB charging ports which clients would appreciate as a place to charge their phones and for you to plug in all your needed tools. This also likely isn’t as useful if it’s wall-mounted.

    On the other hand, it may be a little too small and not bright enough for a salon setting. 

    You can switch the color of the lights from cool, day, or warm white. It’s on the smaller side at 31.4 inches across and 23.6 inches tall. 

    VideoVideo related to wayking vanity mirror with hollywood bulbs2022-08-12T12:33:58-04:00
  7. 7. Stick-On Vanity Lights (10-Pack)

    • Removable
    • Can adjust color and brightness
    • Can customize placement
    • Can run off powerbank
    • Not as professional
    • Wire is more visble
    • Bulbs protrude more than built-in

    When you love that Hollywood dressing room look but not the price of those mirrors, there’s Odaban’s Stick-On Vanity Lights. These Hollywood-style lights are strung on a white cord like many LED lights but each light has an option of either an adhesive backing or a suction up. You get both and you can decide which attachment is right for you.

    The suction cups are a great feature because they make this light set up removable. They’ll stick to anything a suction cup would. They’re good for traveling to clients’ homes if you don’t have a rolling makeup case with built-in vanity lighting. 

    If you’re setting up somewhere like fair or festival, these have a USB plug-in so they can be run off a laptop or powerbank if you’re not near an outlet.

    For a more permanent solution, the adhesive is solid and the lights aren’t heavy so you can rely on them staying put.

    The colors allow you to adjust the brightness of the lights as well as the color (cool white, natural, and warm light).

How Important is Lighting for Hair Salons?

Obviously, if you can't see what you're doing, you're going to find yourself in a lot of trouble, but we're talking about going beyond that because you can't just grab any old desk lamp and throw it on your station when you need more light. 

What Are the Hair Salon Lighting Requirements?

Going by my research, there aren't legal requirements as far as lighting but Zolmi, the popular salon scheduling app, suggests that a rule of them is that lighting in a hair salon should be 300 times greater than typical ambient lighting. And lighting over salon stations ought to be 500 to 700 times average space lighting. That's bright but when you need precision, lighting is crucial. 

As I highlighted in my Tweezers With Light feature, it's been shown that as we age, we need more and more light to be able to see as well as when we were younger. A New York Times article puts the number at twice as much light at age 50 compared to age 30.

Is there such a thing as too much light? Maybe, but probably not in a salon. 

Does Light Color Matter?

I'd love to sit here and tell you that there's a specifically best light color to have because otherwise your client might see one hair color in the salon and another in their bathroom and be less than pleased about it.  But here's the thing, you can't control what sort of light your client has in their home or their office. We're always going to look different under different lights. 

"Natural" toned light, meant to replicate daylight, is a good standard if you're not sure but it isn't always best suited to all salons. 

Zolmi points out a good rule of thumb: match your light color to your vibe. An ultra-modern, sleek white and chrome salon would look strange and even dingy with warm lighting. A homey, small-town type salon would look weird with cool lighting. 

It's a matter of taste in the end so go with what you light best. 

Buying lights and lightbulbs that are able to change color after installing them with either an app or switch are a good bet to see what looks best in your space in real-time. 

Do I Need a Ring Light In My Salon?

Need is a strong word, but you would likely really benefit from having one. 

Ring Lights are indispensable when it comes to photographing your results so if you're aiming to have any sort of social media presence (and let's be real, it's all but required now) a ring light will help you take better photos. 

What Is a Ring Light?

Ring lights create a uniform light source to eliminate shadows and cast your subject in flattering lighting. According to ProVideoColalition ring lights were invented to be used in medical professions to provide the best light possible. Now they're a must-have for all social media creators. 

Many mirror lights have a border of lights that creates a built-in ring-style light, providing a flattering glow, but they aren't a substitution for a photography ring light.

You can also pick up either a stand-alone ring light for your before-and-after photography or a smaller clip-on one. I got to test out the Littl Selfie One, a wireless rechargeable light that attaches directly to your phone and loved the convenience of it.

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