The Stunning Bathroom Design Trend That Can Help Save Money On Your Energy Bill

After a month of taking long, luxurious showers, it's never fun to see the total printed on your water bill. Or, what about the fact you invested in high-wattage lights, hoping for a more seamless makeup application process? Those overheads might not seem so sweet after paying off your electricity. Because our bathrooms are spaces where we use lots of water and energy, eco-friendly designs can be helpful in reducing waste. In addition to responsibly sourcing your materials, thinking green means everything from repurposed storage furniture to energy-efficient appliances.

The Department of Energy states that 15% of your energy bill most likely comes from your lights, so energy-efficient lighting is a no-brainer when it comes to illuminating your bathroom for less money. When picking out lights that'll help you save, things like dimmers and LEDs can help. LED lights, according to the Department of Energy, can even help you save around $225 a year. Backlit mirrors typically use LEDs, making them a much more economical choice than overhead or incandescent bulbs. Backlit lighting can also be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. While mimicking the look of sunlight in a room, it's instantly complimentary, and additionally, backlit lighting is sleek, compact, and takes up less space than a clunky chandelier.

Given all these pros, it's no wonder that in a National Kitchen & Bath Association trend report, 56% of people believe that backlit mirrors are the way of the future. If you're not aboard the backlit lighting train yet, hop on.

Ideas for the backlit bathroom lighting of your dreams

A backlit mirror will cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, but you'll save in the long run because LEDs are long-lasting and energy efficient. For reference, LEDs have been reported to last anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 hours (as compared to the 1,200 hours of the average incandescent bulb) and use 90% less energy, according to the Department of Energy. Over a 20-year period of using LEDs, your average savings can be close to $4,000. But if you're feeling intimidated by the up-front cost of a backlit mirror, don't fret. Just like anything, there's a range of price points for you to choose from.

Something like IB Mirror's Dimmable Original Backlit Mirror is a higher-quality choice with a dimmer, touch technology, and warm or cool lighting options. And at nearly $1,000, the price point reflects that. However, there are more affordable options too, like Wayfair's Backlit Vanity mirror ($320), which offers a motion sensor and defogging technology. At under $200, another great cost-effective option is IKEA's STORJORM mirror with built-in LEDs. Though this product's lighting is on the frame of the mirror (versus behind it), it's still a nice mix of functionality and aesthetics — especially if you're decorating your bathroom on a budget. (For example, it's half the cost of a similarly sized backlit mirror from Signature Hardware.) 

However, even if you spend a bit more money upfront, your mirror will likely end up paying for itself over time.