My upstairs bathroom has a bathtub with no light over it, worse yet, we use a privacy curtain diminishing the light even further. This is a pain, especially when shaving and is generally unpleasant.

What kind of lights can I install, and can a light be placed over a bathtub for illumination?

I was considering also considering installing a bathroom fan, and I'm aware that some of them have lights on them, but everyone I've talked to about this has said that the fan should not be placed directly over the tub (I suppose due to winter drafts?).

What's the best way to light the tub, and what specs should I look for either in lighting or in a humidity extractor?

Bathtub picture with curtain: enter image description here

  • How high is the ceiling over the tub?
    – isherwood
    Oct 24, 2018 at 17:40
  • 2
    I suppose due to winter drafts? .... no ..... danger of electrocution .... yes
    – jsotola
    Oct 24, 2018 at 17:59
  • Certainly that too! Oct 24, 2018 at 20:21
  • i would consider running a bunch of USB powered fairy lights or "xmas" lights; most are waterproof and they can't zap you even if they fall into a full tub. You can get much lighter curtains that preserve privacy as well, that would help a lot.
    – dandavis
    Oct 25, 2018 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


Per NEC 410.10.B there is a restricted area 8' above the rim of the tub and this extends 3' to the side of the tub this is why you usually do not see lighting in this location. But it can be done with a fixture listed for wet locations. These fixtures usually seal so water cannot get in. If this is only a tub not a shower a damp location fixture could be used (not getting splashed) but I prefer the wet location fixtures.

  • Also, damp or wet certification doesn't imply that the thing won't rust before your very eyes. Look for something of high quality stainless or aluminum, if not plastic.
    – isherwood
    Oct 24, 2018 at 18:23
  • It actually is a shower, my bad. So how do people usually get around the lighting issue posed by the shower curtain? Oct 24, 2018 at 18:29
  • You can use a listed wet location fixture, for one that looks nice they get spendy in the old enclosed shower stalls years ago a fixture called a jelly jar was common these have a cover that looks like a jelly jar and screws into a seal, some have metal cages but that is not required. Because of cost many times we used to put them outside the tub but the restricted zone was extended 3' outside the tub so now to do it it is a bit expensive but can be done.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 24, 2018 at 18:39
  • I guess I've never found the need for intense light in the shower. I know where it all is by feel. :P But seriously, vanity and fan lights usually cast enough light over the top of the curtain to suffice. Shower lights are fairly rare in my part of the world.
    – isherwood
    Oct 24, 2018 at 19:01
  • So, would something similar to amazon.com/Westinghouse-6323000-Outdoor-Dimmable-Location/dp/… be appropriate? It say it is for wet locations and seals. Oct 24, 2018 at 20:14

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