Installing a Hanging Light Fixture in a Bathroom

Is it OK to install a hanging light fixture over the tub in my bathroom? -John

The National Electrical Code prohibits installing a hanging ceiling light fixture within 3’ horizontally of a tub unless there is 8’ or more in clearance from the bottom of the light fixture to the top of the tub.

Prohibited hanging fixtures that fall inside this area include:

  • Track lighting
  • Chandeliers
  • Pendant lights
  • Paddle fans

For example if the bottom of the hanging light fixture extends down 2’ from the ceiling and your tub is 2’ high, you would need a 12’ high ceiling to install the light fixture over the tub. So in order to install a hanging light over a tub, you would have to have a very tall ceiling in your bathroom.

You can install protruding surface mounted ceiling light fixtures and flush mounted recessed lights near or over a tub, if they’re marked for use in damp or wet locations and include a protective cover over the bulb.

Good luck with your project,


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