"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
Home Page
About Us
Fireplace/Wood Stove
Heating and Cooling
Windows and Doors
Recessed lights. Track lights. Shower lights. Solar tube lights. Heat lamps
Solar tubes are also known as sun pipes, daylight pipes and solar pipe lights. With the costs of electricity rising it only makes sense to install solar tube lights as they do not require electricity to provide light.
Solar tube lights are ideal for bringing natural daylight into your home. They are great for bathrooms, kitchens and hallways. Unlike standard skylights they do not contribute to heat loss. Except for the initial installation costs the light are free to operate, courtesy of mother nature.

Exhaust fan heaters and heat lamps should be installed at least 450 mm (18 inches) away from the door swing to prevent hanging clothes or towels slung over the door from igniting and starting a fire. These minimum distances should be checked against local and national building, safety and fire codes.

Bathroom Lighting


Need more information?
Use our search box
Recessed lights. Track lights. Shower lights. Solar tube lights. Heat lamps
Good bathroom lighting is not always a high priority issue with many people but it should be. This is the room where you start and end your day and adequate lighting is important for shaving, grooming and applying makeup. You can avoid shadows by installing uniform and bright bathroom lighting. During the day the main source of light might be provided by windows, skylights and solar tube lights but at all other times you will have to rely on light provided by recessed lights, track lighting and wall mounted bathroom light fixtures.
There are two opposite views on where to place vanity light fixtures. One view is that light fixtures should be installed on each side of the vanity mirror to provide even illumination across the face. The other view is that a single light fixture with multiple lights should be mounted directly above the vanity mirror. The above mirror light fixture should be at least 61 cm. (24 inches) in length and the combined bulb wattage should be 150 watts or more.

In Canada these lights are often called "pot lights" while in the US they are better known as "high hats" or "can lights". These lights are recessed into the ceiling with only the rim of the fixture's housing showing. Light bulbs can produce a narrow beam spotlight or wider angle floodlights. Recessed lights are typically installed in new construction before the ceiling surface is installed or during major bathroom renovations when the ceiling space is open for wiring. They can also be installed as a retrofit if the attic above the bathroom ceiling is accessible. See warning below.
Use only IC (in contact) labelled and rated recessed light fixtures in areas, such as attics, where insulation will be in direct contact with the housing. Most IC housings are rated to a 75-watt maximum. If it does not have this rating you WILL have a fire sooner or later but most likely sooner.

The main advantage of track lighting is that it versatile, adaptable and can be installed at any time since they are surface mounted. Individual light fixtures swivel and can be easily aimed and pointed to provide task or accent lighting.

In most homes shower stalls have a clear glass shower door and plenty of light is provided by bathroom lighting. For smaller and darker bathrooms (as in many older homes) I would recommend to install a recessed shower light. This fixture can either be installed in the shower itself or, to make things a lot easier, in the bathroom ceiling close to the shower door.
TIP. Look for a recessed shower light with a glass lens as a plastic lens will yellow over time.

Back to Index Plumbing
Back to Index Electrical