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Light bulbs for recessed ceiling fixtures for showers

Updated February 21, 2017

Recessed lighting fixtures for showers are very popular and attractive. As with all lighting, recessed fixtures require maintenance and new bulbs over time. There are many varieties of light bulbs for this kind of fixture, and you need to select the kind that have the right wattage and will screw in properly to your fixture.

Bulbs and fixtures

With recessed lighting fixtures you can use standard incandescent light bulbs, which are inexpensive. For the most part these will be 40 watts each. Another common type is a bulb with a reflective surface on the back part of the bulb. Halogen bulbs for fixtures between 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) give out a strong light which is a bit whiter than incandescent bulbs. There are also low-voltage halogen bulbs, which are long-life, but you would need a transformer as well as low-voltage housing in order to use them. Halogen tends to be a bit more expensive.

Selecting shower lighting

Recessed fixtures can be used anywhere in your home, and should be chosen in terms of the amount and brightness of the light you want to have in that location. For a shower general incandescent bulb lighting is usually fine. It has a warm tone and provides plenty of illumination. Using any kind of halogen bulbs will produce a brighter and somewhat whiter light, excellent for reading. These can also be used in shower fixtures if that is what you prefer.

Maintenance and tips

Recessed lighting means that the bulb is enclosed, and therefore heats up substantially. For the shower you want to buy fixtures which will seal thoroughly against moisture and not overheat. Ask the salespeople in your hardware or lighting store for advice. You will need to replace bulbs from time to time and recessed lighting can be hard to access since there is not much space between the bulb and the trim ring. One method is to use a 30 cm (12 inch) strip of duct tape and press it onto the middle of the bulb. Then fold back the ends of the tape against themselves so that they make a non-sticky handle. You should then be able to use this to twist the bulb loose so it can be removed.

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About the Author

Wanda Bershen has been writing for over 20 years on Fundraising, Marketing and Planning for arts organizations, including newsletters, proposals & planning documents, and articles for leading art and film publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Philosophy from Yale University.