Bathroom lights on a dimmer switch

Postby Phil_V » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:44 pm

In it's current setup my bathroom has the fairly usual arrangement of a single ceiling light, and a pull cord switch just inside the bathroom doorway.

I am thinking of removing the single ceiling light, and instead having a few 'Shower' sunken downlights in the ceiling, but I would like these on a dimmer switch. I know I can't have the dimmer switch inside the bathroom, but I've notice that a lot of new builds seem to have their bathroom light switches 'just' outside the bathroom door, and as it happens I too have a section of wall there that would be ideal for mounting the dimmer switch to.

What I am wondering is if there is any ruling on how far the dimmer switch needs to be away from any of the bathroom zones etc, or is it literally a case that once it is outside the room it does not matter, (no matter how far / close that actually is?)

Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:27 pm


Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:56 am

Yes out side the door is OK.
However many of the new CFU will not work with standard dimmer switch and are dimmed by switching on and off using standard switch.
I googled "dimming CFU" and found a few sites or try "switch dimmable energysaver" that also brought up a selection of sites.

With tungsten lamps being phased out using a fitting able to use CFU would seem sensible move?
Posts: 1367
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Mold, North Wales.

Postby Phil_V » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:56 pm

Hmmm... good point.

I am in 2 minds regarding the lighting really, and I have truely reached a point where I just can't decide.
I either go with one set of lighting and fit a dimmer as described, (but now need to account for CFU as you have said :) ), or else I have 2 different lighting circuits, one for the day to day 'using' of the bathroom, and then some kind of softer lighting for those 'relaxing in the bath' times... I'm just not sure what would be useful as the 2 different types of lighting for this.
All the stores near me seem to have very limited (or crazy expensive) choice when it comes to bathroom lighting :(

Any suggestions, or inspiration?
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:27 pm

Postby ericmark » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:43 am

My son-in-law is Turkish and they because of the heat have used CFU well before us to keep rooms cool. Many of their houses use the 1/3 and 2/3 switching and can either use 1/3 of lights in room or 2/3 of lights or all so with just 2 switches they have three levels of light and it seems to work very well.
Posts: 1367
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Mold, North Wales.

Postby Phil_V » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:20 am

Thanks for your reply, certainly sounds like a good scheme, and saves on the need for 'dimmers', now I've just got to think about what style of lighting to use to make the most of it :)
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:27 pm

Postby gileshudson » Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:11 pm


Why not try one of these which I got when I was looking to do exactly the same as you in my bathroom.


Google ""

Hope this helps,
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:06 pm

Postby Phil_V » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:58 pm

Many thanks Giles, as coincidence would have it I have just ordered one of those exact items :)

Hope it works well now :)
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:27 pm

Postby danneva » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:32 am

No one could doubt how important light is in a bathroom. It is important to get the right light because the bathroom is the place in the house where you either want to relax in the bath or wake up with an invigorating shower in the morning.
I’ve searched some tips for creating bathroom lighting.
Tip 1 – ensure both task lighting and ambient lighting are present. Task lighting is essential because you need to be able to see clearly what you are doing. Task lighting by the mirror is essential.
Tip 2 – use dimmer switches. Lights with dimmer switches are the best type of lighting for bathrooms because they can ensure the perfect type of lighting can be created at any time.
Tip 3 – make the most of the natural light.
Tip 4 – make a plan. Before anything else, create a plan on a piece of paper that shows where the bathroom furniture will be placed. Laying preparations in this way is the best way to ensure you end up with the perfect lighting.
Tip 5 – ask for advice from specialists. Bathroom lighting needs to be safe because of the water in the room.

I have the same problem with my bathroom lighting so I tried to searched some tips on how to do it.
Last edited by danneva on Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:55 am

Postby ericmark » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:20 am

Under BS7671:2008 all electrical items in a bath room need RCD protection. Also any changes will come under notification rules of Part P building regulations.
Existing items can remain as required at time of fitting but any items added or moved need to comply with new regulations.

Amendment 1 it seems when it comes out will resolve some points like RCD or earthed protection of SELV items which is impossible. At the moment some common sense is required.

However the problem with all DIY work is the inspection and testing and the expensive equipment required to complete this part of the work. Combined with very high LABC charges in real terms Kitchen, Bathroom and Outside work is not really a DIY job any more. One of the many Labour Party laws.
Posts: 1367
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Mold, North Wales.

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by


  • Related Topics