View Full Version : UL rating for bathroom lights?

07-16-2009, 04:45 PM
I found my dream sconce for above my vanity area that is approx. 70" from the showerhead. It is NOT UL approved for a bathroom according to the manufacturer. The store I purchased it from said that is only because it has a fabric shade on it. Really? I've seen a lot of lights with fabric shades.
Anyway, is this safe? What is the worst case scenario?

Restoration Hardware has a similar light listed under their bathroom lighting section, but when I called and asked them if it was UL approved for moist areas, they said they didn't have that info available and sent my request to a product researcher.

Can I use my dream non-UL approved light?

07-16-2009, 05:53 PM
Your ok. I believe it has to be 3 feet from the entire shower/tub enclosure- not just the shower head. (You don't want anyone to be able to touch it while standing in water.) If you are replacing an existing fixture over the vanity I see no problems.

Worst case is the fabric grows mold. Not saying it will, but could because of the high moisture in a bathroom.


07-16-2009, 06:30 PM
I would only put a damp or wet listed light in my bathroom. There's generally a good reason why some lamps get UL listed for areas such as these and it usually has to do with the housing and/or the lamp connections.

07-17-2009, 08:26 PM
You'll be fine as long as it is not within 3 feet horizontally of the tub or shower or 8 feet vertically from the tub deck or shower threshold. Lots of items are not UL listed for specific things simply because it would be prohibitively expensive to test for every situation.

07-18-2009, 07:08 AM
Here is my UNDERSTANDING of this situation ( not quoting any codes. others will help with that)::

A residential bathroom, except directly over the tub or shower, is NOT condidered to be wet location OR damp location. Look at the fixtures in your bathroom. Most likely , you will not find such a UL listing on them.

I think damp location refers to outdoors...not exposed directly to elements ( under a soffit or walkway?) and wet location is exposed directly to the elements.

The orientation of the screw slots on install may be an issue.

OK....lets have more comments to settle this.

07-18-2009, 11:42 AM
What do you mean the orientation of the screw slots might be an issue? Thanks...

07-18-2009, 05:57 PM
What do you mean the orientation of the screw slots might be an issue? Thanks...

Inside joke...

As noted, inside a shower zone or in the weather you need something specified for wet/damp areas. Otherwise, it's a 'normal' situation. Now, UL listing isn't a bad idea idea, regardless. There are numerous different tests UL does.