How to Install an Overhead Shower Light

Tips for Installing an Overhead Shower Light

By Mark J. Donovan




Well after 15 years, I finally broke down and found some time to install an overhead shower light in our shower unit. With a bright new shower, all I keep asking myself is why did I procrastinate for so long! It only took about 3 hours of work and around $30 in material.

For material I used a recessed can light fixture that has adjustable brackets to allow it to easily be mounted to ceiling joists, and a shower overhead light fixture that mounts up into the recessed can.

In addition to the light fixture, I needed some 20-2 electrical wire and a few wire nuts.

Before installing the overhead shower light I first turned power off at the main electrical circuit breaker panel to the electrical boxes I planned to work on. I also checked that the power was indeed off at the electrical boxes using a simple bulb tester.

The first step in installing an overhead shower light is finding the center of the shower on the ceiling. Next, I used a drill and small drill bit to create a pilot hole in the ceiling. I then proceeded up to my attic with my recessed overhead can lighting fixture and found the drill bit hole.

I then centered the recessed can fixture over the pilot hole and traced around the circumference of the can fixture.

Next, I used a utility knife to cut out the drywall circle that I had just traced.

After removing the section of drywall, I then dropped the overhead recessed can light fixture into the hole and fastened the brackets associated with it to the adjacent ceiling joists.

How to Install an Overhead Shower Light

To provide power to the shower light, I ran a power cable from another light fixture that I had access to in the attic to a wall switch that controlled another light in the bathroom. In addition, I also ran another electrical cable from the new overhead recessed can shower light down to the same electrical switch box. It took me quite a bit of time, and another set of hands to fish the two electrical cables down to the electrical switch.

Once I had fished the two Romex cables into the electrical switch box, I connected the black wire associated with the power line to the top side of the electrical switch.

I then connected the black wire associated with the recessed overhead can shower light Romex cable to the bottom side of the switch.

Next I twisted together all of the white return wires using a wire nut.

I then twisted the ground wires together and fastened them to the green screw on the electrical switch.

Finally, I reattached the electrical switch to the electrical box and fastened the faceplate cover back on to the electrical box.

Back in the attic and at the recessed can shower light fixture, I tied together the black wire associated with the Romex cable that came from the electrical switch box and the black wire in the can shower light.

Next, I attached the corresponding white wires together.

Finally, I wired together the corresponding bare copper ground wires.

I then put in a light bulb into my shower light fixture, turned power back on at the main service panel and tested my new overhead shower light.

Our shower unit is now brightly lit and a much more enjoyable place to relax and clean up.


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