Upgrading our Bath Fan Light – for Under $25

Light upgrade detail
Light upgrade detail

Our bathroom fan light was driving me crazy for a while now. No matter how much wattage I would put into it, the plastic cover only allowed for a very dim light to come out. And the arrangement of the bulb in the fixture together with the housing forced most light to emit downward and to the left. Time for a light upgrade!

To fix these issues, I was thinking about adding a cool looking panel from 3form about 2″ under the light which would be offset by metal standoffs. Unfortunately, even the 3form remainder cutoffs are quite expensive. So I tried a different approach.

As you can see in the gallery below, I did find some standoffs. My 3/4″ x 2″ standoffs are from Signworld and cost me $11 for a set of four. While there are also stainless steel ones available out there, these look great and are well adjustable. For the panel, I went with two sheets of clear acrylic from Home Depot for under $5 each. To get a frosted effect, I decided to put vellum paper between the sheets – at least for now. Having two sheets there I will be able to experiment with all kinds of interlayers, though. I might try some grasses at some point, for example.

So there you have it: A cost-efficient upgrade that looks quite sleek and elegant. The room is now much brighter and the fixture even creates some interesting shadows on the ceiling.

If you try this for yourself, make sure there is enough overlap so that you can’t see the innards of the fixture from the side. Also, use a cool light like an LED or a CFL or the panel might warp (but you were using those anyways, right?).