Off-center Bathroom Light Fixture and Related Questions

Sometimes when we buy a house, we find that the previous owners left behind an off-center bathroom light fixture. Maybe it was centered on a piece of furniture that no longer exists or it’s the remnant of an unfinished remodel. 

Either way, the result is now an out-of-place and out-of-date light fixture.

An off-center bathroom light fixture does not have to ruin the look of your bathroom. There are several ways to fix the unbalanced problem. Keep reading to discover practical solutions for your off-centered bathroom light fixtures.

What Are Off-center Bathroom Light Fixtures?

Most bathroom light fixtures are in the middle of the vanity, the bathroom wall, or the ceiling. But, sometimes you will come across fixtures that are off-centered for various reasons. These reasons can include the following:

Aesthetics

A common reason for an off-centered light fixture is that a previous owner installed it to match past aesthetics, such as furniture placement or wall hangings that previously furnished the home. 

Older Style Homes

Homes constructed before the 1950s often feature off-centered lighting near the windows. 

Off-centered lighting prevents outsiders from looking into the house when the lights are on. With newer window tints and blackout curtains, this is not a common modern issue.

For Privacy

Many homes placed their bathroom light fixtures off to the side or in the corners of the rooms to prevent shadows on mirrors and windows when a person was getting undressed in the bathroom. 

Nowadays, several types of privacy curtains can eliminate this decades-old problem. 

To Provide Sophistication

Another reason homeowners might position bathroom light fixtures off-center is to provide sophistication and ambiance to the room that central lighting can’t accomplish.

Solutions for Off-centred Bathroom Light Fixtures

Home lighting styles have changed throughout the years. Although off-centered lighting was popular decades ago, many people are not in favor of this style of lighting in their bathrooms today. 

If you have off-center bathroom light fixtures in your home and you are looking for ways to change them, here is a list of cost-effective solutions:

Rearrange the Room 

Perhaps the easiest solution for an off-centered bathroom light fixture is to rearrange your room and try to offset the look with wall hangings or furniture that look pleasant in your bathroom and take away the view of the off-centered light.

This is an easy fix that also allows you to change your mind down the road if you get tired of the decor.

Use a Hook

Several affordable lights come with a chain or a cord attached to them. You can use a hook from your local hardware store to center the light where you want to hang it. This easy fix allows you to have a centered light without creating a new hole in the existing drywall.

You can often find light fixtures for sale at yard sales and second-hand stores if yours doesn’t come on a chain or cord to save a few bucks.

Change to a Bigger Based Light

Rather than moving the light socket, instead buy a wider-based light. This light lets you move the light fixture over a few inches until it looks more centered. You can do this all without having to change the light socket and electrical work.

This solution will save you time and money in the long run. Rather than having to repair drywall and install new light sockets.

Create Your Design

Another solution is to create a homemade light to go over the old fixture. There are several cool DIY projects on the internet to help inspire your creativity.

Add a Wooden Mendelian

Rather than replacing the junction box, you can use a decorative wooden piece. Add it to the ceiling or wall and move the light fixture over to center it.

This solution not only looks great. It is also another fashionable, cost-effective solution for fixing off-centered fixtures.

Add Extra Lights

You could add extra lights to the wall to offset the lighting. This solution is on the higher end, price-wise. But, if you or someone you know is a handyman, it will be more cost-effective than hiring an electrician.

If you need an electrician to complete the job, expect to spend at least $50 or more to have your extra light hung.

Move the Fixture

If all other options are not in your favor, you can move the light fixture to a different location.

This is a costly procedure that often requires an electrician to complete the job. Or a handyman that knows how to perform electrical work.

If you attempt to do the job yourself, be very careful. Always remember to shut the power source off before starting.

Moving the light socket also requires repairing the drywall after the renovations.

How to Move an Off-centered Bathroom Light Fixture

If moving the fixture is the best solution for you, here are some steps to follow to get the job done effectively:

Gather Materials Needed for the Job

Gather all the materials needed for changing your bathroom light fixture. These materials include the following items:

  • Safety goggles and a dust mask
  • Screws, a screwdriver, and a circuit tester
  • A drywall saw or knife and a pair of wire cutters
  • Measuring tape, a stud finder, and a level

And of course, you can’t forget the new light fixture and a drywall-mounted junction box.

Turn off the Power Source

Before starting any electrical project, shut the power source off. That way you can help prevent injury to yourself. This is the most important step to remember in the process to ensure your safety. 

Find the Wall Stud 

Now is the time for the next step. You have decided on the new fixture and gathered supplies. The next thing to do is to find the stud in the wall to hang your new light fixture. Use a stud finder to locate the stud.

Or, choose a light-weighted fixture. You can mount these lighter fixtures anywhere on the drywall rather than on a stud in the wall. If this is the case, you can skip this step and move on to the next.

Mark the Spot To Hang Your New Fixture

Determine the proper placement of your new fixture. Then, you can trace cut lines onto the ceiling with the template provided in your junction box kit. 

If you do not have a template to use, trace the back of the box. The box should be roughly the same size as the template. 

Cut the Opening

Next, cut an opening in the drywall with your drywall saw or knife to mount the new junction box. 

Test the Wires

With the power shut off, test the wires with a circuit tester. Ensure the wires are working before going further with the job. 

Run Electrical Wire

Run the electrical wire from the old junction box to the hole you cut out for the new light fixture. Twist the white wires together, then the black wires, and secure them with wire nuts. 

Attach the New Junction Box

Attach your new junction box to the wall or ceiling and secure it with screws. Push the wires into the new junction box and attach the cover plate and the mounting bracket.

Attach Your New Light Fixture

Attach your new light fixture to the mounting bracket. Twist the white and black wires together, and replace the wire nuts. Then, stand back and admire your completed project. You finally fixed that off-center fixture that’s been bothering you so much.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about moving and hanging your light fixtures.

Is it difficult to move a light fixture?

Moving a light fixture is a simple procedure. But, you should follow proper safety precautions to prevent injury and electrocution. 

Is it okay to hang a swag lamp in a bathroom?

If you have a swag lamp that you like, you can hang it to correct an off-centered bathroom fixture. You should ensure it is high enough that it won’t restrict your movement around the sink area of the bathroom.

Do I need an electrician to change a light fixture?

You are not required to hire an electrician to change a light fixture. Especially if you already have electrical experience. But, if you do not know how to do the job, hiring an electrician is an ideal recommendation.

How much does it cost to move a light fixture?

If you plan to hire an electrician for the job, expect to spend anywhere from $40 to $125 an hour, depending on the company. If you plan to do the job yourself, you can do it for very little money.

Does every light fixture need a junction box?

Yes, every light fixture needs a junction box. But, sometimes you can use a pre-existing electrical box to mount a new light fixture instead. That way, you don’t have to install a new junction box. 

Conclusion

We hope this article has provided some useful solutions for fixing the problem. Once you solve the problem, you can admire the new view of your bathroom.

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