2 swag fixture in soffit replacement questions, please


Old 01-22-08, 07:39 PM
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2 swag fixture in soffit replacement questions, please

The bathroom has a vanity counter that is at least seven feet long with a sink in the middle. A soffit runs the length of the vanity. The original light fixture over the vanity attaches to the soffit in its middle, over the sink. Out of the fixture come two swag? chains threaded with electrical cord that attach from hooks that hang from the soffit over the counter work spaces, so that the lights at the end of the chains illuminate the counter work areas and not the sink. Needless to say, this style of light went out of style many years ago!
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The choices for replacing this now-defunct fixture seem to be:
1. Remove the soffit, remove the popcorn ceiling, redo the drywall, and rewire the lights from the wall, so that wall-mounted lights or ceiling-mounted lights may be installed. This is close enough to remodeling the entire bathroom as to make no difference. Not good right now.

2. Install a two-light ceiling fixture over the sink, using the existing wiring. The existing fixture is made for two 60 watt incandescent Edison-type light bulbs, so this should not add any additional load to the house wiring? Unfortunately, this leaves the light at the least useful position. This fixture is the only light in the room.

3. Leave the soffit and install a two-tube 4' flourescent light fixture, using the existing wiring. This might or might not add additional electrical load to the wiring? 4' tubes aren't really long enough to direct any light over the vanity work spaces, but this is better than the first two options. If I do this, there is no way to play with led light bulbs later.

4. Leave the soffit and install a track light of some sort on the soffit, using the existing wiring. The bottom of the soffit is about three feet above the counter. (The existing swag lights have been hooked up near the soffit for years.) So far, all the track lights I've found use halogen light bulbs and/or bulbs that don't use Edison-base sockets. I have only looked at the local lighting stores and big box hardware stores so far. Don't know where to look next, exactly.

It seems that the light from these 'mini' bulbs will not be effective enough to illuminate the vanity work areas, much less the bathroom as a whole. If you have lived with such a setup, can you please tell me if this is a correct impression or not?

Fixtures that use Edison-type light bulbs would be great, since they would accept either CFLs or LED type bulbs. If you know where to look to find such, please tell me?

Are there repair kits that would let me repair this fixture until it is time to remodel the bathroom?

Do you people, who have more experience, have any other suggestions? Being a neophyte, I'm sure I've not thought of all the possibilities here!

An electrician will look at all the wiring in the house soon, and that must be paid for first. Unfortunately, the bathroom fixture won't wait.

Thank you.
Old 01-22-08, 07:45 PM
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I vote for #4. Fluorescents won't give the light you want in a bathroom, and you can use color corrected bulbs in the track lighting. Track lighting can be edison based as well as pin type halogens. Just have to shop around.
Old 01-23-08, 03:39 AM
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Track light is best option to replace bathroom swags

Thank you very much! I'll keep looking for good track lights.

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