Lighting over surface mounted medicine cabinet

gardnrJanuary 26, 2012

We have a 36" mirrored, three door, frameless medicine cabinet in our small master bath. It is surface mounted, and cannot be recessed due to ductwork behind the wall. I am trying to find a good light to put above the cabinet (no room on the side, plus it abuts a window). Any fixture with shades that point down would light the top of the cabinet. I am afraid if I point the shades up, it will not provide sufficient light for makeup, etc. It seems the strip lights on a box that comes out as far as the cabinet are no longer made! Help!

Any ideas, pictures, experience you can share? Thanks!

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how far out from the wall is the cabinet? We had a similar issue trying to find lighting that would extend past the mirrored cabinet because we also could not use sconces on either side and have low ceilings so no pointing the shades up.

I had to look for a light fixture that extended at least 8" from the wall. I got the Bennett triple sconce from Pottery Barn. it is being installed today so I hope it works out okay.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 6:10AM
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I hope it works! Our cabinet comes out 5" from the wall. Is that similar to yours?
Please let me know how your sconce works. I love the look of it and will order it in a heartbeat if it will work for us!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:43AM
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I'm not sure how far out our cabinet comes is recessed but has moulding that comes out at the top. I will post a picture once it's done later tonight.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 11:58AM
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gardnr - my medicine cabinet comes out almost 3" from the wall. The electrician did not make it today, but is expected on Monday. Will post pictures when it's done

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 5:29PM
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I'm worried about that same issue, but plan to make lighting my last choice.

So far I've found that Rejuvenation offers a light you can get an extension on, so it sticks out further. They are a bit expensive though. If regular lights don't do it, then that's the way I'm going.

I haven't gotten the medicine cabinet yet, mine is all still on paper waiting for construction in March.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rejuvenation Pendleton

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:20PM
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hey gardnr
our bathroom was finished today so here is a picture of the Bennett Triple sconce over our medicine cabinet....

the fixture is a little bigger than I thought it was going to be but since I ordered ot on ebay (PB was out of stock) it will have to do. because we were able to go high enough with it on the wall, the shades do clear the top of the medicine cabinet. If we had less height available, the shades would be just touching the edge of the cabinet trim.

Hope that helps you to see if it will work with your surface mount cabinet.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 9:45PM
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We ran into this same problem when we discovered the studs in the wall were not deep enough to accommodate our recessed medicine cabinet. My contractor suggested building out a box about 2.5 inches deep and 1 inch wider on all sides than the rectangular back plate of our light fixture. (Our medicine cabinet sits 5 inches from the wall.) He had the light junction box within this box. I was nervous about the look of this, but after painting the box the same color as the wall, it really isn't noticeable.

This worked so well that we repeated this design in a second bathroom we just finished. Our light fixtures point upwards, so this time I decided I only needed the built out box to be deep enough so that the light bar instead of the back of the light shades cleared the front edge of the medicine cabinet.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 12:09PM
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Your Pottery Barn Bennett lights look great! I am considering the same one. How is the light? Is it enough? I was concerned that they wouldn't be bright enough with only 40w in each shade. I will have 3 other high hats in the same small bath, so I thought it might be ok.
Any feedback you can give would be appreciated!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 6:17AM
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I realize this post is old, but I wanted to put what we did up since I didn't find many answers anywhere.

We didn't feel like building out a box above it with trim, etc, mainly because I didn't know if I could get paint to match exactly. My main goal was to get the middle of the bulb past the cabinet door.

1. Cut out drywall & inset cabinet the 3/4" depth taken up by that drywall

2. Bought a sea gull light that comes out 10" total (biggest extension I could find that wasn't at Rejuvination prices).

3. Bought 2 round wood things from Joann's (bigger one a clock face) & a metal extension to the electrical box.

4. Put it all together.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2015 at 1:57PM
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Good idea on building it out, I never thought of that! We got some sort of nickel ceiling/track light with 8 little adjustable lights, I think they are halogen or something. We fiddled with it and were able to mount it on the wall, but it's meant for a ceiling. If we were inclined to wire a box onto the ceiling that would have been the the way to go.. It sort of waves and each light can be adjusted. It's not great, in fact it throws a lot of heat. The bulbs are bright though so even though they don't shine straight down ( afraid they burn the top of the they throw a lot of light. They burn out often, I don't know why. I wish I has thought of building out for traditional light. Hubby still working on the molding!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 12:39PM
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We have that light--or something very similar--in the ceiling in our FL house...

will be replacing when we remodel as it is too contemporary for what we want to do...but we will have surface mount medicine cabinets so I am grateful for the photo of the light w/the extension...

we have only 8 ft celings in that house and I am also concerned about the room over the mirror for lighting--we have concrete block walls and dont' have any studs to recess the cabinets in...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 8:46PM
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Hey, Skimmton_Chi, what is the name/company for that fixture? And how wide is your cabinet? Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2015 at 3:59PM
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