Wall sconce with an electrical outlet?

jlc102482December 18, 2012

I am having a heck of a time finding wall sconce light fixtures with built-in electrical outlets for my bathroom. This type of a light/outlet combo is the only practical solution for our rather unusually laid out bathroom, so I really need to find one. However, the only types I can find are the antique Deco-type porcelain fixtures that would not be appropriate for this bathroom, which is Victorian (marble subway tile, wide plank wood floor, Eastlake mirror and vanity, etc.)

My original plan was to find new fixtures and put old glass shades on them, but I can't find any new fixtures that have an outlet on them. Am I just looking in the wrong place? Can anyone point me in the right direction?

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The once "standard" light with a built-in receptacle over a sink was disallowed for safety reasons. That's why you won't find any new ones. Instead, you may be able to install a combination GFI receptacle/switch.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Thanks, worthy, I suspected it had something to do with safety and GFIs. Darn.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 12:48PM
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What's wrong with the porcelain ones? If you are using electricity, the Victorians would have used the ones like that...as being practical and easy to keep clean. My bath originally had a gas light above the sink, but that was removed and the porcelain fixtures put in almost right away, I think. While doing some wiring, I found the original gas pipe capped off inside the wall.

At the time, back in '89, I put up fixtures which looked like colonial ones with frosted shades and they still had outlets on them...fortunately, I put the porcelain ones back about five years later, and added a switch so I wouldn't have to cross the dark bath to pull the chains on the lights. :)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 6:03PM
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"What's wrong with the porcelain ones?"


You can wire an old one on the LOAD side of a GFCI receptacle and probably talk the AHJ into the install though.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 8:54PM
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What's unusual about your layout? I would imagine there's probably room to install a GFCI outlet somewhere, even on an adjacent wall. I even had one client get an outlet installed inside the medicine cabinet for her electric toothbrush.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 6:13PM
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The problem with my bathroom's layout are the walls/ceiling. Two walls have a low, very sloped wall/ceiling - we have a steep Mansard roof that begins about 3 feet up from the floor. On the third wall is an arched window dormer. The fourth and only flat wall in the room is tiled in marble. An outlet would either have to be installed smack in the middle of the tile (no thanks), on the sloped ceiling, or near the floor across the room from the sink and mirror, which would make using appliances a real pain. There is no light switch (lights turn on at the source), so nothing to tap into there. I am guessing this is why no one has replaced the 1940s sconce/outlet combo that's in there now!

However, I really like the sound of putting an outlet inside the medicine cabinet. Pretty clever idea, I may have to try that!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 9:52AM
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How about installing a GFCI on the side of the vanity?

Or maybe just get a light socket adaptor for one of the sconces. Not the proper way to do it, of course.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 7:37PM
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I should start a useful thread on all the shortcuts to using electricity. No more mollycoddling Nanny State alarmism! Safety this, safety that. Live like a real man (or woman)!

What's the worst that can happen?

Darwin Awards to the most creative.

This post was edited by worthy on Sat, Dec 22, 12 at 10:39

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Combine the grounding rules and the GFCI rules and 2-hole receptacles are not really allowed any more for 'new' work. Any bathroom respectable needs GFCI protection also.

If you talk nicely with the AHJ tey may allow you to use the fixture for authenticity with a 2-hole receptacle and a GFCI feeding it.

Not many bathroom appliances have 3-wire cords, most are just 2-wire polarized.

The AHJ may be worried someone might try and use an 'adapter' to plug in a 3-wire load like a heater though.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Or just break off that bothersome third prong.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 5:28PM
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