Top 6 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans With Lights Combo (2022 Review)

Licensed Inspector Arie Van Tuijl
Licensed Inspector Arie Van Tuijl

🕖Last Updated On May 10, 2022

Picture this: you walk into the bathroom and flip the switch. The bathroom exhaust fan turns on at the same time as the light. 

Well, you can do that when the light is part of the exhaust fan, as one unit. You can also wire the light and bath fan to separate switches if you want.

I invite you to check out my list of the best bathroom exhaust fans with lights (and other cool features).

You will love these bathroom fans!

best bathroom exhaust fan with light

In this HomeInspectorSecrets.com guide, you will learn:

  • My top pick for the best bathroom exhaust fan with light
  • The three main styles of exhaust fans with lights
  • Features to look for
  • All of the advantages of having a bath fan with a light included

Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use the best bathroom fans with lights.

ImageProduct
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Broan-NuTone HD80L
  • 100-watt incandescent light
  • 80-cfm fan speed
  • Easy install with keyholed brackets
  • 100-watt incandescent light
  • 80-cfm fan speed
  • Easy install with keyholed brackets
View on Amazon
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Panasonic WhisperSense
  • Choose 80-cfm or 100-cfm (flip switch on housing)
  • Bright LED lights
  • Includes motion & humidity sensors
  • Choose 80-cfm or 100-cfm (flip switch on housing)
  • Bright LED lights
  • Includes motion & humidity sensors
View on Amazon
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Delta BreezIntegrity
  • Dimmable 13-watt LED light
  • DC variable speed motor for ultra efficiency
  • 80-cfm rating for medium sized baths
  • Dimmable 13-watt LED light
  • DC variable speed motor for ultra efficiency
  • 80-cfm rating for medium sized baths
View on Amazon
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Hunter Decorative
  • Great looking fan with scrollwork
  • Two 60-watt lights
  • Includes night light
  • Great looking fan with scrollwork
  • Two 60-watt lights
  • Includes night light
View on Amazon
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Broan 678
  • Shatter resistant light lens
  • Keyholed installation bracket
  • Great for smaller bathrooms (50-cfm)
  • Shatter resistant light lens
  • Keyholed installation bracket
  • Great for smaller bathrooms (50-cfm)
View on Amazon
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Air King Decorative
  • Nice nickel finish
  • Uses two 60-watt bulb
  • Glass lens won't yellow
  • Nice nickel finish
  • Uses two 60-watt bulb
  • Glass lens won't yellow
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On May 10, 2022

Broan HD80L Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan With Light Review
  • Super bright 100-watt incandescent light
  • Rated at 80-cfm for baths up to 75-sf
  • Keyholed install brackets for easy installation
  • Shatter-resistant light cover

Our favorite pick for the best bathroom exhaust fan with light goes to the Broan-NuTone HD80L. This bath fan comes with a bright 100-watt incandescent light to give you a fan and light combo. The HD80L is rated at 80-cfm and it is suitable for bathrooms up to 75 square feet. Broan-NuTone also designed this bathroom fan to be easily installed with keyholed brackets for an easier install.

What Are Bathroom Fans With Lights?

A bathroom exhaust fan with a light is a combo fan that works to remove moisture from your bathroom, and at the same time, it also acts as a light fixture.

The light can be the only source of illumination in the bathroom, or it can be in addition to an independent light fixture.

If your bathroom has a water closet (enclosed toilet), it is common to have a bathroom fan and light as one unit because the space is small.

Why Install A Bathroom Fan And Light Combo?

Installing a bathroom vent fan that already has a light is a excellent choice if you need more light in your bathroom.

Since you will be doing electrical wiring and possibly cutting out the ceiling, this is a great time to add more lighting to the bathroom without cutting a second hole in the ceiling.

Most bath vent fans are pretty bland anyway. Installing a light can significantly add to the aesthetics.

Since most of these bathroom fans typically do not include light bulbs, I recommend installing energy efficient LED bulbs which will go into any standard socket and will fit the majority  bathroom exhaust fans. Always check with the manufacturer though to make sure an LED will fit. 

Most bathroom exhaust fan lights will be between 50 to 100 watts.

Read Also >> What Are The Best Bathroom Fans With LED Lights?

Can Bath Fans With Lights Be Installed Above A Shower?

If you want to install your bathroom exhaust fan with a light directly above a shower or tub, it must be rated for that purpose from the manufacturer.

Water and electricity don’t mix, so bathroom fans rated for use directly above showers are designed to be safe in these wet areas.

These wet rated exhaust fans need to be on dedicated electrical circuits that are GFCI protected (at the panel box or dedicated wall reset). GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interruptor which basically means there is a switch that will cut off power if it detects a problem. You don't want to get shocked when taking a shower if you know what I mean.

Many bathroom fans are already rated for use over wet areas (always confirm from manufacturer), so don't forget to make sure that your electrical circuit is GFCI.

The breaker at the panel box that goes to the bathroom fan will have a button on it and say "GFCI".

Can I Use Bath Fans And Lights In Other Rooms?

These bathroom exhaust fans can be used in rooms other than bathrooms where more ventilation and lighting is wanted.

There are bathroom exhaust fans that look like regular lights such as the Hunter 83002 bath fan which can be installed in any room.

These bath exhaust fans don’t look like the normal “bathroom fan”.  Installation in these alternative areas may include…

  • Garages (smelly chemical fumes)
  • Mud room (allergens, dander)
  • Exercise room (smelly odors)
  • Kitchen area (food smells, but do not install directly over cooktop)

Read Also >> What Are The Code Requirements For Bathroom Fan Venting?

How Does An Exhaust Fan With A Light Work?

Bathroom fans with lights work just like regular bathroom fans except that there is an integrated light.

The bathroom fan and light can be wired on the same switch, or they can be wired separately on their own switch. And as with all bathroom fans, the exhaust needs to go to the outside through a flexible or rigid duct (a vent hose).

Do Bathroom Exhaust Fans Need To Be Vented Outside?

Bathroom exhaust fans should vent to the exterior as stated by the University of Southern California.

If the bathroom vent goes into a wall cavity or into the attic, the excess moisture can lead to mold growth or wood decay — a potentially costly problem.

During my home inspections, I frequently come across bathroom vents to go directly into the attic. It is okay for a bathroom vent to go through an attic if it goes all the way to the roof. On the roof, there needs to be a special roof cover that has a flap.

Read Also >> What Are The Best Quiet Bathroom Fans?

How To Pick The Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan With a Light?

Homeowners have a few options to choose from when picking a bath fan with an integrated light such as:

  1. Decorative Light. These lights look like a normal bedroom light fixture, and people won’t even notice that it is a fan (at least until it’s turned on). These custom bathroom vent fans are also usually round like a normal light fixture. 
  2. Recessed Light. These bathroom fans look like a normal recessed ceiling light. There is a small, barely noticeable gap above the light bulb that pulls in air. These exhaust fans are great if you want the exhaust fan to match existing recessed lights, or for installation in a closet.
  3. Normal Light. These are the units that look like your average bathroom exhaust fan. If your install is in the bathroom, and you don’t need anything fancy, this is the most affordable choice.

How To Choose The CFM For Bath Fan With Light?

The most important rating for bathroom fans and lights is called CFM or cubic feet per minute. 

This metric simply means how much air the fan takes out, let’s say 50 cubic feet in one minute. Then the fan is rated at 50-cfm.

Most fans will be anywhere from 50-cfm and up to 200-cfm. The general rule for CFM is that you want 1-cfm per square foot of bath area.

Let’s say your bathroom floor is 8′ x 8′ or 64-sf. In this case, you would want a bathroom fan that is at least 64 CFM or higher.

Regardless of size, a bathroom will always need a CFM rating of at least 50-cfm as stated by the Berkeley Lab.

Read Also >> Can You Vent A Bathroom Fan Into The Attic?

best bathroom exhaust fan with light

Our Reviews Of The Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans With Lights

Our overall top pick goes to the HD80L made by Broan-NuTone.

It comes with a very bright 100-watt incandescent light that comes with a shatter-resistant light lens.

The bulb is not included but we recommend you install an equivalent LED bulb for higher energy efficiency. The HD80L is rated at 80-cfm and it is great for bathrooms up to around 75-sf.

Broan-NuTone also designed this bathroom fan to be easily installed with keyholed installation brackets. This means the motor & fan assembly can just be slid into the brackets using the keyholes. And it also means you can just replace the motor/fan assembly in the future without removing the existing housing.

Pros

  • 100-watt incandescent light
  • 80-cfm rating
  • Easy installation or replacement with keyholed brackets

Cons

  • Doesn't come with bulb

The Panasonic WhisperSense is a great bathroom exhaust fan that comes with a bright LED light.

This fan includes a speed selector switch so you can control the fan speed from 50-cfm, 80-cfm, or 100-cfm just by flipping a small switch on the housing.

It is also easy to install with a flexible bracket included called the Flex-Z Fast. The installation is also made super easy because the damper is detachable which allows you to install the vent and wiring first before the housing.

The WhisperSense comes with dual sensor technology to give you significant control over this exhaust fan.

The humidity sensor can be controlled to automatically turn the fan on or off based on the humidity level in the bathroom. There is also a motion sensor that can detect when someone has entered the bathroom and turn the exhaust fan on.

Pros

  • Choose fan speed (80-cfm or 100-cfm) by flipping a switch on the housing
  • Bright CFL lights at 75-lumens per watt
  • Detachable damper for easy install

Cons

  • Designed for 4-inch ducting (if you use 3-inch duct it won't get the stated performance) but it comes with an adapter

The BreezIntegrity is our best pick that comes with a 13-watt LED light.

The LED light is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb and it is rated to last an amazing 30,000 hours.

It is also dimmable but it doesn't come with the dimmer switch which you will have to buy separately.

This Delta model is rated at 80-cfm so it is great for small and regular sized bathrooms.

It is also pretty quiet and the sone rating is 1.3.

One nice feature of the BreezIntegrity is the quality of the motor. It is a DC brushless motor and it is variable speed. This means that the motor will speed up to reach the desired CFM even if there are things in the duct that slows down air flow.

Pros

  • A quiet bathroom exhaust fan at 1.3 sone
  • Comes with a dimmable 13-watt LED light
  • Rated at 80-cfm
  • DC brushless and variable speed motor (it speeds up to reach the desired CFM)

Cons

  • It is a plain looking bath fan, nothing decorative about it
  • Doesn’t come with dimmer switch

My top pick for best decorative bath fan with an incandescent light goes to the Hunter 83002.

This decorative bathroom fan looks amazing with artistic scrollwork and a bronze finish. It also has a really nice frosted glass lens.

This exhaust fan is rated at 110 CFM, so it is suitable for medium to large bathrooms.

The fan uses two incandescent light bulbs at 60-watts each.

You also have the option of installing a 7-watt bulb as a night light.

Pros

  • Nice decorative design (looks like a normal light fixture)
  • Two 60-watt incandescent lights
  • Includes a 7-watt night light

Cons

  • Light bulbs not included
  • At 3 sones, it is louder than your average bathroom fan

My top pick for the best bathroom exhuast fan with light for small spaces goes to the Broan 678.

This 50-cfm rated bath fan with light is great for small bathrooms or half baths. Also, if you have a large bathroom with an enclosed toilet area, this fan is perfect since it has a light.

The bathroom vent fan can use up to a 100-watt incandescent light bulb. We recommend installing an LED bulb however if possible.

The noise isn't as quiet as my other picks, and it is rated at 2.5-sones which isn't exactly whisper quiet. If you don't care about the noise or if you like knowing that the fan is on, then this fan is for you.

Pros

  • Has keyholed mounting brackets for an easier installation
  • The light lens is shatter resistant for safety
  • 50-cfm rating for smaller bathrooms or water closets

Cons

  • At 2.5, this fan may be a little loud

The Air King DRLC702 is another great decorative bathroom fan with a light for small to medium sized bathrooms (65 to 85 square feet) with a 70-cfm rating.

This beautiful exhaust fan looks like a normal ceiling light fixture, the vent grill is the circular outer frame of the unit.

The frosted glass lens and nickel finish adds a nice sophistication to your bathroom fan that is pretty rare.

The vent fan comes with a useful adjustable hanging bracket for an easier installation.

You can install two 15-watt LED lights or up to two 60-watt incandescent bulbs with this exhaust fan.

Unfortunately it is somewhat loud at 4-sones so we don't consider it a quiet bathroom fan.

Pros

  • Looks good with a nickel finish, a hidden vent fan in plain site
  • Uses two 60 watt bulbs (or two 15-watt LEDs)
  • Adjustable hanging brackets will help make it an easy install
  • Glass lens won’t yellow like with a plastic lens

Cons

  • At 4 sones, it will be somewhat noisy, unless you like white noise
  • Some users have complained about it rusting

Our Top Pick: Broan-NuTone HD80L 100-watt Bathroom Exhaust Fan With Light

Our overall favorite pick for the best bathroom exhaust fan with light goes to the Broan-NuTone HD80L. Here's why...

1. Bright 100-Watt Light

This bath fan comes with a very bright 100-watt incandescent light and includes a shatter-resistant lens. The bright light is perfect for bathrooms that need more lighting or if you don't want to have a separate light fixture.

2. Keyholed Brackets

The HD80L comes with keyholed brackets for an easier installation. It also means that you can replace the fan motor assembly without changing out the entire housing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Point of A Bathroom Exhaust Fan With Light?

The point of a bathroom exhaust fan with light is to have two separate bathroom fixtures as one single unit.

Since the bath fan and combo is one device, you don't need a separate hole in the ceiling for a light which means less drywall work.

Can An Exhaust Fan With Light Go Directly Above The Shower?

Bathroom fans are sometimes installed above the shower or tub for extra lighting.

This type of installation is only allowed if it is connected to a GFCI electric circuit.

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter and this type of circuit will instantly shutoff power if it detects a voltage leak. Since the bathroom fan is near water, it needs this GFCI protection so that nobody gets shocked.

Can You Replace A Bathroom Fan With A Fan Light Combo?

Yes, a bathroom fan can be replaced with a bath fan and light combo.

Since the existing bathroom fan already is wired to a wall switch, you can simply replace the existing bath fan and keep the same switch. This means that every time you turn on the bathroom fan, the light will turn on as well.

If you want the light and fan to be switched separately, you will have to run a new wire from the fan to a single pole combination wall switch (or two separate single pole switches).

Can A Bathroom Fan And Light Be On The Same Switch?

Yes, a bathroom fan can be on the same switch as a separate light fixture.

If you already have a light fixture in the bathroom, you don't have to buy a fan and light combo.

You can simply wire the bathroom fan to the existing light fixture, and they will turn on at the same time.

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