Are you searching for the highest rated bathroom exhaust fan with light?
In this review, you will learn:
- My top pick for bathroom fans with lights
- 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
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.
Below is a quick list of best bathroom exhaust fans with lights. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use the best exhaust fans with lights.
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
My overall #1 top pick for the best bathroom fan with an LED light goes to the Panasonic WhisperFit because it has a bright 10-watt LED light integrated into the grille. There is even a low-powered 1-watt night light so it won't blind you in the early hours. Panasonic has built a tiny switch on the housing so homeowners can pick between 50, 80, or 110-cfm.
Top 5 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans With Lights
Short on time? Check out our top bathroom fans with lights! Keep reading to learn more on our choices and to read the buyer's guide.
What Is A Bathroom Fan With Light?
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.
Installing a bathroom vent fan that already has a light is an 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.
Read Also >> What Are The Best Bath Fans With Heaters And Lights?
How Do Bathroom Vent Fans With Lights Work?
Bathroom fans with lights typically have an LED chip module or incandescent bulb integrated into the grill cover or the housing itself.
These bath fans will have at least two hot wires. If there is a secondary night light, then there will be THREE hot wires — one for the fan, one for the regular light, and one for the night light.
If homeowners want the fan and light to operate independently, then at least two switches will be needed — either a double wall switch or two separate single-pole switches.
It is essential to factor in any extra wiring from the switch to the bath fan as well as new wall switches. A local building permit may also be required for the new electrical work.
How To Pick The Best Bathroom Fan Light Combo?
#1. Light Style
There are numerous types of bathroom fans with lights on the market. Here are the most common types:
- Decorative Light: 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” and they come in a wide variety of fixture styles.
- LED Light: Bath fans with LED lights have an LED chip module installed into the grille cover. The LED light is connected to the fan housing with a wire connector. The main thing is that there isn't any type of bulb, it is a low profile LED chip, and it allows a thinner bath fan housing.
- Incandescent Light: The other type of bath fan with light include regular incandescent light bulb sockets. Most of these bath fans don't include the bulb itself, you will have to buy it separately. Homeowners do have the option to buy an LED bulb as long as it is the same socket type and it fits.
- 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.
- Night Light: Some bath fans have a secondary night light. These are great if you are tired of getting blinded when using the toilet during the early hours. Just remember that another wall switch will need to be installed.
#2. Light Brightness
Most bath fans with lights have incandescent lights between 60-watt to 100-watt.
It is important to factor in the equivalency if you want a bath fan with an LED light. 10-watts of an LED light is equivalent to about a 100-watt incandescent light.
#3. CFM or Fan Speed
The power of bathroom fans is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. It is a measure of how much air the bath fan can exhaust in one minute.
The CFM or fan speed should be determined by the size of the bathroom but it must be at least 50-cfm. The most basic way to size bath fans is to have 1-CFM per square foot. If the bathroom is 65 square feet, then you want a bath fan that is approximately 65-CFM or a little stronger.
Read Also >> What Are The Best Exhaust Fans With LED Lights?
Our Reviews Of The Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans With Lights
Best Overall With LED
Our overall top pick for the best bathroom fan with light goes to the Panasonic WhisperFit because it comes with a bright 10-watt LED light that is dimmable.
It also includes a night light that you can use late into the evening without jarring your eyes.
The WhisperFit includes a handy speed switch so you can control the fan speed from 50-cfm, 80-cfm, or 110-cfm just by flipping a small switch on the housing.
As the name implies, this bath fan is super quiet and it is rated at only 0.3 sones which is nearly silent. The WhisperFit is very easy to install because it has a thin housing and includes a flexible bracket included called Flex-Z Fast that will expand to go in-between the joists.
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.
Our top pick for the best bath fan with incandescent light 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 designed this bathroom fan to be easily installed with an installation bracket. This means the motor & fan assembly can be secured onto the bracket that is itself installed onto the joists.
Best By Delta
The BreezIntegrity is our top pick that comes with a 13-watt LED light.
The LED light is equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent bulb according to Delta 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 numerous bends in the duct that slow down air flow.
My top pick for a 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.
If you are looking for a bath fan that is also a recessed light, then the Broan-NuTone 744 is the perfect choice.
This 70-cfm bathroom fan has the same trim specs to match the major recessed light manufacturers so it will blend in seamlessly!
The light uses a 75-watt incandescent light or you can swap it out with an equivalent LED bulb.
This recessed light bath fan is great for medium sized bathrooms that are 65 square feet or smaller. It also uses a 4-inch duct size. The housing is made with durable galvanized steel and it includes adjustable hanger brackets for easy installation.
Our #1 Top Pick: The Panasonic WhisperFit
Our overall top pick goes to the Panasonic WhisperFit with LED light. Here's why...
1. Bright And Dimmable LED Light
The WhisperFit comes with a bright dimmable 10-watt LED light that is equivalent to around a 100-watt incandescent light. The LED chip module is built into the grille and doesn't use a bulb.
2. Night Light
This premium bath fan even includes a 1-watt night light (equivalent to around a 9-watt incandescent) so you can do your business in the evening without being blinded.
3. Pick Your Fan Speed
Panasonic has made it easy to adjust fan speed by including a small switch on the housing. Homeowners can pick between 50, 80, or 110-cfm.
4. Energy Efficient
The WhisperFit has a DC variable speed motor that is extremely efficient. This bath fan will even speed up or slow down in order to reach the desired CFM due to duct bends or other airflow restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can It Be Installed Above Shower Or Tub?
If you want to install your bathroom exhaust fan with a light directly above a shower or tub, it must be listed for wet locations.
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 interrupter which basically means there is a switch that will cut off power if it detects a problem.
What Kind of Light Bulbs Are In Bathroom Fans?
The typical lights are incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs, or LED chip panels. LED chip panels are becoming more common with bath fans. If the bath fan has an incandescent bulb, they can be replaced with an LED bulb for cost savings.
Can My Current Vent Fan Be Replaced For One With A Light?
Yes, a bathroom fan can be replaced with a bath fan and light combo. Since the existing bathroom ceiling fan is already 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 exhaust 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 I Wire A Separate Light And The Fan To A One Switch?
A bathroom ceiling 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.
What Is The Point of A Bath 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.
Does It 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 >> How To Replace Bath Fan Without Attic Access?
Bath fans with an included light are a great choice if you need more lighting in the bathroom or you don't want to install a separate light fixture.
Here are some of the key points in this review guide...
- New wiring: There will be at least two hot wires for the fan and light, and at least 3 if there is a night light. Please factor in that new wiring and switches may be needed.
- The different styles of lighted bath fans: Decorative, recessed, incandescent, LED.
- LED bulbs: We recommend installing energy efficient LED light bulbs for bath fans with incandescent lights. Just make sure the socket size is correct. Bath fans with built-in LED lights use LED chip modules and NOT bulbs.
I hope you enjoyed this guide from Home Inspector Secrets!