Old Bathroom Light Covers

If your bathroom is still illuminated by the same aging light fixtures that came with the house, it may be time to refresh them with new covers or upgrades. Outdated, discolored, or cracked light covers not only look bad, but they reduce brightness in your bathroom. Replacing or restoring old bathroom light covers improves appearance, safety, and lighting performance.

Identifying Your Existing Bathroom Light Covers

The first step is determining what type of light coverings are currently in your bathroom. This will dictate your replacement options later on.

Clear, Opaque, or Colored Glass

Vintage bathrooms often have glass light covers, popular from the 1950s-1970s. Check if yours are clear, frosted, or colored glass. Glass offers a classic look but cracks easily.

Acrylic Panels

Acrylic plastic panels became a cheap alternative to glass in the 1980s-1990s. See if your current covers are made of acrylic, which tends to yellow over time.

Plastic Lenses

Cheap plastic lenses found in many bathrooms look outdated and leak light. Inspect your existing covers to see if they are plastic.

Why Replace Old, Yellowed, or Cracked Covers?

Replacing light covers that are old, discolored, or damaged improves your bathroom in key ways:

Improving Appearance

Old yellowed plastic or cracked glass covers look bad. New clear covers or replacement glass restores the look of your fixtures.

Fixing Safety Issues

Broken glass or cracked acrylic covers pose a hazard. New covers remove the risk of injury from sharp edges or falling pieces.

Increasing Light Brightness

Age, dirt, and cracks reduce light transmission. Clean or new covers optimize brightness.

Taking Out the Old Covers Safely

When removing old bathroom light covers, follow these tips for safety:

Materials Needed

Gather replacement bulbs, a power drill with a screwdriver bit, gloves, drop cloths, and a sturdy ladder. Have new covers or caulk on hand too.

Step-by-Step Process

Turn off the power to the fixture at the breaker box. Use the drill and screwdriver to remove any screws holding the cover in place. Carefully remove the old cover, watching for falling pieces. Clean the housing and dispose of broken covers properly.

Cleaning and Restoring Covers

If your existing light covers are intact but dingy, try cleaning or repairing them before replacing them:

Cleaning Glass, Acrylic, and Plastic

Use household cleaners appropriate for each material. For glass, an ammonia-based cleaner restores clarity. Acrylic can be polished with acrylic scratch remover.

Repairing Small Cracks

For minor cracks in glass, apply clear modeling cement. Hairline cracks in acrylic can be sealed with super glue.

Finding Replacement Light Covers

Getting new, clean covers is the best solution for optimal brightness. Here’s how to find the right replacements:

Matching Old Covers

Take the old cover to a lighting store to find an exact or close match. Check the packaging for appropriate dimensions.

Buying New Covers

Choose new covers that fit your light fixture. Stick with glass for durability. Note the shape, diameter, and any features needed.

Installing New Covers Properly

Follow these tips when installing replacement bathroom light covers:

Attaching to Light Fixture

Carefully set the new cover in place and attach to the original hardware. Ensure it is secure. Apply new caulk or gasket material around the edges.

Testing for Leaks

Turn the power back on and look for leaks around the new covers. Tighten connections or re-apply caulk as needed to prevent moisture issues.

Upgrading Your Bathroom Lighting

For a whole new look, consider replacing the entire light fixture, not just the cover. Here’s how:

Picking New Light Fixtures

Choose a style that fits your bathroom’s decor. Opt for moisture-resistant finishes since this is a damp location.

Hiring an Electrician

Unless experienced with electrical work, have a professional install new light fixtures. They’ll ensure correct wiring and compliance with codes.


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