Finding a light fixture with a little (non-venting) fan?
November 11, 2016 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Similar to this question, my bathroom does not have a fan. I live in the desert so humidity is not a problem, but it's a small apartment and the bath is centrally located.

Above the shower there is a standard, "regular" light fixture, kind of like this. Why can't I find a similar low-profile light that also has a noisy little fan? Not a real, venting fan, just something that makes noise when the light is on.

Can anyone help? I don't speak hardware but surely someone makes something like this. Thank you!
posted by SockPuppetOfShame to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
You can't find anything because their isn't any market for it. For the most part people aren't installing ventilation fans for the noise they produce.

However all is not lost. Assuming you have regular wood frame construction you could pair any old work exhaust fan/light combo; a length of 4" vent pipe; a 4" vent elbow; and a 4" ceiling diffuser. Just pipe the vent output to the ceiling diffuser.

You might want to label the cover with a something indicating it isn't an exhaust fan. Anyone moving in or buying the place later is going to assume the fan goes someplace.
posted by Mitheral at 6:57 AM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Are you just looking for a white noise machine? Why not just get a little white noise machine. You could plug it into a thing that lets it be controlled by a fake wall switch (like this) and mount that next to the real light switch. I know that this machine turns on as soon as it's plugged in (probably for applications like this)
posted by brainmouse at 7:05 AM on November 11, 2016

Response by poster: Pic here:

Concrete and asbestos construction, no electrical outlet or switch in the bath. (Light switch is on the wall outside the door. Whatever the vent is next to the light is non-functional as far as I can tell ... heat doesn't come out of it and the the rest of the apartment has steam radiators along the wall.
posted by SockPuppetOfShame at 7:31 AM on November 11, 2016

We're thinking of replacing our fan with a quieter fan with a bult in light. This product absolutely exists and you can buy one. It takes up more room than your light (some kind of recessed can?) and it's rectangular so you'd have to change stuff around. But the problem is where does the damp air go? You can't just blow it into the stud cavity, that's not a good idea.
posted by fixedgear at 7:33 AM on November 11, 2016

Response by poster: Sorry last threadsit. I can't make the existing hole any bigger, and have to work within the constraints of the existing junction box or whatever that thing is that the light wires into.
posted by SockPuppetOfShame at 7:35 AM on November 11, 2016

Posted while you were adding the picture so my answer is: you can take square cover off, see how much room is behind there then add a fan and wiring. Problem still is where does the exhaust go?
posted by fixedgear at 7:36 AM on November 11, 2016

Think you're out of luck, there's no exhaust fan that I know of that will mount in a junction box. Most hang from a stud.
posted by fixedgear at 7:38 AM on November 11, 2016

Don't look for a ceiling fan that doesn't vent anywhere, they don't exist. Look for some sort of noisemaker if that's what your end game is.
posted by humboldt32 at 7:42 AM on November 11, 2016

You could also look for light bulbs that are also bluetooth speakers, and have something in the room that can broadcast to them once connected that is white or pink noise.
posted by nickggully at 7:48 AM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

SockPuppetOfShame: "Pic here:"

That's an exhaust fan. Have you pulled the grill off and looked behind? It isn't uncommon for the fan motors to seize up; replacement is straight forward (often as simple as a single screw and pulling a plug). You'll want to cut around the edge of the grill with a sharp knife to break the connection made by the layers of paint before you pull the screws out.
posted by Mitheral at 8:06 AM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

That's an exhaust fan.

Yep. There's probably a whole-building fan on the roof and all the units are supplied with ducts to these grills.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:09 AM on November 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Come on, folks, there are totally fans that don't exhaust, that just suck air in one side and blow it out the other.

Now, the OP's vent may turn out to have a duct behind it, but even if not, there absolutely are solutions for stirring the air around, which DOES help.
posted by intermod at 11:02 AM on November 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wow, didn't know such a thing existed. However there appears only to be the one Broan/NuTone model (#682) and it doesn't include a light.
posted by Mitheral at 8:02 AM on November 12, 2016

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