Proper Position of Bathroom Light Switch?

Where is your bathroom light switch?

  • Inside wall

    Votes: 138 88.5%
  • Outside wall

    Votes: 11 7.1%
  • Both

    Votes: 6 3.8%
  • Other (I don't know, maybe you have an outhouse?)

    Votes: 1 0.6%

  • Total voters


Elementary, My Dear Mickey
Apr 15, 2004
Friends are having a new home built and are having a friendly disagreement about where to place the bathroom light switches.

She wants them on the wall outside the door because she just likes it better turning the light on before entering so you dont have to feel around on the inside wall for the switch. Also house she grew up in had the switches outside so she is used to that.

He wants all switches inside the bathroom because he doesn't think anyone should be able to control the lights from the outside (bad college experience lol).

In my house all switches are on the inside.

Just made me wonder, is there a right or wrong? What's more common? I would guess switch on inside is the default?

What about you?


DIS Veteran
Mar 5, 2017
In my new construction home the first thing I did was make sure all the switches that mattered were either zwave (smart things controlled) or occupancy sensing so the position didn't really matter.

Anyway I do think Inside is the normal..and I guess motion activated requires being inside.
  • Mamabun

    May 16, 2017
    I've had this debate before with friends, and I can see why people like either option, but for me it's inside the bathroom, especially if it's an en-suite. In the night I like to be able to go inside the bathroom and close the door before turning on the light, so the light doesn't spill into the bedroom and possibly wake someone. But of course different circumstances, different opinions...


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 31, 2015
    An hour wouldn't go by in my house without someone turning the light off on someone "mid-stream" if the switches were on the outside wall of the bathroom!

    Any time I have seen a outside-wall scenario in a house, i always just assumed the electrical was retro-fitted to accommodate a remodel or addition or whatever, and it was just a decision by the homeowner not to correct the problem properly lol


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 13, 2009

    My in-laws have an outside one for their upstairs bathroom. One day, I went to go to the downstairs bathroom (where the switch is inside), and I turned off everything in the master bedroom (including the computer) oops! Also, on the outside one, someone can leave you in the dark, even if unintentionally.

    I think it is really confusing to visitors as they are usually on the inside.

    The other advice is not to have a bunch of switches that don't do anything. Our current house has that...7 years and still don't know what some of them turn on/off
  • BrianL

    Doom Buggy Driver
    Jul 24, 2013
    The other advice is not to have a bunch of switches that don't do anything. Our current house has that...7 years and still don't know what some of them turn on/off
    Ha ha. Somehow I just see you flipping a random switch in your house and the power is switching on and off at the airport or something!

    To answer the OP, inside is the only thing that makes any sense to me.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 13, 2009
    Google says they are almost always inside in the US
    I know that they are building a house and maybe plan on living there forever, but I would consider re-sale and having the house be too unique. It might put buyers off


    DIS Veteran
    Mar 5, 2005
    In our house, we have 2 full bathrooms & 2 1/2 bathrooms. The 2 full baths are our master bath & the main bath in the hallway outside the kids' bedrooms.

    In our main bathroom (or kids' bathroom), both the bathtub & the toilet are in a separate room from the sinks - which works well for kids. Someone can be taking a shower while someone else is brushing his/her teeth.

    Anyway, the light switch for the front part of the bathroom (sinks, linen closet) is inside the bathroom on the wall to the right of the door. However, the light switch for the toilet & bathtub room is OUTSIDE on the wall in the front part of the bathroom.

    And, yes, our children have turned the light off on their sibling while sibling was taking a shower.

    Our master bathroom is set up the same way. My husband's closet & our sinks are in the front part w/ the light switch inside the bathroom. And our toilet and shower are in a separate room w/ the light switch on the wall outside in the front part of the bathroom.
  • _19disnA

    DIS Veteran
    Aug 8, 2018
    If it is new construction, they will have to check with the builder and see what the local electrical codes require or allow. It seems odd to put a switch outside of the bathroom, not sure I have ever seen that in a house. If you want light at night, they can buy a nightlight and/or those motion detectors that turn on lights when you enter the room.


    DIS Veteran
    Jun 5, 2000
    I'm kind of sad for your friend that they don't see the issue with having it outside. It seems like they've sort of missed out.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 17, 2016
    We have one full bath and two 3/4 baths. All three of them have light switches on the outside, two of them have additional switches on the inside. It's an old house so not sure if that's why they're on the outside.


    DIS Veteran
    Jan 20, 2010
    Definitely inside the bathroom. I've never seen the bathroom switch in the hall outside the bathroom. My DH thinks it's hilarious to turn the lights off on me while I"m doing things. If our bathroom lights were in the hallway, I don't think I would probably ever get to take a shower with the lights on :-)


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 6, 2015
    100% inside. They have motion sensing switches now that will turn themselves on. I would do that before putting a switch outside the bathroom.

    This might have been previously mentioned, I didn't read the thread.

    Wishing on a star

    DIS Veteran
    Aug 7, 2002
    Definitely inside.
    One should not be vulnerable to having outside control when in the bathroom!!!!
    I agree with your DH!!!! And like the poster above mentioned... Some people, like kids and adults who are just immature or self-absorbed and have a mean-streak, have a field day with stuff like that.

    And I don't see an issue with 'having to feel around'... we always keep a small night-light in our bath.

    I also agree with waking the other person.
    My husband has always been an early riser, and having to head to work early. Even in a Hotel, we absolutely HATE the open bath concept. (Also common outside of the U.S. and the light is a big of an annoyance as any noise/sounds.

    I have never really encountered 'outside' switches. Not unless this were a dual switch, with one outside, and one also inside.
    And, I wouldn't even have that in a bath.

    I think where I live, it is electrical building code to have a switch within easy reach of entering a room.

    In fact, I think the only 'outside' bath switches I have ever seen have been out of the country.
    Last edited:

    Queen of the WDW Scene

    It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.
    Aug 24, 2016
    I agree with him that no one should be able to to turn the lights off on you.
    As for her I think its more that that is what she is ued to vs that being the normlm.
    I don't have to "feel around" for the light switch.
    Its muscle memory just like my bedroom light switch, or kitchen light switch, or basement light switch, or even say a car door handle etc.

    So my vote is inside the bathroom.


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