Bathroom Lighting Zones
Great care needs to be taken when choosing lighting for your bathroom, as there are strict regulations regarding the type of lights you can use.
It is also highly important to choose bathroom lighting that will provide you with good visibility, as well helping to brighten your bathroom. The use of bathroom mirrors both of the illuminated and non-illuminated varieties, are a great way of creating the illusion of space and light within a small area. Illuminating the walls can also make the space seem bigger.
Underlighting the bath with an led strip can add an interesting feature and act as a night light.
The purpose of this content is here to help you choose the perfect lighting for your bathroom
The different lighting zones
Zone 0: Lighting directly inside the bath or shower Any lighting fixture used in this bathroom zone must be very low voltage, (max 12V) and be rated at least IP67 which is total immersion proof.
Zone 1: Lighting directly above the bath or shower, up to 2.25 metres(m) from the floor. An Ingress protection of IP65 or above is reccomended.
Zone 2: Lighting placed either side of the bath, shower or wash basin up to 600mm (0.6m) outside the perimeter of the water sources and up to 2.25m from the floor. A minimum rating of IP44 is recommended
Outside Zones: Any areas outside of the above zones
To add to the above, if water jets may be used for cleaning purpose then you should ensure a fitting rated with a minimum of IP65 is used. More information on this is enclosed in the IEE wiring regulations.
The types of bathroom lighting there are, are usually identified by their zone suitability or IP rating, or both. An IP (Ingress Protection) rating ranks the light source by how effectively it is protected from liquids or solid objects. This will have a say of where in your bathroom you will be able to safely install the lighting.
The IP rating is indicated by the letter ‘IP’ alongside two digits. The first digit indicates the level of protection from solids, so you can ignore the first digit when looking for bathroom lights. Pay attention to the second digit as this indicates how water resistant the light is. The higher the digit, the more water resistant the lighting.
What is Ingress Protection?
Ingress protection (IP) determines if an electrical product’s exterior case or enclosure will protect the working parts from water, dust or solid object intrusion. This is to keep the product electrically safe for longer lasting usage. Ingress protection testing, or IP testing, provides a repeatable test standard to compare the enclosure protection. This is a type of testing which should always be performed at an accredited test laboratory.
IP - in detail
You may still wonder what this means. Basically, each part of the code is designed to enable you the necessary information to help you decide if the fitting you are looking at is suitable for where you wish to put it.
Firstly – IP
As noted, the IP in the code is short for Ingress Protection - as in how well protected a fitting is.
Digit 1 - Solids
The first digit tells you how well protected a fitting is against solids. This is relevant to elements such as dust, and other objects. The higher the number, the more protected it is. On occasion
you may find the digit represented by an X. X means the value has not been determined, usually because the product hasn't been tested for protection against solid objects.
Digit 2 - Liquid
The second digit is used to tell you about the level of liquid protection: 0 being not protected and, the highest value of 8 being safe to submerge in more than 1 meter of water.
Ingress Protection Chart
Please see the chart below to see a clear idea of how the IP rating is calculated.