Safe Lighting In the Bathroom
Because bathrooms have light fittings in close proximity to running water, they require some extra safety precautions. There are three simple things you can do to ensure you are on the right track:
1 – Note which IP Rating your product has
2 – Check which bathroom “zone" your lighting will be in and that it has a suitable IP Rating
3 – Ensure the fitting is installed by a qualified electrician referring to the IEE Wiring Regulations (18th Edition)
The below sections explain these, and you can also reference our catalogue for more information.
1 – What is an IP rating?
IP rating stands for “Ingress Protection". Ingress means “to get in" so IP is all about preventing foreign objects such as water or dust from getting to your light bulb – it applies particularly to bathroom and outdoor lighting. IP is always followed by two numbers to indicate the level of protection; it is important that you choose fittings with the correct rating according to where they will be installed within your bathroom.
All lighting in our bathroom section is rated IP44 or higher, so will suit the majority of uses.
|First Digit (Ingress of Solid Objects)||Second Digit (Ingress of Water)|
|0 – No Protection||0 – No Protection|
|1 – Protected against penetration by solid objects 50mm+||1 – Protected from vertically falling drops|
|2 – Protected against penetration by solid objects 12mm+||2 – Protected from water drops falling at a max angle of 15°|
|3 – Protected against penetration by solid objects 2.5mm+||3 – Protected from water as in the rain at a max angle of 60°|
|4 – Protected against penetration by solid objects 1mm+||4 – Protected from splashing or projection|
|5 – Dust Protected||5 – Protected from low pressure jets|
|6 – Dust Tight||6 – Protected from high pressure jets|
|7 – Protected from temporary immersion|
|8 – Protected against long periods of immersion|
2 – What are lighting zones?
The diagram below shows a bathroom split into three clear zones: 0, 1 and 2.
Zone 0 is inside the bath or shower itself. Any fitting used in this zone must be low voltage (max 12V) and be rated at least IP67, which is immersion proof.
Zone 1 is the area above the bath to a height of 2.25m from the floor. In this zone a minimum rating of IP44 is required.
Zone 2 is an area stretching 0.6m outside the perimeter of the bath and to a height of 2.25m from the floor. In this zone an IP rating of at least IP44 is required. In addition, it is good practice to consider the area around a wash basin, within a 60cm radius of any tap, to be considered as Zone 2. In accordance with advice from the Lighting Industry Association, the location above Zone 1, (over the bath or shower), up to a ceiling height of 3m, continues to be classified as Zone 2.
The lighting circuit within a bathroom should be protected with a 30ma residual current device (RCD).
3 – Why do I need a qualified electrician?
We recommend a qualified electrician to install any wired fitting; they follow a universal guide of best practice in the UK. The first edition was published in 1882 and it is updated periodically to keep abreast of technological innovation. The most recent is the IEE Wiring Regulations 18th Edition and your electrician should be following these requirements.