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Bathroom Lighting Rules

Bathroom Lighting Rules: Lighting in the bathroom is important. Regulations are very strict as to which lights you are able to use in a bathroom and to complicate matters, bathrooms have different zones, which determine what type of light you may use within that zone. Light fittings that are used in a bathroom are IP rated.

What does IP rating mean for bathroom lights?

Ingress Protection rating

Ingress means entering, in the case of bathroom lights it means, water or steam entering a light fitting – Ingress protection means the amount it is protected. There are various Ingress Protection ratings =IP ratings.The higher the IP rate is, the more protected the light is.

Bathroom Zones

Bathroom Lighting Rules

All installations must comply to the guidelines which are based on a zone area which is similar to the installation of lighting around a swimming pool area.

Each ZONE AREA has an IP rating. IP rating = Ingress Protection Rating. Each ZONE AREA is sought from the degree of the risk of electrical shock.


Inside the bath or shower cubicle. Rated IPx7.


The area directly above the bath or shower up to a height of 2.25 metres. Rated a minimum of IPx5.


This is the area immediately next to ZONE 1. This is 0.6 metres wide, and covers the area directly next to ZONE 1, all around ZONE 1 and also the area above the 2.25 metres high directly above the bath or shower cubicle.


Is also the area around the wash basin. Rated a minimum of IPx4.

A minimum rating IPx5 are the areas of ZONES 1 and 2 for where water jets are likely to be used for cleaning purposes.

Whilst it is important to select the style of fitting to suit your decor, safety is the most important factor when choosing a light for your bathroom. The guidelines for bathroom lights, above will help you decide which zone sector the requirements are for the positioning of light fittings in the bathroom.

The light in a bathroom needs to be as bright and as evenly spread as possible without any glare to the eye. The most important area to concentrate on usually, is around the wash basin area for make – up application and shaving etc. It is important to remember that a central ceiling light will create shadows whilst facing into a mirror at the basin area. The use of mirror lights on or over the mirror will help combat this.


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