Bathroom Lighting Guide
Choosing the lighting for your bathroom is an important part of the bathroom design process. Check out this bathroom lighting guide for help in understanding the practical and safety requirements of lighting your bathroom.
CHOOSING LIGHTING FOR YOUR BATHROOM
Designing your bathroom space can be exciting and daunting. There are so many things to think about, not just your choice of bath and/or shower, toilet and basin, but storage, mirrors, accessories, wall and floor coverings.
One of the other aspects you’ll need to consider is lighting.
Bathrooms are often one of the smallest rooms in the home and getting the lighting right can be daunting. The correct choice of lighting can not only enhance visibility, but it can make small, darker spaces appear brighter!
Thinking in advance about how you use your bathroom space and what lighting you’ll need can really help make the design and planning so much easier.
HOW DO YOU USE YOUR BATHROOM?
- Do you use your bathroom for doing your make-up?
- As a relaxing space for a hot bath at the end of the day?
- What about a family bathroom for bathing the kids?
- How much natural daylight does your bathroom have?
- Does the window have obscured glass?
- What about when you need to use the toilet in the middle of the night?
- Do you need a ceiling light or spot lights, maybe a lit mirrored cabinet, shower lights? There’s a lot to choose from!
You’ll need to think about how and when you use your bathroom to assess what types of lighting to include and that’s just your first step!
It gets more complicated because of the rules and regulations about lighting in bathrooms where water and moisture can build up and safety becomes a vital consideration.
Read on for more information about bathroom lighting zones and regulations
BATHROOM LIGHTING ZONES AND REGULATIONS
All installations must comply to guidelines based on the zonal requirements These regulations apply to domestic installations only. It is recommended that all electrical work carried out is done by a suitably qualified electrician in accordance with the current IEE wiring regulations (17th Edition).
Bathroom Lights are classified using an IP (Ingress Protection) rating.
IP (or Ingress Protection and International Protection as they are also known) ratings are used to define the degree of protection provided against intrusion with electrical enclosures.
The first digit tells you the level of protection against access to hazardous parts and the ingress of foreign objects, for example dust.
The second digit tells you the protection against moisture i.e. water.
When planning the lighting in your bathroom, it’s helpful to think of your bathroom as being split into different zones. Check out the diagram for a quick explanation.
You will need to choose your lighting according to the various zones.
Zone 0 — 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 total immersion proof.
Zone 1 — the area above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m from the floor. In this zone a minimum rating of IP45 is required but it is generally accepted that IP65 is to be used. It’s also worth noting that most shower lights are rated at IP65 in any case.
Zone 2 — 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.
Outside Zones are anywhere outside zones 0,1 and 2 (subject to specific limits) and where no water jet is likely to be used. There are no special IP requirements in this zone, however we suggest that you consider a light with an IP rating of at least IP20+.
In addition to the above, if there is a likelihood of water jets being used for cleaning purposes then a fitting rated with a minimum of IP65 must be used. Full details can be found in the latest copy of the IEE wiring regulations.
Please note this article is for guidance only as regulations change from time to time.