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What are Bathroom Lighting Zones?

It’s important to take care when choosing lighting for your bathroom, not only to create a beautiful aesthetic but to protect the wiring and yourself, making sure you're following the bathroom lighting regulations. If you’re looking for new bathroom lighting, you may have come across the phrase “lighting zones”, gotten confused by IP ratings, and been unsure what’s suitable for your bathroom. If so, we have a guide to help you illuminate your space.

Different areas in your bathroom need different lights, and this is where lighting zones come in.

Zone 0 – This is the area inside the bath or shower itself. Any light here needs to be low voltage (12V max) and have a rating of at least IP67.

Zone 1 – The area above the bath or shower 2.25m from the floor. A minimum rating of IP45 is required but most lights here tend to have a rating of IP65.

Zone 2 – This area stretches 0.6m outside the perimeter of the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m from the floor. An IP rating of at least 44 is required. The 60cm radius of a tap is also a Zone 2 area.

Outside Zones – These areas don’t fit into the other 3 zone descriptors and is usually where water is unlikely to get to. There are no IP requirements in this zone but an IP of at least 20 is recommended.

If the area is likely to be cleaned with a jet of water, then a fitting of IP65 minimum should be used.

What do IP ratings even mean?

IP stands for Ingress Protection whilst the number represents two different levels of protection.

The first digit is the protection against solid objects:                                                                   

0 – No protection.

1 – Protected against objects 50mm and larger.

2 – Protected against objects 12mm and larger.

3 – Protected against objects 2.5mm and larger.

4 – Protected against objects 1mm and larger.

5 – Protected against dust.

6 – Dust-tight.

The second digit is the protection against water:

0 – No protection.

1 – Protected from vertically falling drops of water.

2 – Protected against vertically falling drops of water with an angle of 15 degrees.

3 – Protected against rain-style water up to 60 degrees from vertical.

4 – Protected from splashing in all directions.

5 – Protected against low jets of water.

6 – Protected against heavy jets of water.

7 – Protected against temporary immersion up to 1m for 30 minutes.

8 – Protected against long periods of immersion.

Which lights are suitable for the bathroom?

The easiest ways to add light to your bathroom is through the Outside Zone, usually the ceiling, and Zone 2, usually above sinks and mirrors.

To create a sleek, contemporary look in your bathroom, the Wofi Peggy Ceiling Light and Wofi Donna Ceiling Light are great additions for Zone 2 and Outside Zone areas. They are simple and modern in design, allowing your bathroom décor to really shine.

Wall lights are a great way to add both light and a touch of luxury style to your space. The Clayton Spot Light is a classic wall light that’s suitable for Zone 2 areas, perfect for installing above your mirror to create a shaving light or a make-up area. A more modern alternative is the square Pax Wall Light, also suitable for Zone 2.

If you have a larger bathroom space, then you have more lighting options to play with thanks to those handy Outside Zones. We have a variety of lights for this area, all with contemporary and imaginative designs that will give your bathroom a deluxe appearance. Great examples include the Raymond Wall Light, the fun and unique Dini Wall Light, or the must-have Tom Makeup Mirror.

Inspiration for your home