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Saturday, 20 September 2014

How to buy bathroom lights. IP ratings explained.

Bathroom lights do not have to be
boring any more
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Are you redesigning your bathroom?

The standard bathroom furniture – the bath, toilet, sink and shower – are all relatively easy to source. You just need to select a style and ensure the size matches your physical space.
However, choosing lighting for your bathroom always appears to be so complicated. Did someone say something about IP rating? You might ask yourselves what the heck that means. But do not worry. We are here to demystify bathroom light selection.

Consider your bathroom in the terms of zones. We have found you this helpful diagram to explain the zones to you. Where are you considering putting lights? Select the relevant zone and then you can see which IP rating you need.

Because of the high chance that the lights will be exposed to moisture, you should only put lights in your bathroom that have been designed for it. Also, to ensure you are not at risk, always ensure a qualified electrician installs your bathroom lights. 

The bathroom zones explained in a handy picture
Your guide to IP Ratings

For bathroom lights, the second digit of the IP ratings is the most important when selecting your lighting. The IP ratings refer to the degree of risk of electric shock.

The X represents another digit. However, this is not important in relevance to the lights bathroom suitability.

The scale:
  • IPX0 – No protection
  • IPX1 – Drip proof
  • IPX3 – Rain proof
  • IPX4 – Splash proof (suitable for zone 1/2)
  • IPX5 – Water jet proof (suitable for zone 1/2)
  • IPX6 -  Powerful water jet proof
  • IPX7 – Watertight (immersible) = Suitable for Zone 0
  • IPX8 – Pressure watertight

Zone 0 – Inside the bath, shower or wet room

All lights within a bath or shower cubicle or wet room need to have an IP rating of at least IP67 and have a low voltage (max 12V).

Bathroom Lights - Zone 0
Inside you bath, shower or wet room

The lights for zone 0 are usually spot lights and recessed. They are available in a variety of lamp colours.
Option 1EL-20064 by Endon Lighting  -   A pack of 6 blue LED plinth lights. IP67. £31.68. 
These are ideal for the sides of the bath or if you want to light up a wet room or shower cubical.

Option 2SauncaSL50 by Firstlight  Modern chrome finish. IP68 rated. £175.50. 
This spot light is specifically designed for use in a Jacuzzi or sauna. 

Zone 1 – 2.25m above the floor around the bath or shower

All lights within this zone need an IP rating of at least IP44 – although if you clean with water jets an IP rating of IPX5 will be needed).

Usually this area will only include wall space. So we have selected a range of wall lights to show you the choice you have in bathroom wall lights. 

Bathroom Lights - Zone 1 - The wall around your bath non longer has to be dull and un-illuminated

These lights will usually be on the wall around the sides of your bath. There is a range of bathroom lighting available in traditional and contemporary styles.  You have a choice between either traditional wall lights or spot lights. The perk of spot lights is that you can aim them at the book you are reading in the bath. It’s also worth considering picking a light with a pull cord which will help if you do not want the light on all of the time.

Option 1 = BATH/MN1 by Elstead Lighting.  A traditionally styled bathroom wall light. IP44 rated. £89.10. 
Features a G9 mains voltage halogen hidden within a decorative styled candle lamp shade.

Option 2 = OBO0775by Dar Lighting. Traditionally styled wall light with decorative opal shade. IP44 rated. £63.50. 
Features a pull cord, so this would be ideal for when you need a low light for when you’re relaxing in the bath.

Option 3 = LOG7150by Dar Lighting. Modern spot light in  glass and chrome. IP44. £69.50. Features a decorative mirrored back plate. So if your bathroom feature mirrored tiles, this is really easy to add in. It also has a pull cord for easy on/off and is double insulated. In addition, it is also LED.

Option 4 = Cosmo39615 by Saxby Lighting.  Modern single chrome bathroom wall light. IP44 rated. £13.99. 
We find these lights are really popular. The style suits both residential and commercial bathrooms.

Option 5 = BATH/LUN2 by Elstead Lighting. A 2 light  crystal decorated bathroom light. IP44 rated. £243.00. 
This is one of the few double light wall lights we have for the bathroom. It is finished in a really traditional bronze and is decorated with the beautiful crystal balls.

Option 6 = Bath/BB1 BRZ by Elstead lighting. A traditional styled bathroom wall light. IP44 rated. £117.01. 
This is a really classical and decorative solution for if you are looking to create a traditionally styled space. The wall light also uses G9 mains  voltage halogen lamps, so it is really easy to retrofit an equivalent LED lamp.

Zone 2 – 0.6m outside parameter of the bath, shower or sink + the space above 2.25m-3m above the bath or shower

In recent years, lighting manufacturers have been making a real effort to create bathroom suitable ceiling lights that look decorative as well. You do not just have to select boring and functional lights anymore. Have as much enjoyment picking out your bathroom lights as any other room in the house.

All lights in this zone need to have an IP rating of a minimum of IPX4 (IPX5 where jets of water are used for cleaning). 

With your ceiling lights, you need to consider a fitting that provides lighting to your space. Think in terms of lighting levels. The ceiling lights need to create an overall light for normal bathroom use. However, you can combine them with wall lights (and candles) to provide a low level lighting when you just was to relax. 

Bathroom lights - Zone 2 - Modern and traditional ceiling lights.
Flush lights, spot lights and pendant fittings.
Option 1 = 540-34BS by Endon Lighting.  A modern flush fitting ceiling light. IP54. £47.04. 
This ceiling light is flush to the ceiling. So ideal if you have short ceilings and is limited by height.

Option 2 = Pearl6151 by Firstlight. A decorative 3 light ceiling light. IP44 rated. £131.82. 
Each shade is decorated with crystal glass. So this will look stunning whether or not the light is turned on. This ceiling light uses G9 mains voltage halogens, so if you really want LED lights you can retrofit with an LED Lamp.

Option 3 = EL-20017 by Endon Lighting. Modern down light featuring decorative blue LEDs. IP44. £49.92. 
The main lamp – a GU10 halogen lamp - can be replaced with an LED equivalent. This really is ideal for modern bathrooms, especially if you are struggling for ceiling height.

Option 4 = EL-1003-5CH by Endon Lighting. Modern decorative 5 light chrome ceiling light. IP44. £144.00. 
This is a really popular fitting and a few customers have actually brought one of these to use as a wall light. We have one of these on display in the showroom and it looks really stylish. The lamps are G9 halogen, so you have the option to retrofit this with an LED lamp.

Option 5 = 7443CCby Searchlight. Modern chrome 3 light spot ceiling light. IP44. £47.04. 
The perk of a spotlight fitting is that you can ensure the light is exactly where you need it in your space. These are GU10 halogens can be retrofitted to LED.

Option 6 = Eden8313GR by Firstlight. Industrial style grey  pendant light. IP44 rated. £61.62. 
This light is actually being marketed by Firstlight as a garden light. However, we agree with a number of customers that this would work fantastically well as a bathroom light as well. As the IP rating makes this safe for bathroom use, we have decided to include it in the line up for this blog. It provides you with a style that is different from the rest of the range on offer. It would also look great in converted buildings or if you have slighting higher ceilings to play with.

Option 7 = Disc CF10by Firstlight. Features an opal glass shade and a blue light projection onto the ceiling. IP44 Rated. £61.62. 
Due to the opal glass shade this light provides a really soft light. However, the coloured ceiling light makes this ideal for modern bathrooms. The main light is a standard E27 lamp, so you could retrofit this to LED if you wanted to.

Option 8 = CRA0550 by Dar Lighting. Decorative 5 light bathroom multi-arm pendant. IP44 rated. £148.50. 
Features alabaster glass shades in addition to crystal beads and drops. This ceiling light looks beautiful on or off. The lamps are G9 halogens – so they can be retrofitted to LEDs.

Bathroom lights - Zone 2 -  Modern and Traditional Wall Lights
Spot lights, shaver lights, hollywood style and bathroom LED mirror

 Mirror = DIA99/Clock wall mirror by Dar lighting. A modern bathroom mirror. IP44 rated. £285.00. 
Features a digital clock so you can keep track of the time. This mirror also has: a demist function, shaver socket and decorative LED lights. Ideal for any family or commercial bathroom .

Option 1 = EL-20093 by Endon Lighting . A white single head halogen lamp spotlight. IP44 rated. £28.80. 
This wall light is finished in a really clean white and has a pull cord – so you will not need this on all the time. The perk of this being a GU10 halogen lamp is that you can retrofit with a LED GU10 lamp if you prefer. You can get a matching ceiling spot lamp if you want a matching set.

Option 2 = Showtime by Firstlight. Hollywood dressing room inspired lights. IP44 rated. £85.00. These are ideal for your bathroom or dressing table. Operated by pull cord, so you do not need to have them on all the time. Features decorative mirrored back plate.

Option 3 = 8236CH by Firstlight . Energy saving shaver light with shaver socket. IP44 rated £120.90. Because this light features a shaver socket, we would recommend this be right at the edge of zone 2 and preferably over a mirror. This will ensure the exposure to moisture is limited.  It features a chrome finish with a frosted glass diffuser. So this is a really practical light which will go in any bathroom.

Option 4 = ADA0750 by Dar Lighting . Double insulated chrome bathroom wall light. IP44 rated. £45.00. 
Features an opal glass shade which will give out a soft light. It takes SES Candle lamps – so if you want an LED lamp you can retrofit.

Option 5 = Aylesbury BATH/AY1 by Elstead lighting – traditional style single wall light finished in chrome. IP44 rated. £94.50. 
Comes complete with a glass shade. Provides a soft light, so ideal if you’re looking to create an atmosphere in your bathroom.

Outside of the these zones

If you are fortunate enough to have a very large bathroom, you will have areas that fall outside the stated zones. These areas do not have a minimum IP rating requirement. However, we would recommend only using specified bathroom lighting. When you are mixing water and electricity, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Any socket outlets you need – either for shavers, ply sockets or rechargeable toothbrushes -  need to be in this zone. Every  outlets should be a minimum distance 3m outside zone 1. In addition, the circuit  must be provided with a 30ma RCD protection. These additional protections are another important reason as to why you need an electrician involved in the project.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the process of adding lighting to your bathroom. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 01202 601846. We are more than happy to help you find the perfect light for your new bathroom.
Your local lighting specialist