Jim Lawrence Knowledge Base

Ip ratings explained

Bathroom lighting

Do I need special lights for the bathroom?

The answer to this one is nearly always "YES". All bathroom lighting must conform to the current regulations which are designed with safety in mind.

Bathrooms are considered to be a special location for electrical installations because they have an increased risk of electric shock for the users, due to being so close to water.

All electrical products found in bathrooms: lighting, showers, fans, heaters, shaver sockets and towel rails, are governed by rules for installation and contractors must follow them, used certified products that make sure they comply with the regulations.

 Always consult an electrician if you are unfamiliar with wiring 

For information on IP Ratings for Outdoor Lights see our guide:

What are IP ratings?

IP ratings refer to the classifications given to lights when they are tested for protection against solid objects (dirt, dust) and water. The higher the digits, the better the level of protection.

During testing, light fittings are given a two digit number known as an IP (Ingress Protection) number or rating. The rating indicates the standard used to define the level of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies such as dirt and water.

The first digit stands for the level of protection that the enclosure provides against solid bodies like dirt and dust particles and ranges from 0 for no protection to 6 for total protection.

The second digit relates to the degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against water and ranges from 0 for no protection, up to 8 for a light that will be totally submerged in water.

Our bathroom lighting range has been carefully designed and constructed with safety in mind. All our bathroom lights are IP rated 44 for zones 2 & 3, so you know exactly where in your bathroom it is safe to install. We do not supply lights for zone 1.

If you are unsure that your light is suitable for the zone, always consult an electrician 
Cheltenham Wall Light

What are Bathroom Zones?

For safety purposes, bathrooms are divided into zones and the IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers) wiring regulations indicate what types of lighting can be installed safely in each zone.

Each of the bathroom electrical zones illustrated below has specific requirements regarding the electrical equipment that can be installed and used in that zone.

All our bathroom lights are IP rated 44 meaning they are suitable for use in zones 2 & 3.
Bathroom Zones

Zone 0

This is inside the bath or shower tray itself and any light here must be low voltage and rated IPx7 (the x is used here because the degree of dust protection does not apply to bathrooms and any number will be ok). Lights rated IPx7 will provide total protection when immersed in water.

Zone 1

Is above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25 metres above floor level and a light fitting with a minimum of IPx5 is needed here.

Zone 2

An area stretching to 0.6 metres outside the bath and above the bath or shower if over 2.25 metres. A light fitting of at least IPx4 is needed. Zone 2 also includes the area above the sink in a radius of 0.6 metres from the taps.

Zone 3

Refers to the area beyond Zone 2 and was previously known as Zone 3. There is no longer a specific IP number for this area and any light fitting can be used unless it is specifically marked as not for use in bathrooms. Always consult an electrician if you are unsure.