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Understanding Bathroom IP Zones

Understanding Bathroom IP Zones

Simultaneously unique and challenging, creating effective lighting in the bathroom requires some lateral thinking. Naturally, lots of questions come up.

What kind of light fittings should you get? How many light fittings do you need?

What is the most useful place to put the lights?

Perhaps surprisingly, one of the most important features for bathroom lighting gets forgotten about more often than not: safety. Why’s that?

Well think about it: water and electricity don’t go well together. And, a humid and wet bathroom is one place where the chances of that happening are probably the highest in the house. So how do you illuminate your bathroom without causing any major problems?

 

Understanding IP Ratings

IP or Ingress Protection is applied to products whose barriers may be broken. These ratings usually start with “IP” followed by two numbers. The first number relates to objects that are solid while the second number relates to liquids.

IP levels refer to a product’s ability to protect itself from being penetrated by small objects, water and dust.

Bathroom IP Zones

Zone 0 refers to the area in the bath or shower. These are parts of the bathroom that could become submerged under water. These need an IP rating of IPX7. The 7 in the code refers to the fitting’s ability to be submerged in water.

Zone 1 lies inside the shower or straight above the bath (as high as 2.25 metres). These areas are likely to receive splashes and would therefore need a rating of IPX4 at least.

Zone 2 is on both sides of zone 1, 2.25 metres above the shower and 0.6 metres away from the bath. Zone 2 areas have an IP rating requirement of IPX4 as well.

Areas that fall outside of these zones do not need to be fitted with IP rated lights but it is worth remembering that steam can also cause damage to light fittings.