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What IP Rating to Choose for Bathroom Lights

By Ahlam Abdulaziz

14th Oct 2022

5 mins read

DIY & Technical

There are strict regulations when it comes to fitting bathroom lights in a safe manner. Read our expert guide on IP ratings and how to choose the right one for your bathroom.

What IP Rating to Choose for Bathroom Lights

Lighting is an important fixture for every room within your home, especially the bathroom. It can be a great source to provide you with good visibility and brighten the space. Choosing the place to install your lights is just as essential, as there are strict regulations regarding the type of light you can use in certain zones of your bathroom. This is due to the high levels of moisture that come with bathroom use.

Follow our expert guide on what IP rating to choose for your bathroom lights.

What is IP rating?

IP stands for ingress protection and it is formed with two numbers. The numbers indicate how good a casing is at protecting against small particles or water ingress.

For example, IP65 would indicate that the light fixture has a high rating of ‘6’ for protection from solid objects such as dust and sand. The second number of ‘5’ would indicate a mid-range rating of how well it protects from water.

We advise that you always seek professional help, ie from a qualified electrician, before installing lighting in your bathroom.

IP Rating Chart
IP Rating Chart

What are Bathroom Lighting Zones?

There are various bathroom lighting zones to think about before installing fixtures in your desired location. This is to make sure that they are safe and non-hazardous.

Bathroom Lighting Zones
Bathroom Lighting Zones

Zone 0

This zone is typically inside a bath, shower enclosure, or wet room. We don’t advise using any light fixtures in this area unless it is done by a licensed electrician. Any fittings used in zone 0 must be on low voltage - maximum 12v, and be rated at least IP67. This indicates that it will be totally immersion-proof.

Zone 1

When choosing a light fixture directly above the bath or shower tray, this would be in zone 1. This type of lighting needs to be at a height of up to 2.25m from the floor. Installing in zone 1, you should use IP45 or higher. If the fitting is 240v, a 30mA RCD must be used to protect the circuit. A residual current device (RCD) is a safety device that automatically switches off the electricity in some circuits if a fault is detected.

A great example of a zone 1 light fixture is the Revive ceiling and wall light. This product has an IP rating of IP54 making it suitable for zone 1 areas. This light ceiling features modern technology that is operated by WiFi & Bluetooth which can be controlled via smartphones, tablets, smart sensors, smart remotes and voice control. It is supported by Alexa, Hey Google, Apple Siri and Samsung.

Zone 2

In zone 2 you would need to fit in your lights at least 60cm outside the perimeter of the bath and to a height of 2.25m from the floor. This rule also applies to the area around the wash basin. A light fixture must be within a 60cm radius of any tap. Lighting in this area should be at least IP44 or higher.

Our favourite light fixture for this area is the Endon Square Wall Light. It has a rating of IP44, is compatible with LED bulbs, and features a pull switch to save you some coins on your electricity bills. Achieve a minimalistic look with the Endon wall light at a cost-effective price.

Zone 3

Finally, in zone 3 there are no special requirements as to which IP rating light fixture you should use, so IP20 and above is acceptable for this area. This is with the exception that a spray hose water jet to not be used for cleaning purposes and if they are, then lighting in this area should be a minimum of IP65.

We recommend the Crux light fixture for a classic downlight look on your bathroom ceiling. It features 3 angled tubular-shaped arms with decorative glass tubes. This IP44 Cruz light is not only safe to be used in your space, but it will also add a touch of glamour to most bathroom designs.

Another great ceiling light fixture is the Revive IP65 tiltable bathroom downlights. These round satin brass ceiling lights are a great way to create a modern look in your bathroom. The Revive fixtures come in a pack of 6 to provide you with a well-lit space.

Revive Tiltable Bathroom Downlights
Crux 3 Light Ceiling Fitting

Why hire an Electrician to Fit Your Bathroom Lights?

It may seem like a simple job that could save you money, but in reality, many things can go wrong when fitting a light fixture, specifically in the bathroom. You have to take into consideration the IP rating, different bathroom zones, pipes in the walls, and many more things. A bathroom is definitely not the place to experiment with when it comes to the potential dangers of mixing electricity and water.

We recommend that you hire a licensed electrician as they will know how to connect new switches and circuits in order to avoid any hazards such as fires. This will also save you the hassle of losing money in the future if it’s done incorrectly.

We hope you found our guide on what IP rating to choose for your bathroom lights helpful. Stay safe and be sure to consult a licensed electrician before installing any light fixtures. Browse our bathroom lights for inspiration!



Ahlam is one of our bathroom design and DIY experts. Read her blog posts for easy-to-follow guides and insightful tips on how to elevate the look of your bathroom.

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