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A quick guide to bathroom lighting

Having a well-lighted bathroom is important to create the right atmosphere. Discover our guide to choosing the right bathroom lighting.

4 min read

Are you looking for ways to light up your bathroom and create an inviting atmosphere? Look no further! This quick guide will help you understand the importance of IP ratings, bathroom zones for lights, and the different types of lighting you can use. From ceiling lights, downlights and spotlights to wall lights and cabinet lights, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to choose the best lighting for your bathroom.

IP Ratings

When it comes to bathroom lighting, IP ratings are an important factor to consider. IP stands for Ingress Protection, and it is a rating system used to measure the level of protection that a product has against water, dust, and other external elements. IP ratings have two numbers, the first number measures the protection against solids and the second against liquids. The higher the rating, the better the product is protected. IP ratings are especially important for bathroom lighting, as lights in this area must be water-resistant.

Bathroom Zones

It is essential to consider the electrical safety of any bathroom lighting that you choose. This is because bathrooms contain water, and for this reason, the IP (Ingress Protection) rating system has been developed to ensure that all bathroom lighting is water-resistant. The IP rating system has four categories, which are represented by two numbers. The first number refers to the level of protection from solid objects, such as dust, and the second number refers to the level of protection from water. Bathroom lighting must be IP rated at a minimum of IP44 in order to be considered suitable for a bathroom.

Bathrooms have also been divided into three zones based on their position relative to the bathtub or shower area. Zone 0 is directly over the bathtub or shower area, while Zone 1 is up to 60cm away from the bathtub or shower. Lastly, Zone 2 is the area outside of Zones 0 and 1, extending up to a radius of 2.25 meters from the bathtub or shower. Each zone requires a different IP rating, with Zone 0 requiring a minimum of IPX7, Zone 1 a minimum of IP44, and Zone 2 requiring a minimum of IP20.

By following these guidelines for bathroom lighting IP ratings, you can be sure that your bathroom lighting is safe and water-resistant. It is important to remember that all bathroom lighting should be installed by a qualified electrician to ensure proper installation and safety.

Ceiling Lights

Ceiling lights are a popular and common form of bathroom lighting. They can be found as flush mounted fixtures, pendants, or recessed cans. Ceiling lights provide a good general spread of light throughout the room, illuminating both the vanity area and the shower or bathtub. As they’re typically installed close to the ceiling, they keep the light away from splashing water, making them safe for use in bathrooms. Explore this exploration into all things ceiling lighting from Living Etc for inspiration.

Ceiling lights for your bathroom


Spotlights, on the other hand, are designed to direct light onto specific areas or objects. This can be helpful when you need to highlight a certain feature in the bathroom such as a painting or a mirror. They’re a practical choice that could take the practicalities of your daily routine to the next level.


Wall Lights

Wall lights can add ambient, accented lighting to your bathroom or illuminate the entire space. Wall lights are often installed near a vanity or mirror. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, from small sconces to large flush mounts. They also provide decorative value, adding a touch of elegance to any bathroom space. Wall lights are designed with water resistance in mind, making them ideal for use in bathrooms and other wet areas.

Bathroom wall lights

Cabinet Lights

Cabinet lights are a great option for bathroom lighting. They are small and unobtrusive, making them perfect for areas that require illumination but have limited space. Cabinet lights are usually installed under shelves, cabinets or cupboards, allowing them to provide targeted light when needed. Cabinet lights can be used to create a soft ambient light or used as task lighting for shaving or applying makeup. They come in a range of sizes and styles to fit any budget or aesthetic, making them a great choice for bathroom lighting – explore IKEA for ideas.

If you’re ready for a bathroom overhaul along with your lighting, use our Quick Quote Calculator to see what your options could be.

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