Bathroom Zones and IP Ratings
When it comes to lighting your bathroom, it's important to consider not only the style and design of your fixtures but also their suitability for use in different zones of your bathroom. This is because bathrooms are divided into different zones based on their proximity to water sources and the level of moisture they're likely to encounter.
In addition to considering the bathroom zones, it's also important to look at the IP ratings of your lighting fixtures. These ratings indicate how well the fixtures are protected against water and dust.
So, what do you need to know about bathroom zones and IP ratings? Let's take a closer look.
Bathrooms are divided into four different zones, each with its own specific requirements for lighting:
- Zone 0: The inside of the bath or shower itself. Only low voltage (max 12V) lighting is permitted in this zone, and the lighting must be rated at least IP67.
- Zone 1: The area directly above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m. Any lighting installed in this zone must be rated at least IP44.
- Zone 2: The area stretching 0.6m outside the perimeter of the bath or shower and up to a height of 2.25m. Lighting in this zone must be rated at least IP44.
- Zone 3: Any area outside Zones 0, 1, and 2, up to a height of 2.25m. No specific IP rating is required for lighting in this zone, but it's recommended that any lighting used in this area should have some level of moisture protection.
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The IP (Ingress Protection) rating of a lighting fixture indicates how well it's protected against moisture and dust. The IP rating consists of two digits:
The first digit indicates the level of protection against solids, such as dust. The scale ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (complete protection against dust).
The second digit indicates the level of protection against liquids, such as water. The scale ranges from 0 (no protection) to 9 (protection against high-pressure water jets).
Here are some of the most common IP ratings you're likely to encounter when shopping for bathroom lighting:
- IP20: This rating indicates that the fixture is not protected against water or dust and should not be used in bathrooms.
- IP44: This rating indicates that the fixture is protected against splashes of water from any direction and can be safely used in Zone 2 and outside zones.
- IP65: This rating indicates that the fixture is protected against low-pressure jets of water from any direction and can be safely used in Zone 1 and 2.
- IP67: This rating indicates that the fixture is protected against immersion in water up to a depth of 1m for up to 30 minutes and can be safely used in Zone 0.