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Bathroom lighting? Safety first!

Looking for bathroom lighting? Here's how to read IP ratings and choose water-resistant lighting for each area in your bathroom.

A fresh shower, children playing in the bath, brushing your teeth... No room in the house uses as much water as the bathroom. And that water dares to splash around. In a damp room like the bathroom, it is therefore especially important to think about your lighting. Are you looking for lighting for your bathroom, but not sure what to look for? No worries, after reading this article you will know perfectly how to make your bathroom shine.

Bathroom lighting

How to decipher IP ratings

Electricity and water are not a good match. So choose water-resistant lighting for your bathroom. You can tell whether a luminaire is water-resistant from its IP value. The IP value gives your luminaire a classification and consists of 2 digits. Each digit rates a factor. The first digit indicates how resistant your luminaire is to objects and dust. The highest rating is IP6x and means your luminaire is dust-proof. The second figure gives an assessment of how waterproof your luminaire is. IPx8 is the highest achievable rating for lighting here. This means that your luminaire can be used under water.

Water resistance from 0 to 8

You learn the degree of protection against water from the second IP rating. Below is a handy overview of what protection each rating offers:

IPx0: no protection against water

IPx1: protected against water drops, e.g. condensation

IPx2: protected against rain drops when tilted up to 15 degrees

IPx3: protected against splash water

IPx4: Protected against splashing water, from all directions

IPx5: Protected against water jets

IPx6 : waterproof

IPx7 : protected against immersion, maximum 1 metre and 30 minutes

IPx8 : protected against staying under water


Bathroomlighting zones


Bathroom zones: this you should know 

Usually we distinguish 4 different safety zones in the bathroom. Each with a different exposure to water and humidity. Depending on the zone, you need a different minimum IP value.

Zone 0: Underwater

Zone 0 is the area inside your bath and shower. Do you want to illuminate it with recessed spotlights? Then you want spotlights that offer protection against immersion in water; choose models with a rating of IPx8. 

Zone 1: Safety first!

Of course you want to provide sufficient light above your bath and shower. Are you installing your surface-mounted or recessed spot less than 2.25 metres above the bottom of your bath or shower? Then choose a minimum protection of IPx5. The value 5 in this case refers to protection against water jets. Recessed spotlights with an IP65 value are often chosen. Important: in this zone, as in zone 0, work with low voltage. A SELV (Very Low Safety Voltage) is mandatory and makes your installation extra safe.

Zone 2: Beware of splashing water.

Add 60 cm to the edge of your shower and bath, and draw an imaginary radius of 60 cm around your sink. This is zone 2. In this zone, there is a risk of your lighting coming into contact with splashing water. Therefore choose a minimum protection of IPx4.

Zone 3: No direct contact with water.

The rest of your bathroom falls under zone 3. If you install lighting here, it is sufficient to protect it against condensation. IPx1 gives you this protection.

Now that IP values hold no secrets for you, you can choose your bathroom lighting. Considering spotlights, but still have some questions? You are not alone! That is why we made an overview of the 7 most frequently asked questions about recessed spotlights for you. 




Bathroom lighting Recessed lights