Bathroom Lighting: Replacing, Selecting & Installing
Having enough light in your bathroom is important. You need to be able to see your face in the mirror as you prepare yourself for another day at work or a night out.
In fact this is one of those occasions when you want to see every blemish; to ensure you cover them properly. Alternatively, you may just wish to admire what you look like or see what you’re doing.
Whatever the reason it is important to take a look at the lighting and see what you can replace it with.
However, safety must come first! Electricity and water do not mix well in your bathroom. In fact in some places you’re not allowed to work on specific electrical installations in your bathroom. That’s why you need to check your local electrical regulations and get hold of a good local electrician
The Rating System
Your bathroom is split into different zones depending on the amount of water or moisture that is likely to be in each area. This then controls which lights you should be fitting.
If you wish to fit a light into one of the following zones then they must be approved for that zone:
This is the area inside your shower or your bath; it is highly likely to come into contact with water. For this reason you can only use lights that have a rating of IP67 or higher. In essence this means they are fully waterproof and can be submerged in water safely.
The area directly above your bath or shower is also high risk, u to a height of 225cm. The lights in this area are also likely to be slashed with water. Any fitting in this zone must be at least IP44 approved.
This is the zone immediately adjacent to zone 1 on both sides and above; if there is any height clearance.
Although this is at a decreased risk of splashing it is still possible that water will hit the lights. It therefore also needs a rating of IP44.
It is worth noting that this also covers a semi circle area above your sink which is 80cm at its highest point.
Any other place in your bathroom is considered to be zone 3. This comes under the same category as lights throughout the rest of your house. In effect, as long as the light is approved for sale by the government you can fit it.
However, if you are planning to jet wash your bathroom this zone will need to be considered as the same as zone 3.
The Right Light
Natural light is the best and the good use of mirrors to bounce this light round.
However, you will also need artificial light and it is best to go with bright white lights. Ideally you should include a spot light over key areas such as the sink and mirrors but the final decision is yours. It is simply a matter of personal taste and your requirements.