What are IP Ratings – and which ones do I need for my bathroom lighting?

July 04, 2019 3 min read

What are IP Ratings – and which ones do I need for my bathroom lighting?

Safety always comes first, so get reading about IP codes before you buy…

At first glance, IP ratings may appear unremarkable, but getting to grips with them is essential when you’re shopping for bathroom lighting.

What IP rating should bathroom lights be? 

The letters ‘IP’ stand for ‘International Protection’ marking, or more commonly, ‘Ingress Protection’. This coding system indicates the level of protection provided against intrusion by objects and body parts, such as hands and fingers, as well as from dust and water.


Explaining IP rating codes for bathroom lighting

Without a doubt, when you’re shopping for lighting that will be close to a water source, such as those found in a bathroom, shower room, wet room or steam room, the integrity of the lighting fixture’s mechanical casings and electrical enclosures couldn’t be more important.

The IP code is therefore present to give you more detailed information (and assurance) than the somewhat vague terms ‘waterproof’ and ‘water resistant’. All legal lights carry an IP rating, as even when they are untested to a specific rating they are deemed IP20.

Practically any purchase – from consumer electronics to automobiles – can be rated with IP, the highest of which is reserved for protection against high-pressure, high-temperature washes in all directions.

 Is IP44 OK for bathroom ceiling or wall lights? 
The IP rating can be determined by reading the first and second digits following the initial ‘IP’. The first digit in IPXX is its protection rating against particles, while the second is its protection against water. So, IP44 basically means ‘4 for protecting against particles larger than 1mm in size; 4 for protecting against water splashes’.

What does zones 1 & 2 mean in bathroom lighting?

When it comes to bathroom lighting, the requisite IP rating is determined by measuring its proximity to a water source or receptacle.

IP rated bathroom zone chart

Spaces directly above a shower or bath are considered “Zone 1” while those within 60cm of a water source are “Zone 2”; both require a rating of at least IPX4 (so IP44 is acceptable). If the light uses a 230V supply, a 30ma RCD (residual current device) must be used to protect the circuit in Zone 1. Beyond those areas, no IP rating is required, but it’s often recommended by electricians that lighting fixtures of IP44 rating or better are installed in any bathroom interiors.

Note: Only specialist devices are permissible in “Zone 0” areas such as the bathtub itself, the sink basin or the bottom of the shower – you’ll need to consult with an expert about obtaining insulated lights for these areas. We must also state here that any installing of consumer electrics in your home or commercial property must be completed by a qualified electrician.

Discover Our Contemporary Collection Of IP44 Bathroom Pendants & Wall Lights

IP44 art deco black and gold bathroom wall light

Tala IP44 bathroom lighting collection

ip44 Laverick bathroom lighting collection , cylinder bathroom pendant light

The Light Yard are one of the UK’s only retailers specialising in IP44-rated pendant lighting for your bathroom. A dramatic ceiling light is beloved by interior designers, since it has the power to transform the a plain bathroom into a relaxing and romantic space.

Our matching bathroom wall lights are IP44-rated too, allowing you to create the look you want, with all the flexibility you need. 

Our collections can help to transform your bathroom, making it much more than just a space for cleanliness. You'll create a personalised refuge designed to enrich your own sense of well-being.

Well, who could have guessed IP ratings did all that? Maybe they are a bit remarkable after all.

Questions? To speak with us about lighting for your home or commercial project, call +44 (0)330 223 3940. Or email info@thelightyard.com.

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