Interior Design Bathroom Series 8 - Lighting

Posted on Feb 7 2012 at 12:21:56 PM in House & Garden

Interior Design Bathroom Series 8 - Lighting

Our previous post looked at using tiles to effectively enhance your bathroom design  in our interiordesign bathroom series.  We focused specifically on the effects that can be achieved by selecting particular tiles and how they can  personalize and add character to your newly designed bathroom space.  As we move into the final stages of your bathroom transformation, in our penultimate post we take a look at using lighting to further enhance your space.  Our post on lighting in our bathroom series focuses mainly on the aesthetic qualities of lighting with guidelines on zones.  To recap on general lighting considerations and types of lighting, take a look at our From the top  8 -  Top interior design considerations for designing a space using lighting.   Our final post in the series will look at accessorising your bathroom.  We'll also look briefly at shower fittings as part of the accessories post.  This post is intended to be read on its own or as part of the full series.

What if I've missed previous posts in the Bathroom Series?

Don't worry if you've missed any of our earlier posts in this series, we've placed  them in our Interior Design Bathroom series category to make it easier for you to find posts and stay up to date.

Why is lighting so important to my design?

Lighting helps to show us the surfaces and forms of objects within the spaces we occupy, revealing shape, colour and texture of objects we place within these spaces.  Lighting  can also be used to set the mood for a space(s) in addition to illuminating the space.

There are a number of types of light fittings that can be used to creatively compliment bathroom schemes, accessories and which are also designed for use within specific zones of the bathroom.  Take a look at the example below of bathroom zones from All Up And On, we hope this helps to make your selection choices easier.

Bathroom Lighting Zones

"All electrical work in a bathroom must be carried out by a qualified electrician, yet it’s often you who has to choose the lights for your bathroom. To help we’ve put together a brief guide that highlights what you should consider when looking for bathroom lights".

"For the purposes of lighting a bathroom is divided into Zones. These Zones are determined by the closeness of water and humidity and the likelihood of the light fitting getting wet. Bathroom light fittings are given an IP rating, which relates to these zones".

" The first digit of an IP rating describes its protection from solid objects such as gravel, insects and other dust. The second digit relates to its protection from moisture, which is directly relevant to the bathroom. The higher the number, the more protection it has".

Diagram and explanation of bathroom lighting zones

"Bathroom Zone 0 - the inside of the bath or shower that can hold water. This area has regular exposure to water, or complete immersion. Electrical products must be low voltage (no higher than 12V) and rated no lower than IPX7".

"Bathroom Zone 1 - the area directly above zone 0, limited to a height of 2.25m above the bath or shower. This area requires electrical products to have an IPX4 rating or higher".

"Products using Safety Extra-Low Voltage (SELV) can be used in this zone, but the transformer must be located in zone 3 or beyond. If the fitting is fed by a 240V supply a 30ma residual current device (RCD) must also be used to protect the circuit in this zone".

"Bathroom Zone 2 - the area beyond zones 0 and 1, stretching 0.6m horizontally and up to 2.25m vertically. This also includes the recessed area of a window with a sill next to the bath. Electrical products must have an IPX4 or better. SELV can be used in this zone too, with the transformer located in zone 3 or beyond".

"Not Zoned (was Bathroom Zone 3) - the area beyond zone 2. Zone 3 used to stretch 2.4m horizontally and up to 2.25m vertically, but this is now not separated and any lighting fitting can go in this area. There is not a specified IP rating for this area, although some products are marked as not for bathroom use. SELV or shaver units are permitted. However, all other portable electrical items such as hairdryers, floor lamps or extension cables are not".


"• When the size of the bathroom extends beyond zone 3, portable electrical equipment must be restricted. Floor lights, extension cables, hairdryers or straighteners (for example) cannot be moved into zone 3".
"• Where ceiling heights exceed 2.25m, the zones effectively extend up to 3 meters with beyond 3 meters un-zoned".
"• Basins are usually considered to be zone 2".
"• If the space under the bath can’t be accessed without using a tool (i.e. a screwdriver) then that space is considered un-zoned".

Further details of regulations can be found in the latest copy of the IEE wiring regulations.

Here's a few types of lighting that can be effective in many bathroom schemes.

Image All Up And On

The above image, shows how recessed lighting can be used within your scheme.  This form of lighting can make a space appear to be much more sophisticated and interesting.  The Astro trimless ceiling bathroom light, is suitable for use in zone 1.

Image All Up And On

Astro lighting ice,  fire rated bathroom down-light shower light is safe for use in the shower area and other zones within the bathroom.

Help to achieve your bathroom improvements

Choosing lighting for your bathroom is not as difficult as it may seem.  Lighting is advertised with technical information about the fitting and also suitability for areas of the bathroom.  Whether your opting for a single light fitting or recess lighting for the entire space including recess lights specific for the shower area, there are a number of options available to receive support to carry out your bathroom improvements.  There is a wealth of advice  available online about finding a qualified and reputable electrician and of course Interior designers who can provide you with advice about the best selection for your space.

These are just a few ideas of types of lighting that can make a statement and personalize your bathroom.  There are of course many other options to choose from so we understand you'll want to spend some time exploring  for further inspiration.

Next in the series

For our final post in this series we'll look at selecting the best accessories to enhance your bathroom. In the meantime take another look at our previous posts in our bathroom series for further inspiration and look out for our last post in this series!

Researching bathroom ideas

The internet and interior home magazines are an easy way to do your homework and gather samples of ideas and recipes for your bathroom make over.  Remember the better preparation you do the better the end result!

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Until the next time!

From Room In A Boxx


  Article Information
Author: Roominaboxx
Created: Feb 7 2012 at 12:21:56 PM
Updated: Feb 7 2012 at 12:21:56 PM
Category: House & Garden
Language: English