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Protection zones in bathrooms: Selecting lighting


The bathroom is where we start and end our day. It is the space where we perform a variety of activities, from daily beauty rituals to relaxing baths. The right choice of illumination not only affects the well-being of the users, but also the efficiency of the activities performed.

Matching lighting to the bathroom

In the context of the specifics of the bathroom, which is often a small room with no access to natural light, it becomes crucial to invest in lamps that provide the right level of illumination. Here, IP (Ingress Protection) ratings play an important role, defining the degree of protection against solid objects and water. Understanding these designations allows you to make the right choice of luminaires that meet the required safety standards.

IP rating

Bathroom luminaires are marked with an IP (Ingress Protection) class symbol, which defines the degree of protection against solids and liquids. The first digit indicates the user's degree of protection against access to unprotected parts and resistance to penetration by solid objects. The higher this digit, the better the protection.

  • Level 0: No protection.
  • Level 1: Protection against access by hand or objects with a diameter greater than 50 mm.
  • Level 2: Protection against access by finger or objects with a diameter of more than 12.5 mm.
  • Level 3: Protection against access with a tool or objects over 2.5 mm in diameter.
  • Level 4: Protection against access by wire or objects over 1 mm in diameter.
  • Level 5: Protection against access by wire or dust.
  • Level 6: Protection against access by wire or dust, and dustproof.

The second digit indicates the degree of protection against water ingress. The higher this digit, the better the protection.

  • Level 0: No protection.
  • Level 1: Protection against falling drops of water.
  • Level 2: Protection against falling drops of water when the enclosure is tilted by any angle up to 15°.
  • Level 3: Protection against splashing water at any angle up to 60°.
  • Level 4: Protection against splashing water from any direction.
  • Level 5: Protection against a water jet with a flow rate of 12.5 l/min.
  • Level 6: Protection against powerful jets of water with a flow rate of 100 l/min.
  • Level 7: Protection against short-term immersion in water (up to 30 minutes at specified depths).
  • Level 8: Protection against continuous immersion in water.
  • Level 9: Protection against flooding by a powerful jet of water under pressure in accordance with DIN 40050.

Division of protection zones in the bathroom

The bathroom protection zones, from 0 to 3, define the types of lighting permitted in the various areas of the room. This is all to ensure the safety of users in contact with moisture and water. It is advisable to respect the minimum distances from the bath or shower tray and to use lamps with the appropriate sealing class, ensuring not only protection from water but also from possible damage.

  • Zone 0: It is advisable to use only lighting that complies with the requirements of protection class IP X7 and that operates at a protective voltage of 12 volts. Please note that the transformer must be located outside the zone 0 area.
  • Zone 1: The use of lighting with a reduced safety voltage of 12 volts is recommended. In addition, the lamps must meet the requirements of protection class IP X4, which means protection against splashing water. If there is a potential risk of spray water (e.g. from a shower nozzle), lamps with an IP X5 rating must be used.
  • Zone 2: The lighting in this zone must at least be protected against splashing water, which corresponds to an IP X4 classification.
  • Zone 3: Luminaires with a lower protection rating are permitted, provided they are located outside the 60 cm area of zone 2 and are more than 60 cm from the washbasin. Where luminaires are installed less than 60 cm from the washbasin, an IP44 protection class is required.

For showers without a shower tray, the protection zones are designated differently:

  • Zone 0: 120 cm horizontally from the shower attachment, 10 cm vertically from the floor.
  • Zone 1: Same range as zone 0 horizontally, 225 cm vertically from the floor.

The importance of lighting in the bathroom

Lighting in the bathroom plays a key role in ensuring the safety and functionality of this room. The correct choice of lamps and the observance of safety zone guidelines are essential to ensure that users are comfortable in the bathroom and to minimise the risk of accidents. Good lighting not only makes it easier to carry out daily activities, but can also affect the mood and appearance of the entire room. It is worth paying attention to the right lighting for each part of the bathroom to create a pleasant and safe environment.

Ensure the safety and comfort of your bathroom with our products! We offer IP-rated light fittings and mirrors that are perfect for wet environments.

Visit our Mirror Manufacturing subpage to find out more!