Bathroom IP zoning

Firstly when looking for bathroom lights there are a number of considerations apart from the style you wish to use. There are Regulations on what lights can be used in different parts of the bathroom known as zones and lights should be IP rated for use within these zones. We all know that water and electricity is a deadly combination

What is IP zoning for bathrooms?

To illustrate the IP zoning regulations, we have divided the bathroom into areas, which are classified using the numbers 0, 1, 2.

Zone 0 – Inside the bath or shower. Any fittings used here must be SELV (Separated Extra Low Voltage – max. 12 Volts) and have a minimum rating of IP67 - protected against immersion in water, total immersion proof;

Zone 1 – Above the bath or shower to a height if 2.25m. Recommended IP rating: IP65. If the fitting is 240 volts a 30mA residual current device (RCD) must also be used to protect the circuit in this zone;

Zone 2 – The area stretching to 0.6m outside the bath or shower and above the bath or shower if over 2.25m. An IP rating of at least IP44 is required;

Outside the zones – anywhere outside zones 0, 1, and 2. Here, there is no requirement for any lighting solutions to be protected against particles or solid objects – no IP rating required. Any socket outlets you need – either for shavers, ply sockets or rechargeable toothbrushes -  need to be in this zone. In addition, the circuit  must be provided with a 30ma RCD protection.



The first digit – protection against ingress of foreign bodies, like: tools, dust, fingers, etc.

The second digit – protection against ingress of liquids. Ex. IP44 offers protection against solid objects greater than 1 mm and water sprayed from all directions.

The first digit – protection from foreign bodies (solids)

0 – no protection from foreign bodies;

1 – protected against solid objects greater than 50mm (e.g. accidental touch by hands);

2 – protected against solid objects up to 12mm (e.g. fingers);

3 – protected against solid objects greater than 2.5mm (e.g. tools and wires);

4 – protected against solid objects greater than 1mm (e.g. small tools and wires);

5 – protected against dust, limited ingress (e.g. no harmful deposit);

6 – totally protected against dust.

The second digit – protection from liquids

0 – no protection from liquids;

1 – protection against vertically falling drops of water (e.g. condensation);

2 – protection against direct sprays of water up to 15 degrees from vertical;

3 – protection against direct sprays of water up to 60 degrees from vertical;

4 – protection against water sprayed from all directions – limited ingress permitted;

5 – protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions – limited ingress permitted;

6 – protected against high pressure jets of water (use on ship deck) – limited ingress permitted;

7 – protected against the effects of immersion between 15cm and 1m;

8 – protected against long periods of immersion under pressure.

The most common IP ratings are: IP67, IP65, IP44, IP20. Depending on how high the risk of water entry is in each zone, you will need bathroom fixtures with the appropriate protection. To avoid electrocution, your bathroom lights have an IP rating which indicates which zones you can use them in.