Lighting Your Bathrooms

When it comes to lighting in a bathroom it can seem like a daunting task to get your head around all the do’s and don’ts to make sure you are creating a practical and compliant lighting plan. This guide is here to help note out the key points and correct steps to create a bathroom lighting plan that will impress your friends but also your Sparky!


First things first, think about your lighting while you are still in the planning stages. Due to the strict zoning regulations which need to be abided by to comply with Australian standards if you don’t consider the key elements you would like in the planning stages it may be impossible to achieve later. When you are looking for bathroom inspiration, note down the feature lighting elements that you like i.e., vanity wall lights, feature pendants, LED strip lighting, floor lighting and bring this with you to your builder so that these elements can be taken into consideration when planning cabinetry, show placement etc.

Lighting Layers

As with any area of the home layering, the lighting in your bathroom is extremely important as it creates an atmosphere and mood to reflect your needs at different times of day or requirement.


General lighting is always required, this is your ceiling lighting, something which you can switch on and illuminate the room as a whole. LED downlights are the perfect fitting to use for your generally light as they are effective and low voltage. If you have an older style home or slab ceiling, a central ceiling light is also a great option for general illumination.


Task lighting in your bathroom is essentially vanity lighting. Like a bench in your kitchen, the vanity is where all the finer tasks are required. Whether this is simply washing your hands, applying makeup, changing contacts, shaving etc. this is where practical task lighting is essential.



Vanity lighting

LED strip
LED strip lighting is another great way to incorporate some aesthetic and practical layers into your space. Areas to focus on this would be to backlight mirror, underneath the vanity or shaving cabinets, inside shower/shelving Neches, wall washing down a feature wall or inside the shower or alternatively creating cove lighting around the perimeter of the bathroom as indirect general illumination.

Adding a dimmer onto your bathroom lighting is almost essential in our opinion, dimmers are the answer to all your ambient needs. Placing this on your general or feature lighting gives you the flexibility to adjust the lumen levels to suit all hours of the day.

Ventilation is extremely important when planning your bathroom renovation. This can be achieved through an extraction fan. In areas without windows such as a small powder room and if the required amount is not achieved.



IP Ratings

IP Ratings are otherwise known as ‘Ingress Protection Rating’ are used to define levels of sealing effectiveness against foreign bodies such as dirt and moisture.

You will often see IP followed by 2 numbers (IP00), the first number in an IP rating is the level of protection against solids such as dust and the second number indicates the level of protection against water. EG: IP(dust protection level, water protection level). Sometimes there is the third digit is used normally an ‘x’. This is when only one rating is being addressed. Eg: IPx4 is only referencing the moisture rating.

According to the EN 60529 classification system:


Solids Rating:

0 - No protection.

1 - Protected against solid objects over 50mm in size. Eg: Large tools.

2 - Protected against solid objects over 12mm in size. Eg: Fingers.

3 - Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm in size. Eg: Wires and small tools.

4 - Protected against solid objects over 1mm in size. Eg: Wires and bugs.

5 - Limited protection against dust ingress. Harmful amounts can't get in.

6 - Protected against dust ingress. Dust can’t get in!

Moisture Rating:

0 - No protection

1 - Protected against vertically falling drops of water.

2 - Protected against direct sprays of water with light tilted 15 degrees from vertical light rain.

3 - Protected against direct sprays of water with light tilted 60 degrees from vertical strong rain.

4 - Protected against sprays of water from all directions. Gentle spray with a hosepipe.

5 - Protected against strong jets of water from all directions. Strong spray with the hose pipe.

6 - Protected against strong jets of water from all directions. Cleaning with a high-pressure hose.

7 - Protected again temporary immersion in water no deeper than 50cm. Eg: Flood

8 - Protected against continuous immersion in water no deeper than 100cm. Eg: Pool light

For example, an IP Rating of IP65 will be protected against dust ingress and strong jets of water from all directions.

Bathroom Zoning

Now you know what your IP Rating means its time to talk bathroom zones. Your bathroom is divided into 4 zones. Below is a guide to figure out what zone your light can sit within your bathroom based on your IP Rating.

Zone 0 - Inside the bath or shower. Any lighting used in Zone 0 must have a minimum rating of IP67.

Zone 1 - Above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m. A minimum rating of IP44 is required.

Zone 2 - The area stretching to 0.6m outside the bath or shower and above the bath and above the bath or shower if over 2.25m. A minimum IP Rating of IP44 is required.

Outside the Zones - Anywhere outside zones 0, 1 & 2. Where water jets are not to be used for cleaning purposes.

We always recommend consulting with your electrician if unsure prior to ordering your light and installing your fittings.