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Bathroom lighting ideas

Bathrooms are often stripped down, pared back rooms with few soft furnishing, lots of hard surfaces with a fair collection of shiny white surfaces. You want lighting that effective illuminates the bathroom as it is a frequently used room which should be pleasant to spend time in, you use the room not only for bathing for for shaving, applying make-up and more.

Balance is important, aim for general lighting that provides good light levels with a wide distribution of light. In a smaller bathroom this could be a single light fixture, whereas a larger room would benefit from a dozen downlights.

It will be easier to break the space into zones on a piece of paper and remember these principles:

- Do not put a downlight directly over a sink but use one either side to reduce shadows (no one wants to see a shadowed face)
- Adding a downlight to a shower cubicle is great but does not work so well over a toilet!
- Shadows are your enemy and soft light is your best friend, opal glass diffuses light, metal reflects or blocks
- Bathrooms can be glitzy - choose an IP rated product and you will have no issues

Finally, choosing the correct lighting does not mean spending large amounts of money, Lighting Styles has many budget bathroom lighting options which will still provide great results. We hope we can help you have the type of bathroom you deserve and if you do need advice call our sales team on 01780 767617.

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Bathroom Lighting Zones - Showers

Bathroom Lighting Zones - Showers

IEE Wiring Regulations – Showers

Regardless of whether a shower is enclosed or part of a wet room similar rules apply.

The walls directly next to the shower are regarded as Zone 1. This extends to a height of 2.25 metres from floor level.

In this area any light fixtures must have a minimum ingress protection of IPx5.

In wet rooms with a wall fixed shower head the wall is regarded as zone 1. The zone extend 1.2 metres to the left and right of the shower head.  On the floor (and up the wall to a height of 150mm)  is regarded as zone 0.  In zone 0 we do not support the use of anything other than lighting specifically designed for use in a bath or jacuzzi.

Adjacent areas

Adjacent to the vertical boundary of Zone 1 is regarded as Zone 2. This also extends 2.25 metres above the finished floor level.

In zone 2, like zone 1, any light fixtures must have a minimum ingress protection of IPx4 (or IPx5 if there is a likelihood of water jets being used for cleaning). An exception to this requirement is a shaver supply unit complying with BS EN 61558-2-5 which, although it does not meet the requirements of IP4X, is permitted in zone 2, but must be positioned where direct spray from showers is unlikely.


RCD Protection

Regulation 701.411.3.3 requires that additional protection shall be provided for all circuits of the location by the use of one or more RCDs having the characteristics specified in Regulation 415.1.1. This was a significant change introduced by the 17th Edition. This means that all circuits, including lighting, electric showers, heated towel rails, etc. requires RCD protection not exceeding 30 mA.

 

Bathroom Lighting Zones - The Bath

Bathroom Lighting Zones - The Bath

IEE Wiring Regulations - Bath tubs.

Regardless of whether a bath is free standing or against a wall similar rules apply.

The area directly next to the bath is regarded as Zone 1. This extends to a height of 2.25 metres from floor level.

In this area any light fixtures must have a minimum ingress protection of IPx5.

With freestanding baths the wall below the top of the bath is also regarded as Zone 1. In enclosed baths the area below the bath is considered outside of any zones.

Inside the bath is zone 0. Any fitting used here must be SELV (max. 12V) and a minimum of IPX7 (protected against immersion in water. We do not support the use of anything other than lighting specifically designed for use in a bath or jacuzzi in zone 0.

Adjacent areas

Adjacent to the vertical boundary of Zone 1 is regarded as Zone 2. This also extends 2.25 metres above the finished floor level.

In zone 2, like zone 1, any light fixtures must have a minimum ingress protection of IPx4 (or IPx5 if there is a likelihood of water jets being used for cleaning). An exception to this requirement is a shaver socket complying with BS EN 61558-2-5 which, although it does not meet the requirements of IPx4, is permitted in zone 2. Any socket must be positioned where direct spray from showers is unlikely.


RCD Protection

Regulation 701.411.3.3 requires that additional protection shall be provided for all circuits of the location by the use of one or more RCDs having the characteristics specified in Regulation 415.1.1. This was a significant change introduced by the 17th Edition. This means that all circuits, including lighting, electric showers, heated towel rails, etc. requires RCD protection not exceeding 30 mA.

 

Vanity & Illuminated Mirrors

Vanity & Illuminated Mirrors

Everyone loves to look their best and this illuminated vanity mirror helps both men and the women.

Used to shave by it illuminates the face helping you see all those stray hairs and fine hairs that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Women love using this illuminated mirror too as it allows you to see your face close-up, in a good light making the application of make-up so much easier.  When you step away from the mirror and look in a normal magnification mirror you can’t believe how well applied your make-up is! Also it’s great for plucking your eyebrows, bit scary at first as you can see all of them but satisfying to know you’ve got all the stray ones.

There are some women who don’t like looking at themselves close-too but heh isn’t it better to see properly when making yourself up? Nothing worse badly applied make-up and tide-marks!

However having said all that about illuminated vanity mirrors, if you’ve a teenager in the house (especially a girl) you’ll NEVER get to use it yourself!

Bathroom Lighting Zones - Sinks

Bathroom Lighting Zones - Sinks

It is good practice to consider the area around a wash basin, within a 60cm radius of any tap to be considered as zone 2.

This is not regulation. However practicalities would suggest that any light fixtures used in this loaction should have a minimum ingress protection of IPx4 (or IPx5 if there is a likelihood of water jets being used for cleaning).

RCD Protection

Regulation 701.411.3.3 requires that additional protection shall be provided for all circuits of the location by the use of one or more RCDs having the characteristics specified in Regulation 415.1.1. This was a significant change introduced by the 17th Edition. This means that all circuits, including lighting, electric showers, heated towel rails, etc. requires RCD protection not exceeding 30 mA.

 

How to Look Good in the Morning

How to Look Good in the Morning

Everyone likes to see how they look in the morning and the bathroom mirror will be the first place you will catch sight of yourself.  Those who tell you otherwise will be fibbing, we all secretly like to check to see if another wrinkle has crept in overnight or if our hair is sticking up like a baboons. 

If the bathroom has an illuminated mirror or cabinet, you can see straight away all the crooks and cranies of your face and hopefully still love what you see!  Either of these fixtures will provide a good source of light to what can be the smallest room and you will be able to put right all the wrong that happened during the night! And, if you have an illuminated cabinet, you can easily find face cream, a comb, hair gel and in no time you will go from baboon to beauty in a flash.

Make mornings a happy time and never believe your friends when they tell you they wake up looking great EVERY morning - now they are fibbing!

Bathroom Lighting Design. Where To Start?

Bathroom Lighting Design. Where To Start?

So you have spent what usually amounts to a large amount of money to ensure you have a great bathroom and now you need to add the lighting.  Those bare bulbs, dusty pleated shades and cheap glass bulkhead lights should not be appearing in a modern, clean and stylish bathroom.  With a little guidance you can obtain lighting that not only looks fantastic but also provides the right lighting for your space.  Many of Lighting Styles customers are looking for design advice and we are happy to offer that service at no extra cost, give the sales team a call or simply read through our pages for help and advice.

Here is our recommendation.  First start with a clean sheet ignoring the wiring and its existing locations. Think about where you would like the light in your bathroom to be and leave behind any preconceptions as recessed bathroom downlights can be used in all locations including wet areas and even within the most powerful shower cubicle.

Once you have thought about lighting your bathroom lighting look through our categories, each of which contains design tips and advice, and find what you like and work out whether it would fit into your scheme.  If you need more help or do not know where to start then read on...

Stylish Exterior Up and Down Wall Light in Black or Rust

Stylish Exterior Up and Down Wall Light in Black or Rust

2 Products
£213.00
Wide or narrow beam - Filter included
Crystal Prism Drum Chandeliers - Designed for Bathrooms

Crystal Prism Drum Chandeliers - Designed for Bathrooms

3 Products
£867.00
IP44 Rated - Crystal Glass
Luxury Glass Downlight for Bath and Showers - uses GU10 LED lamps

Luxury Glass Downlight for Bath and Showers - uses GU10 LED lamps

 
£32.50
IP55 fully sealed with cover glass and silicon gaskets
Quad Adjustable Square Spotlight in White

Quad Adjustable Square Spotlight in White

 
£133.53
Adjustable Lamp Heads - IP44 Rated
Edge Lit LED Colour Changing Mirror & Remote 700mm x 500mm

Edge Lit LED Colour Changing Mirror & Remote 700mm x 500mm

 
£196.00
IP44 Rated for Bathrooms - Mood Lighting
Low Level Semi-Recessed Wall Light for Shower and Wetrooms

Low Level Semi-Recessed Wall Light for Shower and Wetrooms

 
£49.00
IP65 Rating - White Finish and Low Glare
Art Deco LED Wall Light - 670mm

Art Deco LED Wall Light - 670mm

 
£149.00
Ideal for Above or Beside Mirrors
Flexible LED Lighting Tape - IP65 RGB

Flexible LED Lighting Tape - IP65 RGB

2 Products
£17.72
Can be used with a Friendly Remote
Cabin Style IP44 Frosted Glass Wall Light

Cabin Style IP44 Frosted Glass Wall Light

2 Products
£248.00
Two Finishes to Suit Your Decor
Wide Outdoor LED Wall Washer - Two Finishes

Wide Outdoor LED Wall Washer - Two Finishes

4 Products
£65.41
Black or White - Widths 260mm or 360mm
Recessed Discreet Brushed Steel IP65 LED Light

Recessed Discreet Brushed Steel IP65 LED Light

2 Products
£37.00
Available as Round or Square Option
LED Plaster Cornice Uplight - Aile

LED Plaster Cornice Uplight - Aile

3 Products
£85.00
Simple Curved Profile with 50mm Projection
Illuminated Aluminium LED Shelf - Black or Silver

Illuminated Aluminium LED Shelf - Black or Silver

4 Products
£99.95
Available in 600mm or 900mm
Dimmable Mains LED Fire-Rated IP65 Downlight
  • Sale

Dimmable Mains LED Fire-Rated IP65 Downlight

11 Products
£16.50
Flat White Bezel Included - Optional Bezels Available
Small IP-rated Recessed Wall Niche Light - Suitable for Bathrooms

Small IP-rated Recessed Wall Niche Light - Suitable for Bathrooms

7 Products
£55.00
37mm Diameter - Warm or Neutral White
Block Wall Mounted Downlight for Inside or Out - GU10 LED
  • Sale

Block Wall Mounted Downlight for Inside or Out - GU10 LED

3 Products
£46.00
Black, White or Painted Silver Finish
Dimmable Mains LED Fire-Rated IP65 Downlight
  • Sale

Dimmable Mains LED Fire-Rated IP65 Downlight

11 Products
£16.50
Flat White Bezel Included - Optional Bezels Available
Elite HD 7w LED Fixed Fire Rated IP65 Downlight
  • Sale

Elite HD 7w LED Fixed Fire Rated IP65 Downlight

12 Products
£39.90
Includes Dimmable LED Power Supply
Chrome LED Over Mirror Light IP44
  • Sale
  • 37% OFF

Chrome LED Over Mirror Light IP44

 
£93.96
Neutral White Light - Ideal for the Bathroom
 Bathroom LED Wall Light With Hidden Socket For Shavers
  • Sale

Bathroom LED Wall Light With Hidden Socket For Shavers

 
£79.50
Integrated Push Switch - Bathroom Zone 3
Simple Bathroom Opal Glass Wall Light With Pull Cord
  • Sale

Simple Bathroom Opal Glass Wall Light With Pull Cord

 
£37.80
IP44 - Splashproof; safe for use around sinks
Aluminium Block LED IP44 Wall Light - Up and Down Light
  • Sale
  • 25% OFF

Aluminium Block LED IP44 Wall Light - Up and Down Light

 
£30.00
Cool White - Looks Great Installed in Multiples
Low-Glare Dimmable LED Bathroom Downlight - Chrome
  • Sale

Low-Glare Dimmable LED Bathroom Downlight - Chrome

2 Products
£36.30
Offered in warm or cool white LED colour
Sensio Florence IP44 LED Glass Shelf Light - 500mm Wide
  • Sale
  • 49% OFF

Sensio Florence IP44 LED Glass Shelf Light - 500mm Wide

2 Products
£44.04
Rated IP44 With Built-In Switch

More in-depth bathroom lighting advice

Once upon a time bathrooms were perfunctory spaces, lacking interest, care, or enthusiasm and house builders were indifferent or apathetic to fashion or trends. This meant many bathrooms had part tiled walls and a single light fitting in the middle of the ceiling. Today a greater desire for a designer style bathroom exists but before you jump give some thought to the type of lighting you want to use.

Many toilets/cloakrooms, particularly those in swanky restaurants, have floor to ceiling tiled walls with one or two downlights directly over the sink. If they use dark tiles they look like caves and direct lighting at the sink is woefully inadequate and gives a very poor and disappointing experience. Women and men want to see themselves properly and there is nothing worse than thinking you look great then seeing yourself poorly lit with shadows and dark circles under the eyes! Start by looking or thinking about what lighting you have had in your bathroom already.  Is it bright enough? Does it create shadows? If you apply cosmetics in your bathroom do the results look as good in daylight?

Consider having more than one light in your bathroom, layering light is ideal, a single fitting in the centre of the room will give good illumination to the centre of the room but not much else. The bathroom mirror deserves special attention and a wall light either side will provide good illumination to the face.  Alternatives to wall lights include recessed lights installed above the mirror, a light bar or a strip light on top of the mirror.

For best results why not consider an illuminated bathroom mirror or bathroom cabinet with lighting built in? This not only provides illumination but you can hide all your toiletries inside too. Tasks such as applying make-up and shaving are much harder to accomplish with a poorly lit vanity unit. In this area, good colour-rendering lights are necessary to enable you to see yourself in a natural light whilst reducing shadows on your face. When light shines only from above or behind, you will see unsightly dark shadows under your eyes and the texture of your skin will be accentuated. Frontal lighting is necessary to reduce both contrast and shadows.

How much light is required in your bathroom?  If you currently have a 60w lamp hanging from a flex you may want to use four LED downlights to create similar light levels. If you install too much lighting in the bathroom you can always lower the wattage of the lamps used in each fitting.

Dimming your bathroom lighting is another option by use of a pull-cord dimmer. This will let your bathroom be bright and invigorating in the morning and soft and subdued in the evening.   In addition to lighting for the vanity mirror, good general lighting is of maximum importance.

Lastly electricity, water and bare feet can be a lethal mixture. Pay special attention to current regulations to ensure the design of your wet areas are safe. Electric shocks received in wet areas are more likely to be fatal.

IP ratings are very important in bathroom areas so ensure you aware of the regulations.