How to light your bathroom safely

You have a lot of freedom when choosing lighting for your home. But water and electricity don’t mix, so there are some extra safety regulations that apply to your bathroom. You can still have beautiful results if you follow the rules. Amphis is here to help you navigate your bathroom lighting selection.

At Amphis, we’re excited about all things lighting. We love to share what we know, so we’re going to get a bit technical in this blog post. If you’re keen to understand how to read our specifications for safe light installation in the bathroom, read on. If you just want to know which Amphis lights you can choose where, skip straight down to 'What are bathroom zones?' and What Amphis light fittings can I choose in my bathroom?'

What is an IP rating?

IP ratings are an international standard for electrical items. They indicate how resistant the item is to various types of intrusion, like dust or moisture. IP stands for ‘ingress protection'. You’ll see IP ratings in the specifications of all our Essentials lighting products, and each rating has two numbers. The first number tells you how resistant the product’s housing is to dust and dirt, and the second tells you how resistant it is to water. 

For example, our Avesta and Goelz wall lights have a rating of IP54. This shows you that their housings will protect the electrical components from dust and splashing water.

Here is an example of an IP ratings table from Brenclosures.

Some lights, like those outdoors, require resistance to both particulates and moisture. Others, like decorative lights, don’t provide resistance to moisture. You may guess that you can’t simply install our Decorative range wherever you like in your bathroom!

To know which IP ratings are appropriate for your bathroom, you need to know about zones.

What are bathroom zones?

Bathrooms are divided into splash zones for electrical fixture placement. These areas are all about proximity to water. It’s essential to understand the safety rating of each zone before you start choosing your bathroom scheme. Not every light you have your eye on will be appropriate for every zone.

IP rating in bathroom with zones


Each zone has a required IP rating for moisture protection. There is no requirement for dust protection in your bathroom, so the first digit appears in the rating as an X.

Let’s explore what rating of light you need to install in each part of your bathroom.

  • Zone 0—This is everywhere in your bathroom that water collects, like your basin, bath or shower trough. This is obviously a no-go area for any kind of electrical fitting that is not completely waterproof. Some manufacturers make specialty lights designed for use in a bath or shower. They must be extra-low voltage and rated IPX7.
  • Zone 1—This is mainly a vertical zone, and it sits above collected water. Zone 1 is 2500mm above your shower trough or bath. There is also an area of Zone 1 in a 1200mm radius around your shower rose. Products in this area must be rated IPX4 or higher.
  • Zone 2—This is the area 600mm around bath and shower Zone 1, and it also extends 3000mm up the wall. It’s also 400mm above your vanity and 150mm on either side of your basin. There are a few options for Zone 2; lights must be IPX4, extra-low voltage, double insulated or recessed into the ceiling.
  • Zone 3—This covers everywhere else in your bathroom. There is no IP requirement for Zone 3.

What Amphis light fittings can I choose in my bathroom?

For splash Zones 1 and 2, you need to choose a fitting that’s rated IPX4 or above. Many of our downlights and wall lights are rated IPX4. Our heated towel rails are also IPX4. Search our site for IP44, IP54 or IP65 to find fittings that suit Zones 1 and 2. If you’re selecting lights for your ensuite or a smaller bathroom, you may find the entire room falls in these zones.

white bathroom with lighting on the wall
Over 400mm above your vanity is Zone 3. You can choose wall lights or pendants from our Decorative range here, like our suave Burton (IP20) in this bathroom designed by Nikolah Interiors.

As there are no IP requirements for Zone 3, a larger bathroom gives you opportunities to choose statement pieces from our Decorative range. You can use wall lamps and pendants to great effect in your bathroom, particularly over your vanity. Wall lamps with a frosted glass shade beside your mirror will give an indirect diffused glow. This creates the perfect even lighting to apply makeup. Pendants can also have a striking impact. They work well in a bathroom with a high ceiling and create a sense of luxury. You can choose lights from our Decorative or Essentials range for Zone 3.

Interested in lighting your bathroom safely?

Whether you want a bathroom with a minimalist vibe, a luxe spa atmosphere or a classic traditional feel, Amphis has solutions to safely light your space. Reach out to us today.