Recessed downlights are an increasingly popular choice for bathroom lighting
, thanks to their sleek and unobtrusive design. These fixtures blend seamlessly into the ceiling, creating a clean and modern look while providing the necessary resistance to water. When it comes to installing recessed downlights in your bathroom, understanding zones 1 and 2 is important for ensuring safety and compliance with the Building Regulations.
Bathroom Zones 1 & 2 Explained
Bathrooms are divided into zones based on their proximity to water sources. These zones determine the type of lighting that can be safely installed in each area, and are designed to minimise the risk of electric shock. Zone 1 encompasses the area directly above the bath or shower, up to a height of 2.25 meters (7ft 4in) from the floor. In this zone, lights must have a minimum ingress protection (IP) rating of IP65, indicating that they are dust-tight and protected against water jets from any direction. This level of protection ensures that your lighting is both safe and functional in the wettest area of your bathroom. You can technically get away with IP44 rated downlights above the shower, but the lighting industry has standardised on an IP65 rating in recent years. Zone 2 extends 0.6 meters (1ft 11in) horizontally from the edge of Zone 1 and includes the area around the washbasin. In this zone, lights should have a minimum IP rating of IP44, meaning they are protected against solid objects over 1mm in size and splashing water. This level of protection is essential for preventing water ingress that could cause damage or pose a safety hazard. There is also a zone 0, which is inside the bath, lights within this zone need to IP68 rated and operate on a maximum of 12V.
Recessed Downlights in Zones 1 & 2
When selecting the perfect recessed downlights for your bathroom, it's essential to choose fixtures with the appropriate IP rating for their intended zone. While you can mix and match downlights in different zones and even use non IP rated downlights in areas outside of the bathroom zones
, its better to just go with IP65 rated throughout; then they will all match and provide adequate protection for the more delicate LED light source against moisture caused by steam.
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