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.

5 Expert Tips

With the basics about IP ratings covered, lets consider 5 expert tips about what really makes the perfect bathroom downlight, utilising the very latest lighting technology on the market.

1. Brightness

Bathrooms don't need to be as bright as other rooms such as kitchens. While you can dim your lights, you don't want to be dazzled by overly bright lights when you enter the bathroom at night time or in the early hours of the morning. Modern LED downlights such as the Collingwood H2 Lite CSP CCT have a wattage switch which lets you switch between 4.2 watt and 6 watt modes. At 4.2 watt it produces 450 to 520 lumens and at 6 watt it produces 625 to 720 lumens. H2 Lite Features

2. Multiple Colour Temperature Choices

Choosing the right colour temperature in a bathroom can be a tricky decision. While the most popular choice for bathrooms is the cleaner 4000K cool white (also referred to as neutral white), it can make a room feel a bit sterile and isn't for everything, but used in a white modern setting, it can help to create a cleaner and brighter effect. But if you're bathing in there, you might want to consider a more relaxing tone, such as extra warm white 27000K - or maybe something in-between like the most popular overall colour temperature of 3000K. But wait! What if a downlight contained all 3 colour temperatures in 1? Well look no further than the Collingwood H2 Lite CSP CCT. If you are considering CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature) adjustable downlights, some of them have the switch located at the back of the downlight which isn't good for frequent switching as you'll need to pull the entire downlight out of the ceiling, but some have the switches more conveniently located behind the bezel (shown in the image above), which means you can easily twist it off and switch it to your desired setting - so perhaps you can enjoy a more relaxing bath after all, as well as the more modern colour tones?

3. Extra Safety

While integrated LED downlights are not to everybody's liking, they are safer than GU10, this is because most of them are SELV (Safety Extra Low Voltage) rated. This means that even if you did get an electrical shock you would barely even feel it.

4. Standard Specifications

You'll also want to ensure that you've got the other standard specifications covered such as it being fire rated and insulation coverable. If you're fitting downlights in a home, then they should be fire rated and if you've not got insulation to lay over your downlights, then get some as it makes your home considerably more energy efficient.

5. Wiring Connectors

Wiring connectors are often overlooked as essential component for a downlight. This is especially true for people who don't wire downlights regularly. When you've wired lots of downlights with fiddly screw terminals with your hands above your head you'll agree that using a good wiring connector is essential. Once you've used a proper two part wiring connector you'll never go back. The Collingwood H2 Lite CSP CCT comes with one of the best wiring connectors on the market, shown in the image below:

Collingwood H2 Lite CSP CCT LED Downlight


Collingwood Lighting

Collingwood Lighting were the very first company to produce an integrated and fire rated LED downlight. The H2 Lite CSP CCT is the latest in a succession of highly reliable models. It has evolved into perfection that utilises the very latest technology, one of the other key selling features of this light fitting is that it only costs £13.36 including VAT, and with a twist-lock bezel included in the price.
When you consider all of the features, this is a great deal which is almost half of the price of other models such as the H2 Pro 550. This pricing point is another reason why this is such a perfect downlighting choice for your bathroom or any other room in your home. Its also backed with a 4 year guarantee and is a current model that's new for 2023.
H2 Lite CSP CCT integrated LED downlight from Collingwood Lightin

H2 Lite CSP CCT integrated LED downlight