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Using Vintage Lights in Wet Areas

For obvious safety reasons, it’s important to take great care if you’re installing lighting in a bathroom or another wet area.

In the UK, there are strict regulations about which lights you can use in which part of your bathroom – the closer to water they are, the higher the protection rating (or IP rating) they need. (You’ll find a more detailed schematic below.)

It’s difficult to obtain an IP rating for original vintage lights, which often predate the rating system itself, so the lights on this site should only be used outside the shaded zones outlined below.

If you also need lighting closer to wet areas, we recommend subtly supplementing your vintage lights with modern fittings carrying the appropriate IP rating.

 

What’s an IP Rating?

IP stands for “ingress protection”, and the higher the number, the more protected your light will be from the elements. After “IP”, there are two numbers: the first is its ability to keep out solid objects like dust, the second is how waterproof it is.

For the most part, installing lighting in the wet parts of a bathroom needs good water protection, so the first number doesn’t matter and is replaced with an X. So “IPX7” could be any IP rating ending in 7.

 

 

 

Zone 0: Inside the bath or shower itself, the lights must have a low voltage and a rating of at least IPX7.

Zone 1: A rating of at least IPX4 is needed in the area around the bath or shower, up to a height of 2250mm from the floor and a radius of 1200mm from the water outlet.

Zone 2: This is an area stretching 600mm outside the perimeter of the bath and to a height of 2250mm from the floor. It’s also good practice to include the area around a wash basin, up to a radius of 600m from any taps. In this zone, your lights should carry a rating of IP44 or better.

Outside these zones: you don’t need an IP rating, so you can use vintage lighting (unless you plan to use water jets for cleaning).