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Expert's corner: how to light your bathroom in style

From safety measures to smart-tech, here's everything you need to consider about your bathroom lighting
   Chris Jordan  |  written on: 04-03-2019 14:00pm

Bathroom lighting should be planned from the outset of the project.

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This is because lighting is an integral part of the design of the room. Leaving lighting to the last minute can cause issues as once the rest of the room is complete it can be tricky trying to correspond the lighting with the rest of the scheme.

Its functionality plays an important role in the bathroom as it is where many of us apply our make-up, shave and so on. As such, we need to ensure that there is adequate lighting to perform these tasks.

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There are several things to take into account when planning: how big your space is, how much existing natural light is there, do you have shower and/or a bath, will you be using your bathroom to do your makeup? If so, you will need to ensure that the mirror is well-lit, that there is even lighting in the bathroom and that there are no shadows.

Motion sensors are a popular lighting solution for bathrooms and are particularly handy in the middle of the night and in the morning. Dimmer switches are also very practical, you can regulate your lighting to your exact requirement, for example, if you’re looking to create a relaxing atmosphere at night, you can make it softer to enhance the mood.

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A regular electrician will be perfectly capable and competent at installing bathroom lighting for you. I would recommend visiting the NICEIC website where you can find a list of reputable registered electricians in your area.

Your chosen lighting will need to be sealed with a waterproof layer. There are various materials that this can be covered in, for example, silicon, rubber. Each waterproof covering now goes through rigorous testing depending on its IP rating to ensure safety.

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Technically yes, though I wouldn’t recommend it. Employing a professional to install it for you will reduce risks. As the space is a wet room, this greatly increases the potential dangers of electrical fittings.

Most people might choose to pair their colour scheme or fitted furniture scheme in both their bedroom and en-suite, however it can be tricky to match lighting as both rooms are significantly different. There is much more choice in bathroom lighting these days, but the space is much more restrictive than any other room due to safety aspects.

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No, it isn’t, though I would recommend that there be a separate circuit from your bedroom as you wouldn’t want both being inter-connected, for example, if you were to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you would not want your both those and your bedroom lights turning on at the same time.

Finally! Here's an explanation of the different IP ratings you might encounter.

- Zone 0 is inside the shower or inside the bath. Any light fitting in these areas must be a minimum rating of IP67 (which is completely immersion-proof) and must be low voltage.
- Zone 1 is directly above the bath or shower. Any lighting fitting here must be a minimum rating of IP65. This means that they are dust-tight and are protected from low pressure jets and that no water can seep into the fitting itself.
- Zone 2 is either side of the bath or shower or a radius of 60cm from the sink. Any lighting fitting here must be a minimum rating of at least IP44 which will protect from splashes of water.

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NEXT! Want to explore some dazzling lighting ideas for your bathroom? Get inspired with our moodboard of ideas - click any image below to begin.

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Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan is the Managing Director of lighting and furniture brand Christopher Wray, having purchased the company from its namesake in 2013.