Buyers Guides

IP Ratings Explained

When shopping for outdoor or bathroom lighting, you will most probably have been confronted by a mysterious IP code that is followed by two numbers.  This code was designed to provide us non-experts with an easy to understand description of how well-protected a light fitting is.

For those of you who don’t have an encyclopaedic knowledge of International, European, and British Standard codes here is a helpful guide to what they mean and examples of how a product and a situation match up with an IP code.

IP Broken Down

What does the code actually mean?  Well, each part of the code is designed to give you information and help you decide if the fitting you are looking at is suitable for where you want to put it.

Firstly – IP

The IP in the code is short for Ingress Protection – as in how well protected a fitting is.

Digit 1 – Solids

The first digit tells you how well protected a fitting is against solids – such as dust, and other objects. The higher the number the more protected it is. On occasion you may find the digit represented by an X. This means the value has not been determined, usually because the product hasn’t been tested for protection against solid objects. For full details check out Table 1 below.

Digit 2  – Liquid

The second digit is used to tell you about the level of liquid protection: 0 being not protected and, the highest value of 8 being safe to submerge in more than 1 meter of water. For a full rundown check out Table 2 below.

IP Rating First Digit

Digit 1

Number Size of object Protects against


No protection against contact or entrance by any object


>50 mm Protection against any large surface area of the body but not deliberate tampering or force


>12.5 mm Fingers or similar sized tools and objects


>2.5 mm Thick wires, tools and similar-sized foreign bodies


>1 mm Most wires, screws, etc.


Dust protected Protected against dust – it has to enter in large amounts to interfere with operation. Complete protection against contact


Dust tight Impossible for dust to enter; complete protection against any foreign body


Undetermined Indicates that protection against solid objects is not defined


IP Rating Second Digit

Digit 2

Number Protects against Tested for


Not protected


Dripping water Dripping water – no damaging effect when tested against vertical falling water drops


Dripping water when tilted up to 15° Vertically dripping water has no damaging effect when the light enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its usual position.


Spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° has no damaging effect


Splashing water Water splashing against light enclosure from any direction has no damaging effect


Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against light enclosure from any direction shall have no damaging effect


Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the light enclosure from any direction has no damaging effect


Immersion up to 1 m Water won’t infiltrate even when light enclosure is immersed in water up to 1m in depth


Immersion beyond 1 m The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed but in some cases, certain types of light enclosures can let some water in, but in a way that won’t be detrimental to the function of the light.


Security, Whatever The Weather…

Anybody looking for a security light wants them to be durable and protected against the extremities, whether they are to be situated indoors or outdoors. Mostly designed for outdoor use, some have a higher IP rating than others, which can range from an IP of 44 to 68. The Dan Outdoor Wall Light with PIR Sensor, for instance, is suitable for use in outdoor buildings such as your garage, shed or porch, with an IP Rating of 44. This means it’s safeguarded against foreign bodies 1mm+ thick and against splashing water. If you want your security light placed in a completely unsheltered area, then the 50W Cool White LED Floodlight with PIR Sensor, which is IP65, is just one of the models you could choose. The 6 rating means it is completely dust tight, while the 5 means it’s protected against pressurized water jets from any direction.

Decking Den…

If you are re-designing your garden and building a sheltered decking or patio area for you and your family to relax in, then you need lights that are protected but not at the highest end of the scale. The Paber Palazzo Coach Lantern has an IP Rating of 43, so is protected against small foreign bodies such as stray screws and wires from entering, as well as spraying water. It is hardy and durable and will light up your decking den like a dream.

Follow The Yellow Lit Path…

Our range of outdoor lighting at Lighting Direct varies in IP Rating, so it all depends on what you want it for as to what model you should pick. If you simply want something that makes a statement in terms of style and is rainproof, the Searchlight Stoma Outdoor Lantern Wall Light will definitely do that.

Ultimate Pressure

If you want lights that can withstand ultimate pressure then it’s best to go for models such as the Arigo LED Garden Spotlight or the Robus Garland Walkover Lights. Both have an IP Rating of 68, the highest on the scale, meaning they are completely dust tight and can withstand continuous immersion in water in excess of 1 metre. This makes them ideal for lighting up your garden path or pond or water feature. It is always best however, to check manufacturer’s instructions to ensure your chosen lights are suitable, i.e. placing in a swimming pool.

If you’re still unsure of what IP Rating to go for, you can always get in contact with our experienced sales team who will be able to assist with any queries you have.


Looking for inspiration or more guidance? Check out our Lighting Ideas section.

Andrew Evangelidis Head of Buying

Andrew is an experienced buying professional who takes an entrepreneurial approach to identify new lighting solutions and ensure Lyco have first-to-market ranges for our customers. Having previously worked for well known brands such as Wickes, Carphone Warehouse and Toys R Us, Andrew has now turned his hand to sourcing commercial lighting and ensure our customers receive top brand quality products at marketing leading prices. He manages a team of commercial and decorative buyers who travel the world finding new products that our customers don’t even know they need yet.


The Best Ceiling Lights For Your Bathroom

Providing lighting for the bathroom presents its own special problems and contradictions. The bathroom gets used at all times of the day or night, so lights are essential.

Lighting means electric light. The bathroom is frequently quite wet and we all know electricity and water do not mix well. Bathroom ceiling lights are the best option for the main lighting in the bathroom because the ceiling is as far away from water as you can get. However there is still steam to consider, even with a good extractor.

Zones and Ratings

Electrical safety regulations divide bathrooms into zones , Zone 0 being the wettest, actually in the bath or shower tray and Zone 3 being the least likely to get wet. Any area more than 2.25 metres above floor level is in zone 3. The average ceiling height in modern properties is around 2.4 metres, higher in older houses, so bathroom ceiling lights are likely to be in zone 3.  For more in-depth details of this topic take a look at our complete guide to bathroom zones.

This zoning is to enable electricians and anyone buying lights to know what degree of protection is needed for a given location. To find the degree of protection provided to a light, look for the IP Rating. This consists of the letters IP followed by two digits. The first digit refers to protection against fingers, solid objects, dust etc., the second to protection against the ingress of moisture. The higher the figure in each case the higher the degree of protection. Our guide to IP Ratings will give you the full rundown of what is what when it comes to IP ratings.

Be safe – use a professional

Installing bathroom ceiling lights should always be carried out by a qualified electrician. However you may well be choosing the lights yourself for him or her to install, so even a basic knowledge of the requirements will save you time and trouble and may even impress your electrician!

IP as standard

Bathroom ceiling lights to be installed in Zone 3 do not actually require an IP Rating at all. However remember, the regulations prescribe minimum requirements and it makes sense to use only IP rated lights anywhere in the bathroom if only because they are likely to last much longer, quite apart from any safety aspects. All the bathroom ceiling lights sold by Lighting Direct are IP rated to at least IP44.

Flush is plush

A small bathroom of a regular shape may only need a single bathroom ceiling light. Others may require several lights. In either case the use of flush fitting ceiling lights not only looks attractive, they keep cleaner and having their working bits concealed behind the ceiling helps to protect from the steam generated by a hot bath or shower. Here is a selection of bathroom ceiling lights available from Lighting Direct to help you find the right bathroom lighting for you.

Recessed downlights

We’ll start with multiple recessed downlights. Lighting Direct recommends any of the following examples.

1. The Astro Trimless Fire Rated Downlight is an inconspicuous fitting with a plastered over, trimless finish that is beautifully flush to the ceiling. A popular product from British manufacturers Astro.

2. The Luceco F-Eco 5W Dimmable LED Downlight is a fully dimmable fixed fitting that comes with quick-connect push-fit terminals for stress free installation. It is fully dimmable and has an average life expectancy of 25,000 hours, plus a 3 year guarantee. Available in a white finish, brushed steel, and polished chrome.

3. The Integral EvoFire Fire Rated Low Profile Fixed Downlight here is a great value super-slim 0.8mm bezel is 10 times slimmer than standard downlight bezels and incorporates push terminals to allow rapid installation.

To flush or semi-flush – that is the question

Lighting Direct also has many recommended flush or semi-flush bathroom ceiling lights. Full details of all of them can be found in our bathroom lighting section but here is a brief look at some of them.

1. The 3 Arm Semi-Flush ceiling light in a polished chrome finish with clear glass shades is a stylish fitting suitable for use in bathroom zones 1 and 2.

2. Offering traditional style, the Bubble 3 light Led Spotlight Plate is IP44 rather and suitable for zones 1 and 2. It is only 200mm wide and suitable for smaller to medium sized bathrooms.

3. For something even more glamorous, the Orlando Flush Ceiling Light with cascading clear glass balls on hanging chains is a light that becomes a real statement piece as soon as you install it.

4. Our top choice for a simple, but effective flush bathroom ceiling light: The Edit Aqua Flush Ceiling Light is a round fitting with opal glass diffuser suitable for use anywhere in your bathroom.

A little bit more

If you really want to inject style into your bathroom via your ceiling lights and have sufficient ceiling height that a more protruding design is suitable, you will probably love the Ganso Bathroom Ceiling Chandelier. This stunning light has machine cut clear glass prisms on a chrome metal frame. It is IP44 rated so you can install it in Zones 1 and 2.

The choice is yours

The best ceiling lights for your bathroom could be any one of the above. Having said that, you know your bathroom best and if these don’t quite give you what you want feel free to browse our full selection of bathroom lighting to find your ideal bathroom ceiling light.

Looking for more inspiration and advice? Try our Lighting Ideas section.

Where Next?

Bathroom lighting zones where next IP44 bathroom lights where next Bathroom vanity lighting where next

Maxine Clarke Senior Buyer

Maxine has been our decorative buyer since 2015. With her experience in working for consumer-led brands, she is the perfect person to pick out the latest lighting trends for both your home and business. Maxine has an eye for the best up-and-coming lighting from the UK and around the world and works tirelessly to add new brands to our portfolio. One of her trends to watch in 2020 is connectable garden lighting; with summer garden parties more and more popular, being able to build and extend your own outdoor lighting with spotlights, festoons and string lights has never been easier – simply plug and play.

Buyers Guides

Bathroom vanity lighting

Bathroom vanity lighting needs careful consideration whether you are the sort of person who simply slicks on a bit of lipstick and rushes out the door or someone who has a dedicated grooming regime. Click here for bathroom lighting.

Positioning of light

The positioning of the light source is paramount. To avoid unwanted shadows the light needs to hit the mirror and reflect back to your face. This can be achieved by installing a directional spotlight in line with the edge of your basin. Don’t try to
create this effect with a ceiling light in front or behind where you stand to look in the mirror as this will give you more shadow than light.

Light layering tip…

Soft layering of light can create a more relaxing ambience in your bathroom. To do this try adding wall mounted spotlights on either side of your mirror. This will give you directional control
to alter the ambience as you please.

Light Source

The type of light source is also an important factor to consider when choosing bathroom vanity lighting. For make up application, shaving or eyebrow plucking a fluorescent light may be the answer, as they are long lasting and perfect task lighting. An
incandescent bulb or energy saving LED alternative can offer a high quality of light output. They are more appropriate for creating a soothing atmosphere perfect for the morning or last thing at night.

Colour temperature

Different colour temperatures can be selected when choosing your light source from cool whites (5000 Kelvin or more) to warmer whites (3000 Kelvin or less). However please note
that halogen is generally only available in its natural warm white.

Bathroom safety issues

When lighting a bathroom, the fittings must meet certain safety standards. Click here for more information.

Finding the right bathroom vanity lighting

Flexible Lighting

Bathroom vanity lighting image 1

Take the  Edit Beauty Illuminated Swing Arm Magnifying Mirror. This versatile option allows you to fully adjust and angle the illuminated mirror as required.
This smart double mirror is magnified on one side and conventional on the other. When choosing your lighting, don’t forget to consider the style of the room. This magnifying mirror is classic in style with a contemporary polished chrome finish,
and therefore will work well in both a modern or traditionally styled bathroom. With an IP44 rating it is resistant to splashes of water so can be positioned near the basin. This illuminated swing arm magnifying mirror is also another independent
light source that can help you with layering and atmosphere.

Something more traditional?

For a more traditional take on your bathroom lighting have a look at the Roma Wall Light. A sleek and smart polished chrome finish teamed with a neutral opal glass shade, this wall
light will add another dimension to your bathroom lighting.

Dual Purpose lighting

Bathroom vanity lighting image 3

Functionality also plays a part when selecting bathroom vanity lighting. If space is tight then how about considering the dual purpose Zeus Illuminated Mirror Cabinet.
This neat streamlined cabinet has an illuminated mirror coupled with a storage area for all your bathroom accessories. This fitting will be perfect if you are looking for contemporary styling. The integrated shaver socket makes it the ideal solution
for male grooming.

Male Grooming

Bathroom vanity lighting image 4

A simple shaving light above the bathroom mirror is always a good solution for male grooming. The classically styled Coronation Shaver Light gives you the
best of both worlds as it has a shaver socket, shaving light as well as a toothbrush charger. It is supplied with a low energy bulb too for cost efficiency.

Energy Saving

The Philips Vitalise Wall Light ticks all the boxes for energy efficiency coupled with smart modern styling. This sophisticated light fitting comes with a 13W miniature T5 tube that lasts five times longer
than a standard filament bulb.


Bathroom vanity lighting image 6

If you want the glamorous touch when applying your make-up or styling your hair in your bathroom mirror, then the Cabaret Mirror Light will add some show
biz style. Position this set of lights either vertically or horizontally around your mirror to make a theatrical statement and have fun with your bathroom vanity lighting. The sleek polished chrome finish on the Cabaret Mirror will look smart
in any setting. From simple to striking, contemporary to traditional, we have a style of bathroom vanity lighting to suit your every need. Why not take a look at our full range of Bathroom Lights. Alternatively for more inspiration try our Lighting Ideas section.

Maxine Clarke Senior Buyer

Maxine has been our decorative buyer since 2015. With her experience in working for consumer-led brands, she is the perfect person to pick out the latest lighting trends for both your home and business. Maxine has an eye for the best up-and-coming lighting from the UK and around the world and works tirelessly to add new brands to our portfolio. One of her trends to watch in 2020 is connectable garden lighting; with summer garden parties more and more popular, being able to build and extend your own outdoor lighting with spotlights, festoons and string lights has never been easier – simply plug and play.


Imaginative Bathroom Lighting Ideas

We have tons of clever little bathroom lighting ideas that can help you to achieve the right look and feel. The bathroom is after all one of the key areas for creating an impression of cleanliness and the image of a well-kept home. Remodelling, restoring or simply updating this area can help to breathe a sense of freshness into your whole home.

The right lighting plays a big part in defining the theme and style that is created in the bathroom. Get it right and the room will feel like a stylish and relaxing sanctuary, but get it wrong and you may end up with an overly lit room that seems a bit sterile and boring.

Define Your Goals

Total Restoration

If you are looking to completely remodel your bathroom then start by defining what you want to achieve. Ask yourself what type of theme are you going to go for? Do you want a minimalist ultra-modern look or maybe a more period design. Then you need to pinpoint which light fittings are going to help you to achieve this theme.
Bathroom lighting ideas image 1

The Fireguard LED7 Dimmable Spotlight is an excellent choice if you want a clean sharp modern look. Please bear in mind that the number of Fireguard fittings you choose to install will make a big difference to the overall lighting effect. This will, of course, depend on the size of your bathroom, but the fewer you use the more tonal and atmospheric the lighting will be.

Bathroom lighting ideas image 2

Layering the bathroom light is a great way to create a comforting ambience. The Century Wall Light works well teamed with the Fireguard LED7 to add to the contemporary theme. A pair of Centurys would look great either side of a bathroom mirror. This light has a opal glass diffuser for a gentle illumination, so when used in conjunction with dimmable Fireguard spotlights you can reduce the light and create a soft tone for a relaxing hot bath.

Bathroom lighting ideas image 3

Period Style

If you like the idea of using a combination of wall and ceiling lights but are looking to create a subtle period feel in your bathroom then you may want to consider the Barclay Semi Flush. This beautifully simple fitting is perfect for the bathroom, but it really comes into its own when teamed with other lights from the same range.

Bathroom lighting ideas image 4

The Barclay Wall Light is the perfect accompaniment for its ceiling light counterpart. When installed together in a bathroom they set a rich and inviting tone for the room not only in terms of the light but also the style. These fittings will help to create a subtle and understated art deco feel.

Bathroom lighting ideas image 5

Simple Changes – Big Impact

If you don’t have the money, time or inclination to spend on completely remodelling here are some simple bathroom lighting ideas that can make all the difference.

Is your bathroom cabinet looking a bit old and worn out? Maybe the mirror is a little cracked or the style is completely out of date. By simply installing a new mirror cabinet you can update the whole feel of the room. The Zeus Mirror Cabinet is a great way to breathe new life into your bathroom. It’s ultra-contemporary and has a built in light for shaving and make up application.

Bathroom lighting ideas image 6

If you have recently decorated your bathroom but feel that it still lacks something then you may want to consider the Mashiko 360 Wall Light. This fitting can be installed either vertically for stylish decorative lighting or horizontally in which case can be used as a shelf for your bathroom paraphernalia. Either way it will be a striking and eye-catching feature for your bathroom.

There you have it, a few quick bathroom lighting ideas for you to chew over. When choosing the lighting for your bathroom or anywhere else in the home it’s always a good idea to decide what you want to achieve in terms of both style and ambiance then you can work towards your goals.

For more lighting inspiration click here.


Bathroom Lights – relax and pamper

Getting the right lighting for your bathroom is vitally important because this room is used for so many purposes. First thing in the morning, you may need bright lights above the wash basin to help you shave, whereas when you come home from work you may want to relax in the bath with a good book and a glass of wine.

We’ve got all sorts of bathroom lighting available to help turn your bathroom into a place where you can get ready for work, spruce yourself up for a big night out or have an evening in pampering yourself.


Bathroom lights relax and pamper image 1

The main source of light

When it comes to the main source of lighting it really depends on how you want your bathroom to feel and what will suit the décor. For example recessed downlights will provide crisp pinpointed illumination which will help to cultivate a clean and modern image. However for a really relaxing feel a flush fitting with a large diffuser is the perfect way to bathe yourself in soft and comforting illumination. You can achieve this effect with the Carina 28 Watt Polished Chrome Flush Fitting. This type of lighting is great for when you are unwinding in a long hot bath.

Bathroom lights relax and pamper image 2

Wall lights

Wall lights are a wonderful way to add relaxing mood lighting to your bathroom. Wall lighting is generally softer and less oppressive than ceiling illumination. It also offers a greater tonal quality and the abundance of shadowing creates an elegant ambiance. The Togo Wall Light is the perfect fitting for creating the feel of a glamorously styled room. A simple and effective way to give your bathroom charm and make relaxing a decedent pleasure.

Bathroom lights relax and pamper image 3


Mirror Lights

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look your best be it for work or going out on the town. There is also nothing wrong with enjoying the pampering process and taking that extra time to make yourself look immaculate. Mirror lighting removes all the shadowing and gives you a clear and even illumination for perfect pampering. The Eternity Mirror Light is not only exactly what you need from a practical point of view but the fitting itself will also give your bathroom an extra touch of contemporary style.

Bathroom lights relax and pamper image 4

Shaver Lights

Whether you’re going for a clean-shaven look or you’re just tidying up your designer stubble, shaving your face requires bright, shadow-free light, so you don’t accidentally miss a bit or nick your face. The Eterna Horizon Shaver Light has classic style and a built in socket so you can charge your electric shaver or toothbrush. The socket and the light work independently so you can leave things charging over night.


IP Ratings

IP stands for Ingress Protection. Each rating has a number after it, which indicates the light’s level of protection, and where it can be situated within the bathroom. It’s important to know about Ingress Protection before buying any bathroom lights. We go into more detail on IP Ratings in our Bathroom light safety feature.

Looking for more inspiration? Take a look in our Lighting Ideas Section.


Bathroom light fittings- safety issues

A lot of careful consideration needs to be given to your bathroom lighting, and I’m not just talking about the ambiance and decor. It’s very important to be aware of the safety issues when it comes to lighting your bathroom for the simple reason that electricity and water shouldn’t mix. Click here to check out our range of bathroom fittings.

Bathroom Lighting Zones

The following information is a guide to help you understand what fittings can be placed where. This is not an installation guide and at Lighting Direct we recommend that all bathroom lighting be fitted by a qualified electrician. Firstly it is important to understand the rating by which bathroom and some outdoor lights are classified. IP rating stands for Ingress Protection and is always followed by two numbers.

These two numbers refer to the level of protection, for example IP44. Use the table below to discover what this means:

Find the first digit from the left-hand column and the second from the right-hand column.

Explanation of IP Ratings Protection Levels

0 Not Protected 0 Not Protected
1 Protected against Solid Objects greater than 50mm 1 Protected against Dripping Water
2 Protected against Solid Objects greater than 12mm 2 Protected against Dripping Water when tilted to 15°
3 Protected against Solid Objects greater than 2.5mm 3 Protected against Spraying Water
4 Protected against Solid Objects greater than 1mm 4 Protected against Splashing Water
5 Dust Protected 5 Protected against Water Jets
6 Dust Tight 6 Protected against Heavy Seas
7 Protected against the effects of Immersion
8 Protected against Submersion

Also it is important that you choose fittings with the correct rating according to where in the bathroom they will be installed. The bathroom is divided into zones and some of them require a higher IP rating than others.

bathroom zones image 1

The diagrams above show a bathroom split into three clear zones: 0, 1 and 2.

Zone 0

Is inside the bath or shower itself. Any fitting used in this zone must be low voltage, (max 12v) and be rated at least IP67 which is total immersion proof.

Zone 1

Is the area above the bath to a height of 2.25m from the floor. In this zone a minimum rating of IP44 is required. If the fitting is 240v a 30ma residual current device (RCD) must also be used to protect the circuit in this zone.

Zone 2

Is an area stretching 0.6m outside the perimeter of the bath and to a height of 2.25m from the floor. In this zone an IP rating of at least IP44 is required. In addition it is good practice to consider the area around a wash basin, within a 60cm radius of any tap to be considered as zone 2.

Outside Zones

Is anywhere outside zones 0,1 and 2 (subject to specific limits) and where no water jet is likely to be used. No IP rating is required. In addition to the above, if there is a likelihood of water jets being used for cleaning purpose in zones 1,2 and 3 a fitting rated a minimum IP65 must be used.

Full details can be found in the latest copy of the IEE wiring regulations.

Looking for inspiration? Try our Lighting Ideas section.

Maxine Clarke Senior Buyer

Maxine has been our decorative buyer since 2015. With her experience in working for consumer-led brands, she is the perfect person to pick out the latest lighting trends for both your home and business. Maxine has an eye for the best up-and-coming lighting from the UK and around the world and works tirelessly to add new brands to our portfolio. One of her trends to watch in 2020 is connectable garden lighting; with summer garden parties more and more popular, being able to build and extend your own outdoor lighting with spotlights, festoons and string lights has never been easier – simply plug and play.